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‘Bo Burnham: Inside’ gives us a devastatingly relatable look at the last year

‘Bo Burnham: Inside’ gives us a devastatingly relatable look at the last year

‘Bo Burnham: Inside’ gives us a devastatingly relatable look at the last year
June 03
16:00 2021

Bo Burnham has been known for his musical comedy, always seeming to set the bar higher for other comedians in the industry. After his homerun directorial debut “Eighth Grade,” Burnham became a beloved household name to many. His new Netflix special, “Bo Burnham: Inside,” is unlike anything we have seen from him, yet it is the greatest thing he has created yet. Topics like depression and anxiety are tackled with song and by the time the special is wrapping up, you realize that this “comedy” special had a lot more to say than jokes. With isolation being a big part of people’s lives, Burnham hits the nail on the head and gives us a piece of media that should be looked at as a masterpiece in every sense.

Trying to look at the last year in a positive light is something that many have failed to do. Surely a comedian like Burnham could make us all laugh and smile, right? To an extent, yes, but as the special goes on, we start to see that Burnham has been struggling greatly with isolation, and 2020 took a toll on him that will be almost impossible to overcome. Some of the songs hit really close to home, and there are some segments that are almost overwhelmingly sad. I can’t name another comedy special that made me think so much after the fact. There is so much to unpack, and as I sit and write this, I am still trying to put a lot of the pieces together myself. It is nice seeing all the social media posts of people finding some comfort in this devastatingly accurate comedy special, and I think Burnham is accomplishing what he set out to do by releasing it.

This entire special is a giant technical accomplishment if nothing else. Burnham wrote every song and created every single effect portrayed on screen. There were times I felt like the work of Burnham alone outclassed hundreds of terrible set designs in movies from previous years. Everything was practical and almost minimalistic, yet there was this grand scale to it all. I could not get over how tedious and perfect everything was. Every lighting cue was masterfully hitting the mark, and every visual gag made its lasting impact. When these giant musical numbers were over, we would cut to a normal shot of his apartment and immediately be overwhelmed by all the wires and filming equipment flooding his room. Feeling claustrophobic is an understatement and there were many moments I felt like I needed to clean my own room just because of how crammed Burnham’s room was. He is credited for doing literally everything in this special, and the effort he put into every aspect of this project is something to cherish and celebrate.

Burnham jokes about every medium people have latched onto over the last year, and he does it with a genius grasp on every topic covered. Whether it is the bit of him playing a video game about how life has been a constant cycle of sadness or a song about how the American system is a failure sung by a sock puppet, every second of the special is pure brilliance. You will laugh, but at the same time, you will realize that it is OK to accept that this past year has been one of the worst years ever. People try and overemphasize staying positive, but when there is nothing to be positive about it is OK to simply not be OK. The special is so wide in the topics that are covered that by the end there is at least one bit you can relate to. If nothing else, “Bo Burnham: Inside” is something that I would recommend to everyone, because this is the closest thing we have had to a pandemic-centered masterpiece.

Final Rating: 5/5 

Courtesy Netflix

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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