Conner’s Critiques: Bo Burnham’s Inside

If you like me grew up enjoying the comedy style of Bo Burnham on Youtube, then you’ve probably missed him as he took some time off from live performances for the last seven years. However Bo is back on Netflix with his new special Inside. This is the first time that we’ve delved into one of Burnham’s specials, but felt it was important to discuss this specific special.

Like normal, this critique will be based on three categories: Story, Acting, and Overall. So let’s begin.

STORY: 10/10
The special chronicles the effects of the Pandemic, and the effect being locked in during quarantine and how it effected his mental health. It’s a journey through a specific painful year of his life.

While he makes lots of comments poking fun at the fact that he is an American cis white male, seeking attention, and being paid to make jokes during a time of serious strife and frustration, his special does actually connect with me, and I’m sure others, when dealing with depression.

The work is increasingly self referential, introspective, and a love song to his comedy style while also a wet painful scream into the darkness that is depression.

ACTING: 10/10
I love Bo Burnham, I’ve had the benefit of meeting him in person years prior at a Best Buy when he was buying a tripod. He is a very tall, very reserved man. His real life persona doesn’t seem to fit his larger then life on stage presentation because who you see on stage is a character that he created for the purpose of his jokes and comedy.

In the special, he mentions that he was having trouble with going on stage and due to panic attacks and his personal issues. He took time away to focus on being out of the center stage, and getting in the right headspace. This is why he worked on writing movies like Eighth Grade. It allowed him to be creative, talk about the world, and be a bit out of the limelight. Right when he got to a place that he felt ready to return, the pandemic hit.

Through the series you see moments of Bo Burnham’s real face, and Bo Burnham’s character as he breaks while attempting to entertain, but also chronicles his experiences.

If you are looking for a simple laugh, then this special might go a bit over your head, or feel lost. However, if you understand mental health issues, or need something to make you feel like you are not alone then this special will resonate in a deep way. Not to say you can’t find sections funny, or interesting, but this special is full of long segments used to show how he has felt during this specific time on the planet, and if you can’t connect to it, it could come off as confusing or frustrating.

Conner’s Final Thought(s):
For anyone who has been affected with depression as a result of being locked inside to stay safe during the pandemic, this comedy special can feel like it is a window into your manic soul. Additionally, if you have been negatively impacted and need help, then please head Here, or call (800) 985-5990 to receive the help needed. Depression is a silent disease that kills if left unmanaged.

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