Over the span of nearly a decade Netflix has been providing the audience with many groundbreaking ‘original’ productions. However, more often than not a handful of those movies and series fell short and came out mediocre at best. ‘Midnight Gospel’, the colourful adult animated series mashing up multiverses and philosophy, unfortunately, can be catergorised as such.
With a promising setting where Clancy, a 44-year old ‘boy’ jumps from planet to planet in different universes through an ‘unlicensed universe simulator’ to interact with wacky intelligent life forms as part of his ‘spacecast’ named Midnight Gospel (with only one subscriber). The eye-popping art style is coupled with dialogue heavy narrative as Clancy interviews a wide range of characters on themes circling around philosophical queries.
The casual nature of these conversations are however, contrasted with the chaotic and often bloody actions on screen. Clancy and his acquaintances sort of breeze through it. Each dying or dystopian planet is facing impending doom while the interviews are not. Every episode has familiar faces of podcasts such as Anne Lamott as Trudy Goodman as voice actors to complete the sense of ‘podcast with a view’.
All eight episodes of this vibrant genre-defying series is somewhat repeat of the same recipe with virtually non-existent plot. Aside from few elements from each episode intertwining, the whole feature is set in an anthological manner. Although the final episode fleshes out a viable change of pacing to introduce the supposed second season.
Other than the wraparounds of Clancy’s each journey into the realms of philosophy of living beings, the whole series has little to offer because of the ‘mellow’ nature in storytelling or in this case ‘podcasts’. However, the emotional last episode reflecting the personal loss of series co-creator Duncan Trussell redeemed many of the shortcomings of this off-beat animated feat.
Duncan teamed up with Pendleton Ward, creator of much adored animated show ‘Adventure TIme’. The duo bring forward a thought-provoking journey each episode but overall leaves much to be desired. Even though the start of the series is with a noble purpose, Clancy and search of ‘purpose’ fails to connect to audience in many ways. As the series ends on a high note, viewers can hope for the two talented men behind the project will make good use of its potential.
Midnight Gospel premiered on April 20 on Netflix.