Should you, like me, had been terminally on-line across the early 2010s, you in all probability know, love, and have sorely missed Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.
Co-created by animators Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling, the six-episode net sequence set a fireplace throughout the Web when it was launched on YouTube between 2011 and 2015, with a singular mix of puppet-based antics and Lynchian shock humor. The animated shorts have since amassed over 216 million collective views on YouTube and impressed every thing from elaborate fan theories involving Serbian war criminals to a small clothes line. Now, over six years because the final quick, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared has lastly returned as a half-hour tv sequence, and it’s just like the present by no means left.
The sequence facilities on a trio of unusual, colourful characters — a tall man in a pink morphsuit with two beady eyes atop a mop-top of scraggly hair named “Purple Man,” a yellow man-boy with a tuft of blue hair in blue overalls named “Yellow Man,” and a speaking inexperienced duck in a grey jacket named… “Duck.” This eclectic group reluctantly goes on adventures after they’d slightly simply sit round their home as an alternative.
These adventures sometimes revolve round a fourth-wall-breaking music quantity sung by a speaking inanimate object, like a notepad or a fridge, about an ostensibly instructional subject (e.g., creativity, wholesome consuming, goals) earlier than inevitably collapsing right into a psychedelic dying spiral of physique horror and unremitting ennui. It’s quite a lot of enjoyable. In quite a lot of methods, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared might be described because the demented British half-cousin of Sesame Road and the inheritor obvious to Wonder Showzen, albeit much less politically charged than the latter and extra targeted on taking a sledgehammer to the usual of youngsters’s instructional tv set by the previous.
The six-episode reboot, which premiered on Channel 4 within the U.Ok. on Monday, follows a lot of the identical system of the unique YouTube quick sequence however with… nicely, extra of every thing: extra irreverent deadpan dialogue, extra foolish jokes, extra fourth-wall-breaking interludes, and extra inexplicable physique horror. One would possibly suspect this doubling down on the sequence’ well-worn methods and tropes would danger diminishing returns, however Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared all the time one way or the other finds a technique to proceed subverting expectations, even when the expectation itself is the subversion of expectations.
The primary episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared
You see, you may be something: an individual who varieties at a pc (e.g., me), a man who kicks a soccer ball and scores a objective, or the man who flies to an area moon. Not these guys although, no; they need to work at “Peterson’s and Sons and Pals,” making miscellaneous “bits” and “elements” on an meeting line, answering telephones, and constructing an internet site that doesn’t work. Naturally, the episode takes a dramatic flip for the more severe, however as any fan of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is aware of, the enjoyable is within the shock of simply what goes belly-up and how.
Like the unique quick sequence, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is kind of a sequence of self-contained episodes, each specializing in one type of “lesson” or one other, be it about dying and mortality, the significance of household, or just tips on how to be a greater buddy. The present remains to be ruthlessly ingenious, that includes every thing from amorphous claymation bodysnatchers to psychedelic dream sequences that resemble 2001: A Area Odyssey’s iconic “Stargate” sequence filtered by means of a Boschian “DeepDream” generator.
Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is again, and the sequence hasn’t missed a single beat in its transition from Web shock humor du jour to a full-fledged animated sequence. Followers of the sequence will probably be elated, and newcomers will quickly sufficient be taught simply how hilarious (and horrifying) life’s most vital classes may be.
Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared airs on Channel 4 in the UK, and may be streamed on-line within the U.Ok. on All 4.