‘The Midnight Gospel’: unique, beautiful, and utterly thought-provoking

Netflix [Fair Use]

“The Midnight Gospel” is Netflix’s newest animated series created by the creators of the popular show, “Adventure Time.”

Luke Bowles, Managing Editor

If you’re looking for a new show to binge, look no further. 

“The Midnight Gospel” is unlike anything I have ever seen, and to describe it is to automatically not do it justice, but I will do my best to describe the absurd, mind-bending nature of this show. 

Let me explain.

The show is an animated mashup between podcast episodes from interviewer Duncan Trussell and “Adventure Time” creator Pendleton Ward. 

Showered in psychedelic animations, the series follows the main character, Clancy (Trussell) through his adventures in simulated universes filled with dying beings. The dialogue is almost completely drawn from the podcast episodes, and it gets deep quickly. 

While interviewing these simulated beings for his “spacecast,” Clancy always steers the topics towards heavy topics. For instance, the second episode follows Clancy and a dog being sent to the slaughterhouse while the conversation follows the dog and her perspective on how people should feel about physical death.

Although each episode is only 20 minutes, several were so mesmerizing that they felt like they lasted for an eternity 

The fifth episode features Clancy interviewing a being filled with so much existential dread that she has been forced to die endlessly in a time loop inside of a soul prison.

Sound crazy? Good, because that’s exactly what it is: just crazy enough to be beautiful.

As Clancy is reliving the prisoner’s death over and over, he ponders what it truly means to be alive as well as the role that hope plays in our daily lives. The animations in this episode are astounding. It features worlds made of eyes, Clancy appearing as a xylophone and the prisoner’s heart as a demon-bird. It doesn’t get much more original than that. 

Keep in mind that, again, the dialogue is drawn from a real podcast. While watching the masterpiece that is “The Midnight Gospel,” this fact can be very easy to forget. 

The show is also full of surprises and even the occasional sadness.

The season one finale features a mashup of two podcasts Trussell did with his mother. The first podcast was recorded right after she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, and the second was recorded two weeks before she died. 

Ultimately, the finale connected me with and changed my perspective about all the loss in my life. Clancy’s mother, who is dying in the episode, explains to him that being sad about a dying loved one is actually just the emotion of love running its full course. I had never, ever considered death this way, and it is truly an interesting perspective on a universal human experience. 

Whether “The Midnight Gospel” is exploring meditation, enlightenment or even death, it’s always unique, and it always made me reconsider my views on various topics every single episode. The psychedelic animations only add the cherry on top to a show of which we might never see the likes of again.