The Midnight Gospel





Emily Clark

TV Series Review

Clancy Gilroy, a little pink alien living in the multiverse, is the host of “The Midnight Gospel,” a not-so-successful spacecast (think podcast but in space) about spiritual enlightenment. Using a machine called the Universe Simulator, Clancy travels to dying worlds throughout the galaxy to interview their residents just as they’re about to kick the bucket.

As he interviews his subjects, Clancy fights off zombies, goes through a meat grinder system and even helps a knight avenge her fallen lover’s death. All the while casually discussing different, existential forms of meditation and spirituality.

And if all that feels a little disjointed, there’s a good reason why.

Dealing with Reality

The Midnight Gospel, the brainchild of Duncan Trussell and Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward, features conversations taken directly from his own podcast (The Duncan Trussell Family Hour). Those conversations didn’t originally have anything to do with Clancy Gilmore’s space travels, but Trussell shoehorns his discussions into the animated framework anyway. Combine that with a wild imagination and Trussell’s dark, twisted sense of humor and you have this TV-MA cartoon aimed right for adults.

Each episode is morbid enough with the premise that Clancy is interviewing people who will most likely be dead by the end of the spacecast. But it seems the creators have a disturbing fascination with the macabre since hardly a minute goes by without someone’s guts flying across the screen.

F-words, s-words and everything in between frequent every conversation. (There are also multiple misuses of God’s name.) And while sex and sexual references are less common, there’s a surprising amount of full-frontal nudity that takes place in crude, cartoon forms.

Finally, there’s the topics discussed in The Midnight Gospel. From assessing the use of drugs in enhancing the human experience to debating whether or not Christianity actually works as a spiritual truth, nothing is off limits in Clancy’s interviews (or, by extension, Trussell’s).The Midnight Gospel emphasizes each individual’s right to find their own “truth,” which is already seriously problematic. Truth, as any first-grader who tries to say that 2+2 is 5, is a constant, not relative. And the truth is, it’s a messy show.

Episode Reviews

April 20, 2020: “Taste of the King”

Clancy travels to a world in the midst of a zombie apocalypse to interview the president about drugs and their potential dangers and benefits.

Guts and blood spill out of zombies and humans alike. While the reanimated corpses rip apart everything in sight with their teeth, humans blow them to bits using a wide variety of weapons. Zombies and humans are also run over by vehicles, dropped from great heights and smashed beneath the feet of a multi-story super zombie. Some zombies’ eyes hang from their sockets. A man wears a zombie’s legs like stilts. A kiddie pool filled with water turns red after a woman gives birth in it. A butler is slapped by his employer several times. A planet explodes.

We see an excessive use of tongues when a couple makes out. The top of a woman’s breast is exposed when she nurses her naked baby. A naked man is seen briefly. A man’s derriere is exposed when a dog pulls down his pants. Clancy wears a loincloth-like garment. Someone talks about a colonoscopy.

Clancy and the president discuss the dangers of drug use, going into detail about their own histories with addiction and near-death experiences, the hazards of combining prescription drugs with alcohol, and the opioid epidemic. The president says that drugs aren’t the real problem, the relationship humans have with drugs is the problem. Someone smokes a cigarette. Pro-marijuana protestors picket outside the White House.

Clancy is temporarily turned into a zombie (before a cure is administered to him) and while zombified, he and the other zombies enter a psychedelic and happy state of mind imitating the “high” that people can get from certain drugs.

We hear a few uses each of the f-word and s-word, as well as “a–hole,” “d–n” and “sucks.” There are also several misuses of God’s name. People talk about Buddhism and meditation. They also talk about using the psychedelic effect of some drugs to become more self-aware and enlightened.

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Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

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