The Midnight Gospel: a journey towards ourselves
Animation has always been considered a medium especially dedicated to children, but thanks to series like Bojack Horseman and Rick & Morty adult animation regained the relevance that characterized it during the 1990s and early 2000s. The success of said shows has allowed creators to risk producing bolder and more experimental titles, and one of the newest proposals is called The Midnight Gospel.
In MFC Editorial we explore what it is all about, we delve into its creation process and then analyze the things that make The Midnight Gospel so special.
What is The Midnight Gospel?
The Midnight Gospel is an animated series on Netflix in which we follow Clancy, the host of an intergalactic podcast that travels through simulated worlds to interview its inhabitants. The conversations between Clancy and his interviewees usually deal with topics of great depth such as happiness, spirituality and death, and they always take place in a world whose existence is about to end.
The places Clancy explores are inside his multiverse simulator, a device with the ability to transport him to dreamy universes inhabited by colorful and strange characters with interesting stories to tell. Each episode is a new adventure where the fears and joys of the interviewees are exposed through a conversation that lasts until the universe comes to an end.
How was the series created?
The Midnight Gospel was created for Netflix by comedian Duncan Trussell, host of the Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast and Clancy’s voice actor, and animator Pendleton Ward, creator of the popular animated series Adventure Time. All the conversations that unfold in the series are excerpts from real interviews from Trussell‘s podcast, resulting in a combination of animation and podcast that offers an experience never seen before in the world of animation.
Although the project was conceived in 2013, it wasn’t until 2020 that the series would be made. It all started when Pendleton Ward, motivated by his fondness for Trussell’s podcast, proposed to work on an animated series based on the show’s conversations. Sadly, his commitment to the production of Adventure Time left him no time for a new project.
Still with the idea in mind, Ward made the proposal to Trussell again in 2018, this time showing him an animated adaptation of one of the episodes of the podcast. This draft went on to become the first episode of the series, in which Clancy seeks to escape a zombie invasion while having a dense conversation about drug addiction with another character.
A journey towards ourselves
The Midnight Gospel is not a common show. The first season of the series has 8 self-contained episodes in which the animation does not respond to a story like we are used to. The series presents a new format, with a narrative rhythm marked by the natural development of the conversations that take place, while the animation seeks to make a visual interpretation of the complex evolution of said conversations.
From magic, through religion and meditation, to death, The Midnight Gospel presents itself as an opportunity to face the fears that existence brings. The themes and reflections of the series invite us to put ourselves in the shoes of those who talk, reflect on them and question our own ideas, making each episode an adventure from which we can emerge with new perspectives on life.