Bo Burnham: Inside

Bo Burnham: Inside
Bo Burnham creates a lockdown masterpiece

Bo Burnham returns with a new exclusive comedy special Inside. The Netflix show depicts Bo Burnham alone over a year struggling with lockdown, and the current state of the world.

Being no stranger to the talent of Bo Burnham it would come as no surprise that I absolutely adored his latest Netflix special. The Make Happy comedian depicts life during lockdown while he tries to create a comedy show on his own.

Admittedly, at the first watch, I was a little disappointed with Inside. The jokes felt repetitive, the songs felt like an echo of his younger self, the punchline often were predictable, and the jokes felt repetitive. However, giving the Netflix Special time to mellow, similar to lockdown, the show warmed to me, providing an insight into Burnham’s own psyche.

Now, the soundtrack has become an integral part of my daily routine, with songs also features heavily across TikTok as the latest trendy soundbite either making jest at Amazon billionaire Jeffrey Bezos or discussing one’s own mental state. The Emmy-nominated special has also been released in cinemas for a limited time, with fans treating the Netflix special as a cult movie.

Where Inside truly triumphs is Bo Burnham’s ability to masterfully tell a story while alone. Bo Burnham tells this story himself, and it is all the rawer for it. Better yet, he exposes his vulnerability whilst interweaving quirky and unique songs that cover topics of being a white woman on Instagram, to an unpaid intern in an industry that exploits young workers for cheap labour.

Content with Content

Further, Bo Burnham has the exceptional ability to single-handedly deliver unwavering camera work, lighting, character acting, and directing over the edit. Even if the jokes felt rehashed, we as an audience cannot help but feel emotionally intertwined.

We have been there. Everyone has. This past year has been awful, reflected with this alone, fragile, broken man, not sugar-coating the lockdown blues.

Creative burnout and stress mixed with the toxic film industry and comedy scene definitely taking their toll on the emotionally drained creative. Especially as both industries only seek to chew up and spit out those who try to conquer them.

Having trained his directorial eye over Eighth Grade, Bo Burnham certainly knew where to prioritise his efforts, as audiences continue unpacking each frame for contextual nods and further gags.

Despite that, as mentioned, many of the jokes were predictable, with one particular joke recycled from Bo Burnham’s show what. about the pointlessness of editors. However, the commentary the jokes created about mental health, especially after the past year, was definitely needed.

As such, comedian, actor, musician and director Bo Burnham continues to prove to be a genius. It only excites me at whatever project Burnham turns his attention to next.

By Conor Riley

Conor is the Founder and Editor for Cinamore, a publication focused on giving power back to journalists. As a portmanteau of the word 'Cinema' and the Italian word for love 'Amore', Cinamore aims to highlight the love that we all carry for the art of the moving image.


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