TV Show Review: Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared


Dylan Talbot

Classic and daringly disturbing Youtube horror series “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” makes its return after six years as a TV show.

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared has been terrifying children and teens alike since its creation in July of 2011. Long-time fans however may have been surprised to see its return as a perfect TV show adaptation over six years after the original ended.

Fans see the return of the terrifyingly loveable characters, aptly named by fans as “Red Guy”, “Yellow Guy”, and “Duck Guy”. The show’s increased focus on these characters give their horrifying appearance a more relatable feel.

The Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared channel made its first appearance on Youtube on Nov. 9, 2010. Their first upload seemed experimental, and the channel wouldn’t find its niche until its next upload on July 29, 2011, introducing the characters we now know and love.

The web series was created by Becky Sloan and Joe Pelling after they finished art school. The shocking nature of the series, displaying sudden gore and dark themes in the midst of Sesame Street style visuals, created a cult following of horror fans and theory crafters alike.

The show consists of six episodes like the original web series, but is much longer with the average episode being 23 minutes long. Apart from the length, fans will be happy to hear the show has the same feel as the original series. 

In the first episode, the main characters are led to a child-like representation of a work environment. The characters settle in with songs and more puppets in the workplace, but soon things start to darken.

Themes of capitalist monotony start to show for all of our characters as they settle into the stereotypical roles of worker and owner. When one tries to leave, he is eventually forced back through satirical brainwashing.

At the end of the episode, one of the characters gets into a bloody workplace accident and the puppets start to cheer in joy, until finally our characters return home and the episode ends.

In addition to the audio and visual aspects fans love, the show takes on a much clearer narrative than the previous series. The episodes, although seemingly random, fit into a chronological story, whereas the original felt like a new experience with each installment. 

This is a welcome and refreshing change. The story elements add even more tension to an already captivating horror, and lays the foundation for future seasons and episodes.

The characters also have much more depth and development. They have repeated personalities and gags, memories, and even deeper backstories. This was seen in brief in the original series, but not nearly to the extent of this new show. 

It makes the characters more loveable and identifiable and allows various tropes and jokes to be made within the show, such as Red Guy and Duck Guy constantly berating Yellow Guy, or Yellow guy being portrayed as a dope.

The story also features actual antagonists. In the web series, the only antagonists were the teachers that came in every episode. In the show however, there is hinted to be something more malevolent controlling them. This invites fans to create their own theories to what is truly going on in a much more obvious way than the original.

Overall this new series maintains all the elements that developed its cult following, but also builds upon it in a way that manages to build upon something that never had a true story. It is a must-watch for long-time fans and horror and morbid-comedy fans alike, but also a great show for newcomers since it requires no knowledge of the original series.