A strange melange of intergalactic planet hopping and thoughtful discussion about the human condition. The Midnight Gospel has plenty to say and lingers long in the memory
This review of The Midnight Gospel (Netflix) is spoiler-free.
Clancy is the host of an intergalactic radio show that broadcasts to the multiverse. Each episode he selects an avatar and away he goes to an alternate dimension to interview another subject for his show. Over the course of the 8 episodes of The Midnight Gospel we are introduced to a range of different worlds, each of which has its own unique set of rules and logic and a just as diverse series of discussions.
In the first episode of the run the president can be found sniping invading zombies from the roof of the White House whilst having a nuanced and considered discussion on drug use with an alien who teleports from another dimension who he thinks is a beach bodied reporter. So yeah, pretty zany and surreal.
Born from a collaboration between Pendleton Ward (Adventure Time) and Duncan Trussell (The Duncan Trussell Family Hour) there is a strong vein of satire that runs through the script which in each episode explores the various quirks of the human condition. This is a show with something to say. You could easily take the audio track of some episodes and simply put them out as a podcast (which is where it started life) such is the conversational nature of the writing. It is when it is paired with the animation and otherworldly premise that it really takes off.
This won’t be to everyone’s taste. The collision of the vivid and kinetic animation along with the density of the writing is likely to prove a bit much for some viewers. For those who are happy to fully immerse themselves in it however, there is plenty to chew on. This show is likely to find a core audience of people who love it and will love it hard.
This kind of animated show is perfectly at home at Netflix; a platform where a show that serves a small group of fully committed fans without the need to pander to a wider and more mainstream audience. My suspicion is that how viewers feel about The Midnight Gospel will largely be dependant on the sensibility of the audience. If you are a certain type of person, you’ll love it.
The more I watched, the more I could not look away. The Midnight Gospel is a show that rewards your full attention. The more you are prepared to go with it and let the discourse, the visuals, and the ideas wash over you the more you are going to get out of it.
One of the strangest, most original, thoughtful and bonkers shows I have come across in a long time. This one won’t be for everyone but if it’s for you, then it’s going to stay with you for a long time to come.
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