Bo Burnham: Inside

Bo Burnham: Inside ★★★★★

Never have I witnessed anyone better articulate the crises of emotionality than Bo Burnham. To me he is the voice of our jaded generation who possesses an uncanny ability to articulate the angst and anxiety of the internet age. The woes of modernity and contemporary strife may sometimes seem insignificant but confronting the ways it affects us matters. In fact, it matters so much that the weight of understanding this moment in history can feel unbearable.

Beneath the pretence and persona lies an achingly generous performer in Bo Burnham. He cannot stand to let his feeling go unsaid but we the audience aren't spared from seeing the toll this takes on him. On the surface the comedy is so intrinsically well-observed and creatively crafted that Inside functions as a comedy about dysfunction. Yet underneath the comedy a torrent of uncomfortable ideas are left to linger. Awareness becomes both enlightening and alarming.

Too often Bo Burnham is lambasted for being overly subversive and self-aware. Whilst he is certainly both, neither are without purpose. Burnham never simply observes; he unpacks. His critique of the systems which control our lives isn't merely to note them but to prompt us to further interrogate these ridiculous elements we so readily accept.

Inside proves to be the diverse, catchy, cannily crafted musical social commentary which Bo Burnham has refined throughout his work. More than ever his work reminds us that human expression will always contain an element of vulnerability which is too often edited out banished to the borders of the story. But here it creeps in and punctuates the message hidden within the humour which is one of genuine pain and frustration at the personal artistic process. Burnham invites us to consider the value of honesty in comedy perhaps as a coping mechanism in his tortuous process.

Inside is Bo Burnham's expression of the unbearable expectation of being an entertainer when the world is collapsing around you. There's simply nothing else as gripping as this.

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