(Photo courtesy of Netflix, Inc.)
Contributor to the connector
After a five-year hiatus from live-action comedy, Bo Burnham has made a surprising comeback in the entertainment world. Shot entirely in a room of his house and entirely solo, his new Netflix special “Inside” is a look at Burnham’s experience with COVID-19 quarantine and his anxieties regarding his return to comedy.
The special took the internet by storm, with songs like “Welcome to the Internet” and “Bezos I” becoming trending TikTok tones within days. Why exactly was this special so powerful? The answer comes with Burnham’s eccentric existentialism, which many viewers have found to be relatable.
With the isolation of 2020, there was a lot of uncertainty and time for self-assessment, which made many of us feel lonely. “Inside” proves that we are not alone and that our feelings are almost universal.
The show special won three Emmy awards, including Best Music Direction, Best Writing for a Variety Special and Best Direction for a Variety Special. For a special entirely concocted by one person, that number of rewards says a lot about the creator. Burnham’s commentary on topics ranging from isolation to racial injustice provides a glimpse of what it was like to live through the unprecedented times of 2020.
The real impact comes from Burnham’s display of raw emotion and examining his creative process when making this film. It shows the struggle to take on this project on his own, the desire to keep it to himself and not finish the special and the toll that the return to comedy after isolation has had on his sanity.
He describes his sanity as being at an all-time low and uses his art as a way to deal with and express those feelings. The order of his songs and topics seems random in a way that mimics the train of his thoughts. It stays true to the expression of his emotional upheaval that he kept at the center of the film.
Social commentary is another aspect of this special that will keep it relevant. From the superficial values of social media to white supremacy and racial injustice, Burnham has something to say about it all. From other viral hits like “White Woman’s Instagram” to Sesame Street’s parody of “How the World Works,” the social commentary is woven into the catchy songs of “Inside” and provides a reflection on everything that came out of 2020.
All fans of Bo Burnham’s previous comedy will enjoy this special. His use of music for entertainment is reminiscent of his previous pre-break specials and the content that made him famous almost 15 years ago. Those who have struggled with the COVID-19 quarantine and the lingering loneliness that accompanied it will find solace with “Inside.”
Burnham’s exploration of the effects of isolation and the constant cycle of news and information on the mind is a struggle many will find familiar, and knowing that you are not alone in dealing with these issues is heartwarming for you. know.
All in all, a special like “Inside” can be watched over and over again, while noticing new things each time. Good luck getting “Welcome to the Internet” out of your head after watching!
Overall rating: A