Netflix’s ‘The Midnight Gospel’


Netflix’s ‘The Midnight Gospel’ Is a Profoundly Weird Psychedelic Trip You Want To Take

.
Netflix’s ‘The Midnight Gospel’ Is a Profoundly Weird Psychedelic Trip You Want To Take

If you have watched Adventure Time and Rick and Morty, you’re pretty much prepared for The Midnight Gospel. The Netflix animated series by Adventure Time creators, comedian Duncan Trussell and animator Pendleton Ward is a sort of creative test for the limits of podcast-style narrations. But more importantly, it's a technicolour dream for stoners. The show revolves around spacecaster Clancey, who owns a malfunctioning multiverse simulator. With this device, he travels through several universes including versions of Earth to record material for his space-wide podcast (more like spacecast) in hopes of gaining subscribers. The Midnight Gospel holds with it the promise of trippy visuals to match with seemingly spontaneous conversations that go nowhere but wind up on innately profound subjects. Even non-stoners want that! When the trailer dropped it was met with expectations of a visual high.

‘The Midnight Gospel’ Trailer: A Trippy Escape For Adventure Time Fans

Did I mention that the multiverse simulator has a portal through which Clancy traverses across universes? He begins his travels by putting his head through a device which happens to look like a giant vagina, no big deal… moving on. Cryptic as the trailer is, The Midnight Gospel is basically a mash-up of Duncan and Pendleton doing what they do best - Duncan, known for The Duncan Trussell Family Hour goes back to podcast conversations and Ward, to his inventive animation. The whole thing looks like improvised chats that are shot into space creating enough run-time for the most bizarre plots. Every episode begins with Clancy picking a universe and planet to land on, zeroing in on an interview subject and being launched into space. As the episodes play out the conversations with his subjects get progressively profound, weird but profound. It's practically a series of frank, real talks set on the backdrop of psychedelic visuals.

If you think the trailer was a bit much on the spectacles you aren't prepared for how many landscapes, characters, colours and details the show can pack in a single frame of 20+ minutes of binge-able episodes. It's almost exhausting how much your eyes are exposed to. But all that distraction is evenly matched with engaging dialogue. This works like a perfect blend of action-heavy scenes set on good music except the action scenes are the animation scenes and the music is the conversation. Clancy takes relatable questions to a cosmic level exploration of life, the universe and everything. And that's a trip you will want to take.

 
Netflix

Disclaimer: This article contains partial spoilers of The Midnight Gospel. If you haven’t watched the first episode of the show, this is your chance to leave. Spoilers drop in 3... 2… 1…


The Midnight Gospel sets existential questions on crazy visuals

More than anything, this show is about questions, questions that you and I have all the time, things you would discuss at a chill house party session while waiting for a high to hit or in complete sobriety. The first episode sees Clancy launched onto an Earth embroiled in a hilarious zombie apocalypse. Here, he talks to the President of the United States who is between shooting zombies and protecting the White House. Clancy tags along with a series of questions like - Should marijuana be legalised? What if a high-induced hallucination takes you lower? Are psychedelics even useful? What are the ambiguous feelings you have while meditating and what happens when you and follow them? All of this unsurmountable discussion takes place with a running narrative of zombies painting the town blood red. That’s not even it, there are moments that look totally random but create a plot full of survival and escape tropes. These are pretty serious themes for otherwise light conversations. The real high hits when the technicolour visions on-screen get down to play a representation of a high adding music to the mix (of course, psychedelic music plays a big role in the show). It will change your perception and leave you wondering long after the end credits which by the way are a spin on dialogue highlights of the episode.

Netflix

The Midnight Gospel gets very real very quickly

In every episode, Clancy meets a new person or creature and they begin to look increasingly like a manifestation of his own inner thoughts and struggles. The further you move into run-time the more personal the conversations get. Every once in a while, the spacecaster will throw in his own experiences, some of which are really disturbing if you take the distractions of the colourful episodes away. The context of the narrations is a lot less trivial than the scenes make them out to be. This is where the show is at its most impactful height. In these moments you will find the serious parts of the language of the show right before it goes back to mindless details of mind-melting scenes.

You’ll find that The Midnight Gospel comes with its own set of limitations. Viewers could find the overarching story monotonous pretty early into the 8-episode binge. You could also tire of the barrage of visuals. Or you could choose to get lost into them, somewhere in the multiverse, coming to terms with your own existentialism. Either way, this is a fun option for weird yet profound shows to escape into.

The Midnight Gospel is now available on Netflix.

Cover artwork: Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India

Comments