June 7, 2021

CABLE | Bo Burnham Isolates Comedy 'Inside' on Netflix

"It's a beautiful day to stay inside."
Bo Burnham: Inside | Netflix Comedy Special
Attic Bedroom Corp.
Comedian turned filmmaker Bo Burnham captures the true essence of our internet age of constant social interaction during a period of little actual human interaction. Over the course of the past year, Burnham has crafted a masterful encapsulation of the trauma of self-isolation during the pandemic. Entirely performed, written, shot, directed, edited, and composed by him from a single room in his guesthouse during quarantine, Bo Burnham: Inside is truly a singular time capsule of artistic struggle and crippling sadness in ninety minutes.

Through his unique brand of very contemporary meta-comedy, Burnham captures all the intense social change and societal reckoning of the last year into morsels of subversive humour through his sharp editing skills and direct commentary masked as jokes. Without a crew or audience, his comedic expressions of melancholic yet mournful comedy about everything we've collectively gone through stuck indoors hits on every note. He's also keenly aware we're watching him grind to make the comedy special we're watching.

Much of Burnham's dialogue and musical lyrics are so blunt yet they feel slightly subdued underneath such creative expression. Everything feels so cohesive despite its randomness as the comedian proclaims he isn't even sure what it is you're watching that he's making and filming. It's bizarre and haphazard yet clearly thoughtful and precise in its aims of dissecting our current culture through a self-portrait of deteriorating mental health.

It's kind of insane how sophisticated yet simplistic Inside is. Burnham's one-man technical feat of a comedy special acts as a sort of coronavirus diary filmed as essentially a series of kind of stream of consciousness through musical mashups or comedic montages strung together by a narrative of self-isolation descending into slow madness. Burnham is raw, emotional, charismatic, sad, and glorious all at the same time. It's a stunning piece of solo art performance.

Bo Burnham: Inside screens at the Rio Theatre and is available to stream on Netflix.

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