The Internet can be a terrifying place. You know it. Edward Snowden knows it. Cats probably have an inkling. It was only a matter of time before the existentially curious puppets of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared found out too.
These avatars of a creatively starved citizenry debuted in a widely shared short almost four years ago, and then remained quiet outside of the festival circuit until last January. Since then, there have been two new installments of DHMIS, each one hitting like Sesame Street during a psychotic break. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the puppets have returned in the second of four publicly funded new episodes, and this time they’re taking on the very Internet that helped further their existence.
Once again directed by creators Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling, Episode Four finds our nameless heroes trying to learn more about the world. Judging from the fancifully decorated parlor they’re hanging out in, there are two ways to do so: a globe and its mortal enemy, a computer. What follows is a musical journey into the Internet–the computer performs a song that sounds vaguely like “Love Will Keep Us Together,” in Auto-Tune, of course–wherein the tactile puppets become digital versions of themselves, like the Lawnmower Man before them. Eventually, things go deeply, fundamentally, hauntingly wrong, which should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen any of the previous videos.