Review: Bo Burnham – Inside

Bo Burnham has released his latest comedy special on Netflix entitled Inside. It was written, directed, filmed, and edited last year during the pandemic by Burnham, performing it entirely in one room in his house.

Inside is essentially a musical in which Burnham sings various songs reflecting on random things he is thinking about. The special gives serious “Weird Al Yankovic mixed with Book of Mormon” vibes with its satirical commentary and lyrics. Except in this case, these songs are not covers but original pieces. Each song focuses on very reliable topics, most of them things that people did during the pandemic – FaceTime your mom for example. The beats are generally funky and catchy so they reel you in and hold your attention. Burnham’s comedic commentary around the stigma of turning 30 was also very relatable especially as everyone has now experienced a “COVID birthday”. The lyrics to this particular song and some of the other songs are absolutely hilarious and capture a lot of what life was like during the pandemic, especially as people spent a lot of time alone. There were several times during the special that were “laugh out loud funny”. Burnham also sings some songs about Jeff Bezos, the current CEO of Amazon congratulating him but never really reveals what the reason behind the praise leaving a lot of ambiguity. The overall delivery of the various performances gives off a very psychedelic feel with the utilization of stroke lights and various background video.

Overall the special has been receiving mostly positive reviews from viewers since it debuted May 30th. Rotten Tomatoes reviewers have given the special a 97% approval rating. The popular website describes it as “a claustrophobic masterclass in comedy and introspection” as well as “beautifully bleak, hilariously hopeful special from Bo Burnham.”

Inside is the fifth comedy special that Burnham has been released. He has been on the comedy scene since 2008 when he met director and producer Judd Apatow. His four other specials include Words, Words, Words, what., and Make Happy.

The special was definitely one way to spend the pandemic – creative but rather strange. It is disjointed and doesn’t follow much logical order or rhythm much like the world during the past year and a half. Check out the trailer HERE and catch the full special on Netflix! The songs are also available to hear on Spotify.

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