Bo Burnham’s newly released Netflix series Bo Burnham: Inside leaves the audience with so many mixed feelings but in the best way possible.
Burnham has been a public musical comedian since he started out on YouTube back in 2006, but quit live comedy in 2015 due to panic attacks on stage. He decided he should, in the words of Burnham himself in the special, ‘re-enter’ in the year 2020 but the pandemic had just started.
Using music and intelligently-crafted lyrics, Burnham tells the story of being stuck inside his house in L.A. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Burnham uses humour then a more serious context as the show goes on to tell his story which leaves the viewer shocked by the end.
Burnham uses multiple genres in this series, which includes ’80s electronic and Campfire folk, and he breaks away from songs at points to dive into several short skits and commentary. The entire film is edited and written by Burnham, and he includes clips of crazy light shows and edits for each song and skit.
Bo Burnham: Inside starts off with a funny song about COVID and how it affected his life. While the song plays, Burnham sits in a chair with just a white light on his face, he starts off very simple but as the series goes on, he uses different crazy light shows all created and produced by himself.
About halfway into the hour and a half special, the viewer sees what makes Burnham’s show so powerful .
In the next scene, the audience gets to see the background of how the series was created. It was filmed and shot all by Burnham himself which is one factor in what makes it so good. It shows his setup, which was all in one room of his house.
As the series goes on that one room which was very clean and only had a few film and audio equipment, slowly turned more and more messy as the year went on, there were wires from equipment everywhere along with different set props from previous songs.
The series then follows up with some funny, comedic songs which includes; FaceTime with my mom (Tonight), How the world works, White woman’s Instagram, ‘Unpaid Intern, Sexting, Problematic, Welcome to the Internet, 30 and some short songs and skits. All these skits and songs reveal the comedic side of Bo Burnham that audiences are used to seeing.
Burnham dives deep into the reality of what the pandemic can do to one’s mental health. During the filming of the show, Burnham says he told himself he would not leave his house until the series was finished which took the entire year of 2020. Burnham talks about the feeling of being lonely, and how his mental health was declining the longer he was stuck alone in his home.
Burnham combines his writing and singing talents to tell the viewers what is really going on. Without looking into the meaning of each song and listening to the lyrics, one may miss the actual context and meaning of the songs but that is what makes it a different experience for everyone.
Songs such as That funny feeling, All eyes on me, All-time low, will leave the viewer with chills. This is where Burnham breaks away from comedy, the songs are overall chilling, intelligent, and touching.
The series is worth a watch, and it is guaranteed that you will laugh, smile, cry, and be left with so many questions but in the best way possible.
On the other hand, the special is not for everyone. There is adult content as it is rated TV-MA.
If you do not like stand-up comedy or musical comedy this might not be for you but if you have an hour and a half of free time and are looking to watch an intelligently-crafted piece of comedy combined with heart-to-heart humourous songs, take a look.