DON’T HUGE ME I’M SCARED is a 6-part indie musical/comedy/horror web series released from 2011 to 2016 by British filmmakers Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling. Rolling out like a horror version of SESAME STREET on crack, it’s honestly one of the most deeply provocative, entertaining, and strangest things I’ve ever seen on the internet.
Each episode starts off as a typical show for kids, complete with a stylized, colorful set and three characters, Yellow Guy (a boy like Bert or Ernie), Red Guy (a creature like Grover or Oscar the Grouch), and Duck (a talking duck). They find themselves in a situation, and an object on the set comes to life to sing a song to teach them something about a topic such as Creativity, Time, Technology, Love, Healthy Eating, and Dreams. The lessons start off educationally until sliding headlong and in a surreal way into a darker, nastier, very adult interpretation of the topic, resulting in the characters being brutalized. This could have come across as a shtick, but it’s done so well, and you sympathize with the characters so much, it’s super dark and compelling.
Part of the wonder of the show is the amazing detail in set design and techniques used to tell the story. Easter eggs abound, many visible only on repeated or even frame by frame viewings, all of them hinting at a deeper story. The storytelling techniques combine live action, puppets, cartoons, and computer animation. The songs are catchy ear worms. The surreal horror aspect is creepy as hell. And the end of episode 4 and the last episode bring in what appears to be a meta commentary on corruption in content creation in children’s programming, a larger story that ties the whole thing together but is very open to interpretation as to exactly what that story is.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it. All the episodes are here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ux2ZxSXePs&t=1221s.