On April 20th, Duncan Trussel’s animated Netflix show dropped and, along with it, do did eight entirely new and interesting universes that the protagonist (Clancy, voiced by Trussel himself) explores in each of the eight episodes. The show is fantastical and ridiculous, with each episode exploring new ideas and concepts while maintaining consistent levity. That being said, the show is not for everyone.
Performances and Casting
The voice actors behind The Midnight Gospel is made up of a group of comedians including Phil Hendri, Duncam Trussel, Joey Diaz, and Christina Pazsitzky. Each of them return throughout the show as a variety of characters and consistently deliver brilliant performances. That being said, if you are looking for deep, emotional, and heartfelt performances, this is not the show for that (though the last episode does get fairly emotional.
The writing and stories of the show is what really sets it apart and stands out as truly impressive. The show is dependent on dialogue to the point where it’s a little excessive but every episode effectively runs two parallel story lines – ensuring that not a single moment is boring. The events that the characters are involved in are endlessly ridiculous and entertaining while the dialogue is consistently creative and incredibly realistic and convincing. There is not a single moment in the show in which the dialogue seems forced or unrealistic (and this is somewhat helped by the great voice-performances) and this is largely due to the fact that the majority of it is taken as excerpts from Trussel’s podcast.
On a more overarching scale, the show does have a few pacing issues – it starts off brilliantly and ends on a high-note but the quality seems to sag a little towards the middle (with the exception of episode 5 Annihilation of Joy – one of my favourite episodes of the season). Aside from this, the motifs and story arcs that are maintained throughout the season provide a comfortable level of consistency and unity without losing the joy of having each episode unique and independent.
Technicals and Music
Of course, as an animated show, the quality of animation is extremely important and it, in this case, the great quality is nothing to dismiss. The studio responsible for the animation, Titmouse, is known for work including internet extras for Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty, Netflix’s Big Mouth, and Jay-Z’s The Story of O.J. music video, along with numerous other collaborations with Adult Swim and Marvel.
The character design is consistently great and seems like a combination of Rick and Morty and Adveture Time. Also, the editing is consistent and never noticeably bad – often the case with good editing as it is often targeted with the main aim of avoiding the viewer being taken out of the world of the show/movie.
Finally, in terms of the technical aspects of the production, the music is noticeably well done. The variety of music throughout the show is very wide but consistently great – even being put to the front of attention in a few instances.
The show is extremely well executed and endlessly entertaining despite the slight pacing issues. It is important to note, however, that it is not for everyone and if you do not enjoy the first two episodes, you won’t enjoy the rest. I would recommend it especially for fans of Adult Swim animated shows or for people who like to explore some of the more abstract topics in life (it wasn’t released on 04/20 for no reason). I thouroughly enjoyed the show and am hoping that it does well enough to be renewed for at least a second season.
I hope you liked this review and be sure to check out more of our content at ScreenHub Entertainment such as our review of Netflix’s Extraction or my recommendations for Netflix comedy specials to watch while in quarantine.
Image Sources: www.slashfilm.com/the-midnight-gospel-trailer/, www.pcmag.com/news/the-midnight-gospel-is-adventure-time-for-messed-up-adults, www.thehollywoodnews.com/2020/04/08/trailer-for-incoming-netflix-animated-series-the-midnight-gospel/,
Info Sources: www.imdb.com/title/tt11639414/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast, titmouse.net/