This Netflix Original series was such a pleasant surprise. Given the number of cartoons I watch and whatever else Netflix uses for their algorithm, I woke up on Monday, April 20th looking forward to it. An after-work holiday (4/20, anyone?). When I opened Netflix to get some background noise in, there it was in all of its multicolored glory – an ad for The Midnight Gospel.
I hardly took a second to let the trailer (annoyingly) auto-play before I hit “watch”. And I’m so, so glad.
The show follows Clancy (voiced by Duncan Trussell with his innocent but pensive charm), a “space-caster” (space podcaster) as he uses his illegally obtained farming simulator to assume an “avatar”, travel to alternate universes and interview its residents, all while following them in their sometimes violent world-ending adventures. There’s gory zombie apocalypses, ass demons, child-eating witches and so much more that Clancy encounters, but through all the chaos he has thoughtful and engaging conversations with his interviewees.
Created by Pendleton Ward (Adventure Time) and Duncan Trussell (The Duncan Trussell Family Hour), we are taken on a journey that makes us think about the brevity of life and the true meaning of “enlightenment” all while cats are piloting Clancy through space and he gets mashed into ground meat. I found every episode to be so incredibly charming, from the animation to the absolute quality of conversation Duncan has with his guests. You can tell they’re really into it, too, because often they’ll refer to Duncan’s character by his actual name, and it’s something I’m glad they didn’t attempt to edit out. The show is so organic and lively, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. It tells stories within stories, stories that make you laugh and hold your hand over your heart because for some reason, it starts to ache in your chest at the same time. It’s so real, yet so nonsensical at the same time.
I think the glue that holds it all together is its overarching “plot”, but watching the show never truly makes you crave a climax and a fall. It’s more like.. A quilt, a bunch of pieces sewn together that just seem to work. It’s a journey in its most raw form, much like how life doesn’t make actual narrative sense, The Midnight Gospel is more about being in the moment and trying to figure out how to navigate life and being at peace with what it is – a journey. A journey of listening, of death, of striving, of discovering.. We all encounter such different things in our own lives, yet we are all human and we are all here, together.
There are so many beautiful tidbits I got from this show, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning something new. And if you’re not typically into podcasts, I absolutely recommend it to you, too, because although it definitely has the very meat of a podcast, it’s also still its own show and is interesting enough to keep you engaged visually and intellectually.
All in all, it’s just a good time and I hope you enjoy it as much – if not more – as I did.