Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared TV Show Wraps Filming

    Since its announcement on July 7th, 2020, fans of the infamous online series Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared have been waiting in limbo for any news or updates of the upcoming television show. It seems that a light is finally visible in that very limbo. On September 1st, the official Instagram of co-creator Rebecca Sloan made the announcement that filming has wrapped! The Instagram post in question featured several photos, including a shot of the crew, props, selfies and more!

    Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared entered the internet on Youtube on June 29th, 2011. The video stars three characters, two hand puppets named Duck and Yellow Guy, and a fully costumed character named Red Guy. These names are never stated within the series, but are referred to as such. The characters start off sitting at the kitchen table in silence, until a notebook on the table magically comes to life and starts singing about creativity, bringing on a happy tone similar to preschool shows like Sesame Street and Blues Clues.

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    As the song goes on, the tone slowly takes a nosedive from peppy and fun to unsettling and dark. Eventually, the video takes a hard turn into chaos. The characters make dance, then do arts and crafts with a heart and glitter, cut into a cake made of raw meat, and other such disturbing imagery. The chaos abruptly stops with the characters returned to sitting at the table and the notepad singing “now let’s all agree to never be creative again”, ending the short.

    The video was a viral hit. Carolina Mardones listed the video as number 7 in her top ten short films of 2011. It was included as part of a cinema event in Banksy’s Dismaland. Fans were quick to start discussing and theorizing the themes and message behind the short.

    Creators Joseph Pelling and Rebecca Sloan started production of the short with no budget and on their own time. They had ideas of making it into a series but decided to make the short a stand-alone. This thought changed, however, after the short became a hit. The short got the attention of British free-to-air television network, Channel 4; and through their short film program Random Acts, commissioned the second episode. The second episode was about the concept of time and featured Red Guy, Yellow Guy and Duck encountering a talking clock. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 2 – TIME would premiere on January 8th, 2014 on Youtube.

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    In May 2013, Sloan and Pelling announced a Kickstarter campaign to make additional episodes. To advertise, they made low-quality camera footage featuring the stars being held for ransom. The Kickstarter goal was reached on June 19th, 2014.

    Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared would go on to have a total of six episodes, focusing on such subjects as love, computers, nutrition and dreams. Each episode would follow the same formula, starting off in a world of felt and introducing the topic in a whimsical educational tone before taking a dark left turn. The episodes would each make high numbers online and would earn the series a cult following, with tons of fan art and theories being shared on social media. Joe Blevins of The A.V. Club would have this to say about the series in 2016 after the premiere of the 6th episode.

    “Strange as the show is, part of the appeal of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is fairly obvious. Children’s shows are so innocent, preachy, and goody-goody that they’re begging for subversive, gory satire. Series like Wonder Showzen and TV Funhouse have made plenty of comedic hay from skewering standard kidvid fare, and a good chunk of Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken is devoted to spoofing children’s shows, too, often adding violent and horrific elements. But Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is an extremely ambitious work. The show’s creators, British artists Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling, have kept the production values incredibly high, so much so that the series looks professional despite the fact it’s funded by Kickstarter donations.”

    Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 6 was considered by many to be the finale, with the short ending on Red Guy “pulling the plug” and showing the characters back at the kitchen table as they were in episode one, only this time with different colors. Things were quiet for a while, until the announcement was made. The initial hints towards a Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared series were first made on Twitter. On September 13th, 2018 the Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared Youtube channel uploaded a video titled “Wakey Wakey”, which would become the teaser for the next adventures of Red Guy, Yellow Guy and Duck. The 30 second teaser gained over two million views within 24 hours of its release and peaked at No. 1 on Youtube’s Trending list. This would be followed up on July 7th 2020, when Rebecca Sloan made the announcement that Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared was picked up by Channel 4.

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    Production for the series was airtight until the beginning of September, when fans finally got their long awaited update on production. It seems as if the felt-covered world of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is officially moving to the editing stage. Many fans are speculating that the long silence has something to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has absolutely thrown a wrench into the entertainment industry around the world. Hopefully the news will be enough to hold fans over until an official airdate is announced. Whether it will take another year or just a few months, the final product is sure to be very creative!

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