Bo Burnham: Inside Review
It goes as no surprise that I am obsessed with Bo Burnham, I think he is one of the best on stage creatives that we have from our generation, but I can see why this show divided people.
During lockdown Bo Burnham decided to create a one-man show describing what the situation was like. He took these ideas of being stuck inside and social media and social justice issues and Jeff Bezos and created them into this abstract art that included comedy, as well as a lot of deep thought.
Bo Burnham has always been known for his artistic style and the way he does things. While his shows are comedy shows at their heart they also have a lot more depth to them than just that. This reminds me of Make Happy, where at the end he describes his battle with being a comedian and how stressful and depressing he found it, and to know that he wanted to come back in 2020 and the pandemic stopped him was quite upsetting to see.
I feel this show was fascinating if you don’t look at it as a comedy. Of course it does have a lot of funny moments, but it’s more about exploring the idea of the pandemic and lockdown in such an abstract way, it’s about seeing all these tiny things that make up your lockdown that maybe you don’t realise affect you as much as they do. Spending more time on social media, seeing big companies getting more money while so many people are losing their jobs, the endless torture of not knowing when it’s going to end. If you can see past the fact that it’s meant to be a comedy show and look at it is more as a thought piece on how lockdown has affected many of us then I feel you get so much more from the show then thinking ‘that wasn’t very funny’.
From a creater standpoint this comedy show is absolutely gorgeous. The way that he uses light and shade and colours and costume is so ingenious and it really blows your mind that one person can come up with all of these elements by themselves. I especially love the inclusion of his phone and the torch on there and the use of the bare walls he had in this one room, it was all very clever and I feel a lot of film / art students can look at it as such a great piece to dissect and really talk about, because there is so much happening within it while also being contained to one room.
I feel if you don’t understand the way Bo Burnham works on a deeper level than this show won’t be for you. There’s been so much hype about it on the Internet because it is the Internet’s sort of thing, he’s a boy that came from YouTube and made it big and unfortunately that crushed him, and to see him being able to go back to his roots of performing in front of a camera and not in front of a live audience was really fascinating to watch. To see how much he’s grown from his simple bedroom and a green screen to suddenly all of this in front of him was really special.
If you were expecting a comedy show you are going to be disappointed because, while it does have a lot of comedy, it also has a lot more to it too. I feel this really appeals to a certain audience of people who like exploring creative ways of working, who are in a certain demographic of millennials to gen zs, and who understand the Internet and meme culture. It’s a fantastic piece of work, it’s absolutely brilliant and beautiful and I loved watching it, but I do understand why some people wouldn’t enjoy it as much as I did.
For me to recommend it to people you really have to understand Bo Burnham and his craft to understand what this comedy show is about and what he is portraying to you. He is a very abstract human being, he is very interesting and intricate with the levels that he brings to his shows, and so if you’re looking for a comedy show you won’t enjoy it. But if you’re looking for a thought peace on lockdown and taking the mick out of everything that we’ve had to deal with over the last year and a half then I think you will enjoy it.
What did you think of Bo Burnham’s Inside?
Until next time.