Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared Review – You’ll Want To See This Brilliant, Horrible Comedy Over and Over | Television

don’t Hug Me I’m Scared (All 4/Channel 4) resembles Sesame Street and plays as David Lynch. It’s the gentle, gradual but relentlessly nightmarish vision of Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling, who met as college fine arts students and, while stuck in postgraduate jobs they hated, teamed up with actor/writer Baker Terry and their artistic skills. to create a DIY web series that became a crowdfunded hit between 2011 and 2016. The six episodes — each lasting a few minutes — took the merry learning vibe of kids’ television and turned it into something so creepy you could feel it moving under your skin long after the merry voices faded into thin air. A paean to creativity soon sinks into a nightmare full of offal. The monstrous nature of time is revealed by a singing, dancing and finally screaming clock. And so, terrible, brilliant on.

Now DHMIS has moved into television. The episodes are longer, but the characters—never given names, but known to fans as Red Guy, Yellow Guy, and Duck (a man in a hairy suit and a mop head, respectively, plus two dolls)—the lovingly detailed felt props, the claustrophobia, the growing threat of an existential crisis with every passing minute? They are all as delicious, thorough, relentlessly present as ever. Like The Simpsons, it pays back a rewatch with a finger above the pause button. I especially liked seeing the “Keep an eye on fat fires” written on the whiteboard as part of the trio’s household roster.

It pays back a rewatch… Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared. Photo: Channel 4

In the first episode, they get a job. Fueled by a talking briefcase, the fictional lesson about the value of hard work is quickly turned upside down when they are absorbed into the mindless workings of a factory (Peterson’s and Sons and Friends Bits & Parts Ltd – whose parts are recycled into parts and back again) and adult viewers are reminded why they drink to forget. Episode two deals with death and is arguably the weakest of the series, perhaps because it’s inescapably creepy, even when real children’s programs try to tackle this topic and thus lose some necessary tension. That’s not to say the pink clay figure is constantly melting and reforming to try and take the place of dead Duck (don’t worry, it’s a clerical error – he’ll be back, unfazed, next week.” It was kind of nothing,” is his verdict. “Not really for me.”) isn’t entirely terrifying.

Elsewhere, the three are given a lesson on what a family is through doll twins Lily and Todney — his name is a perfect encapsulation of the entire series-on-a-small-but-wholly-unsettling-angle-to-reality stylish. The real lesson, about society’s fetishization of biological, nuclear families, comes through a visit to the twins’ home, where Grandma is kept alive on an IV, endless home movies are played, the trio is served thick, sticky tea. (“a family recipe”) and a tree that grows through the house thrives on the blood of strangers.

The cyber world gets a kick, and the impossibility of ever doing anything truly new and exciting runs like a thread through every episode. Puppets are born free, but everywhere they are chained. Duck doesn’t know, Red Guy does and Yellow Guy – he feels it, he feels the darkness inside and out, but just keeps it at bay.

It’s smart, gloomy, charming, grotesque and funny. More than that, it’s clearly still – just like the original web series – the real, idiosyncratic result of two people’s own vision, one shared deviant sensibility and maintains the feeling of having fun at all times. Which of course only makes the eerie horror and hallucinatory edge all the more disturbing. If Sloan, Pelling and Terry can earn more without – am I really going to say this? I think I am – jeopardizing their vision, I’m here for it. If not, I’ll gladly settle for what’s already colorful yet black in front of us.

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