Netflix is a wonderful, magical place. It is filled with the joyful, the scary, the romantic and the truly, undeniably weird. With Halloween just passed and with this show still stuck in my mind (and on my computer screen) this week’s deeply creepy Netflix pick has to be the hit television show Courage the Cowardly Dog.
If you haven’t seen this show before, it’s initially quite a jarring experience. The series is set in the west of the United States in a town called ‘Nowhere’, which is just in the middle of nowhere with nothing surrounding it. The regular cast features an old man named Eustace and his (for some reason, Scottish) wife Muriel who adopt a small, and yep, you guessed it, cowardly dog ironically called Courage. Like most children shows, the characters get into various shenanigans travelling around to other places and with visitors who come out to the middle of nowhere. In a basic description, Courage is just like any other kids’ program when it comes to the basic skeleton of the plot. The thing that will hook you, though about this particular show is that it gets fleshed out into something that seems unfit for anyone below the age of 18, and seems more like someone’s LSD-induced nightmare is being played out on screen. Weirdly enough, the core of most plots to Courage episodes are genuinely disturbing and are what will keep you watching from season to season. Just to give an example, the very first episode features a serial killer cat who runs a motel who, for some reason, lets his hundreds of dog-sized spiders feed on any and every guest who passes through. It doesn’t have comic elements, and for a cartoon, the up-close scenes of these creatures are graphic and haunting. And best of all, in each twenty minute episode, you actually get two completely different stories, ten minutes each. The creators are pretty talented to get you highly involved and pretty intensely haunted by a plot that lasts as long as taking a shower.
The coked-out, acid trip that is this kids’ show makes it unique and enticing, and Courage the Cowardly Dog has a full two seasons on Netflix to keep you going through the shorter days and the darkness of essay season. Plus, your fear of having to turn the lights out and go to sleep will probably keep you watching too.