In the animated Web series Strindberg & Helium, a talking bubble full of helium tries to cheer up the super-dour Swedish playwright August Strindberg. He’s unimpressed . . . but we’re in stitches.
The four shorts you’ll find have been floating around the Web forever, but they’re still something of a secret pleasure: Strindberg struggles with the hell of daily existence. Helium delivers kisses and cupcakes. The animation is simple, the voices — sublime. In one segment, Strindberg gulps absinthe and tries to pick up a young lady, with Helium as his wingman. Another is perfect viewing right now: It’s autumn, and August’s standing in a park, surrounded by falling leaves (or, as he sees it, “disintegration and decay”). Helium, of course, could not be happier.
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