‘The Midnight Gospel’ Review: Better Be High AF to Enjoy This New Netflix Series

     April 20, 2020

If you’re wondering just WTF The Midnight Gospel is, you’re in good company. There hasn’t been much information by way of description available beyond announcing that the psychedelic series from Pendleton Ward (Adventure Time) and Duncan Trussell (Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast), animated by the talented folks at Titmouse, would be streaming on Netflix. The synopsis, which calls The Midnight Gospel “the story of Clancy, a spacecaster with a malfunctioning multiverse simulator who leaves the comfort of his extra-dimensional home on the Chromatic Ribbon to interview beings living in other worlds,” doesn’t really explain much either. And that’s by design. This trippy, episodic adventure of animated ramblings and drug-assisted philosophical opining is only for the well and truly sloshed. It’s no wonder The Midnight Gospel debuted on the holiest of high holidays for cannabis enthusiasts out there.

But for the sober folks among us, you might want to pass on The Midnight Gospel, at least until you’re able to enjoy some recreational drug use to ease the transition into this colorful, chaotic, and pseudo-philosophical world. It’s like watching a psychotic lava lamp while listening to your college roommate wax on and on after a week of Philosophy 101 and a few rounds of stacking bong hits. If that sounds appealing to you, check it out ASAP, though you might want to meter out your dosage; eight episodes at 22 minutes a pop is a lot of nonsense to take in all at once. If it doesn’t sound all that fun, you can safely take a pass without missing much.

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Image via Netflix

The Midnight Gospel is essentially an animated retelling of episodes of Trussell’s long-running podcast, Duncan Trussell Family Hour, with each episode featuring a special guest. It’s also an extension of its mind-bogglingly successful Patreon. It’s not this reviewer’s cup of CBD tea, but a thousand or so people are willing to pony up cold hard cash on a monthly basis, so clearly it’s working for some folks out there. It is, however, worth at least a glance to see what Ward has come up with since the super-successful (and sort of still going) run of Adventure Time (and, to a lesser extent, Bravest Warriors.) The Midnight Gospel lets Ward go nuts without any network censors or content restrictions, and the team over at Titmouse absolutely runs with it. So while the combination of creative talent behind the scenes is a winner, this new series is likely only going to appeal to the Adult Swim crowd. Your mile(high)age may vary.

Rating: ★★ Fair

Television