Let it be known: I’m firmly against any sort of movie or TV show about the pandemic. I just don’t want it. I don’t need to see it. It’s unnecessary and obvious and boring, so don’t do it. Unless you’re Bo Burnham.
Written, directed, shot and starring Burnham, Inside is a sort of ‘at-home comedy special’, taking place in one room across the span of lockdown. He comes at you with a bunch of musical comedy numbers that cover a variety of ‘inside’ topics, from Jeff Bezos to The Internet, many of which are simple yet hilarious observations of how Bo sees the world. As lockdown continues, the audience gains access to his mental state, which is quite visibly deteriorating before our very eyes.
Bo Burnham’s Inside is basically the Netflix special version of a David Sedaris collection of essays. And that’s one big compliment if you ask me.
Though I prefer the live stand up that I’ve seen from Burnham in the past, there are some stand out moments within this lockdown ‘movie’. My personal fave? “White Woman’s Instagram.” I mean, where’s the lie? Some of the songs just weren’t quite up to the same standard as his past songs, but that one really made me laugh out loud and the images he paired with it were nothing short of comedy genius. Creativity at its finest.
I’m sure there were some average white dudes out there who watched this and thought *sarcastic Spongebob voice* “well this is stupid, I could have made that.” To that, I say that while this looks so simple to the untrained eye, it’s so incredibly impressive that one man managed to do all this by himself. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get the timing alone right when you’re just one person?! The lighting, the music, the visuals, the choreography… this shit clearly took practice, and I salute Bo Burnham for that.
What Inside manages to do most successfully is encapsulate the descent into madness that many people lived through during lockdown(s). Although I wasn’t one of those people, this almost acts as a documentary that I’m sure will be absolutely fascinating to the people of the future due to it’s rather bizarrely profound nature.
I’m obviously not one of those people who so intensely loved this that they felt the need to give it full marks, but there were moments that I really connected with and it showed a more human side of Bo Burnham than I was used to.
Impressive in terms of effort, message and comedy, but it hasn’t changed my life.
Bo Burnham: Inside is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
TQR Category Ratings:
Costume & Set Design: n/a