‘Inside’ explores isolation and the meaning of life

New comedy special has it all


Fair use from Netflix.

Ben Sanford

Bo Burnham’s new Netflix special “Inside” is one of the most self-aware pieces of art I have ever seen. Shot, written, produced and performed exclusively by Burnham, the series depicts his process of creating a comedy show from inside his room during quarantine. We watch Burnham slowly breakdown from his isolation. However, the special still remains humorous and original, despite its heartbreaking moments.

Burnham has always had an extremely unique sense of humor. With “Inside” he writes self-depricating songs and jokes that are extremely relevant to the current social and political climate. His lyrics are striking and clever, making sure that the special never dragged too much.

Burnham’s ability to discuss his own crumbling mental health through funny sketches is impressive. He is able to contrast the lightheartedness of his comedy with the darkness of his current state perfectly, creating and important but enjoyable film.

There were times throughout the special that I felt almost overwhelmed with how depressing it was. From extended shots of Burnham sitting and sobbing to his painful lyrics put to a peppy tune, “Inside” is as emotional as it is funny.

As well as being a fantastic writer and performer, Burnham’s lighting and cinematography take “Inside” to the next level. Shot entirely in one room, Burnham transforms his space with his colorful lighting and innovative camera angles. He finds a way to contrast what is going on in his head with sharp spotlights, and explosive colors.

“Inside” is a rollercoaster of emotions, but one that perfectly encapsulates the experience of COVID-19. I would recommend the comedy special to anyone looking for an intelligent, humorous hour and a half.


“Bo Burnham: Inside”: ★★★★☆