Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared originally came from humble origins as a small youtube video. That first video exploded into popularity among gore fans and unsuspecting youtubers who thought it was simply a educational puppet show. For years now the creators have been working to make it a TV series with the help of Channel 4. After multiple setbacks and delays, the series has finally arrived on British screens.
Are the puppets back in their former gory glory or is the series now as uncreative as the colour green? Read on to find out. Mild Spoilers below.
The plot revolves around our three main characters. Red Guy, Duck Guy and Yellow Guy. The three of them live together in their pink, doll-like house. In each episode, they learn an educational lesson by a special guest Teacher. Only something isn’t quite right. What starts as a fun-filled adventure quickly spirals into unimaginable horror for the trio which leaves them left for dead…or worse. By the next episode, everything has returned back to normal only to start the cycle again.
The Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared series has always had a distinctive style that sets it apart from things like the Muppets or Sesame Street. You can see the impact of the changes. The puppets for the main three are very high quality and look far better than they did in the pilot.
The sets have a clear visual upgrade. Most of the time the original series would show the characters in one central location and they would use CGI if they needed them to be somewhere else. The sets are bigger and better. It evokes the feeling of old school education shows. The show excels in immersing the sudience so when something gory happens it’s entirely off-putting in the best way possible.
The entire show is a fever dream. From trippy visuals to existential themes the whole show can leave viewers with a feeling of dread one moment and dark comedy the other. With the longer run time, it does allow for some of the more comedic aspects to shine through. The original is more shocking but here it builds up to the main scares better.
Story of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared
The messed up children’s media trope is common, more often than not it can feel a cheap and lazy way to convey the scares. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared thankfully doesn’t suffer from this problem. It feels like it has a genuine story to tell and the gore actually has a purpose. This series has seriously benefitted from its long run time. Each of the trio has a distinct personality.
Aside from the main trio, the episodes wouldn’t be complete without the Teachers. The Teachers are the ones who teach the trio a valuable lesson. The six episodes focus on the important lessons of “Jobs, Death, Family, Friendship, Transport and Electricity. Each episode taps into the existential and unknown fear behind each one of the topics.
For example, A Briefcase shows the gang different jobs they can do. The whole premise of the episode is about the fear of working at a monotonous job for years and watching your life pass you by without having any purpose and eventually dying for something as simple as money. It sets the tone for the rest of the series wonderfully.
There are also multiple easter eggs in the show for long-term enjoyers of the series and perhaps the most interesting of these cameos was Roy, the ‘father’ of Yellow Guy. He’s the main antagonist of the original series however his cameo in episode 3 has just as much of an impact. It’s easily one of the most shocking moments and that’s saying a lot for this series. The show also never lets you forget that he’s always watching and long-term fans can make it a game to spot him in each episode so if he appears in season 2 I hope he has a bigger role.
Theories of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared
One thing that helped Don’t Hug me I’m Scared to keep its popularity was the ability to keep people theorizing and talking about it. If you’re a fan of Five Nights at Freddy’s lore then this is absolutely the show for you. The show is full of different puzzle pieces to try and piece together. Are the characters all dead? Are they in an alternate dimension? Is this all a performance by an omnipotent puppet master? It’s anyone’s guess. It’s clear that there is an overarching plotline. The mysterious character will keep the theories going strong until there’s news of a season 2 and while there’s been no renewal yet it has proven wildly successful among fans and newer viewers so it bodes well for Channel 4 to pick it up.
Don’t Hug me I’m Scared is a delightful horror dripping with equal parts existentialism and comedy. This series takes an already well-executed concept and brings out its fullest potential with better production values and a longer run time. This series is an easy 10/10 show and I recommend everyone go watch it if they’re not faint of heart.