Bo Burnham is an artist who is one of a kind. He got his career jump started with his Youtube Channel, got millions of subscribers, and by the age of eighteen he was one of the youngest comedians to perform on tour. He has a creative mind that has produced many brilliant comedy specials and films. His comedy special Inside, (currently on Netflix), which he starred in and directed, is clever and often fun to watch, but it can be cheesy and sometimes confusing. And while I found myself laughing at many points, the special pushes the envelope with some of its subject matter.
Burnham shot this comedy special from inside his home (hence the name) over the course of a year. The concept of a comedy special being shot totally inside a home due to the COVID-19 pandemic is creative, and Burnham enhances the film by singing throughout it and rotating the scenery by filming from many rooms of his home. And while Burnham never loses his touch with connections and taglines, this special was just a bit eccentric. Many people may find much of his subject matter funny, but some of his topics may not be funny to a lot of people. I am not judging his subjects as good or bad, but I think he tries too hard at times.
I do have respect for Burnham, but I believe that in Inside he often crosses boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed—mostly with some of his bits on mental health and some scenarios with social media. He often tries to present serious matters in a funny manner, but in real life they would not be funny, and they weren’t funny here. So Inside gave me many moments of confusion—mostly by wondering whether Burnham’s crossing of boundaries on sensitive topics is necessary.
I do give Burnham credit for the technological aspect of Inside. He lays out the rooms in a structured order as he progresses through the special. Burnham also fits the part of being Covid-bound by making himself look like he has not taken care of his personal hygiene. Burnham always has a talent for fitting his scenes and dressing himself for the parts. So the film is technologically amazing, but I found the writing too dark and overly exaggerated.
Overall, I would rate Inside as an average comedy special. Burnham does possess true comedy talent. This film is just is all over the place and confusing with regard to many of its subject matters. It is generally light-hearted, but has some unexpected and unnecessary harshness. So I had mixed feelings about this special, which I give a solid 2-1/2 stars.