Bo Burnham’s newest Netflix special Inside took the world by storm. Written and shot completely by Burnham in one room, the special presented a unique depiction of life during quarantine while tackling the topics of social issues, the implications of the internet in modern society, and mental health in Burnham’s usual style: comedic song. Despite being filmed in one room, the visuals from Inside are quite artful. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the most memorable and visually stunning shots from the special.
*DISCLAIMERS: A) These are not in chronological order B) These moments are purely based on personal opinion*
The iconic imagery of Burnham’s studio that closed out Make Happy, his last special before exiting the comedy for five years, is one that fans are familiar with. It was interesting to see this callback, layered with symbolic meaning at Burnham’s re-emergence into comedy after his hiatus.
This shot from “Problematic” really embodies the theme of the song in a way. Burnham is crucifying himself in the hopes of getting ahead of his mistakes relating to his past offenses. That, and it serves as a great image in terms of making fun of most celebrities’ view of “cancel culture.”
Who are you, Bagel Bites? But seriously, the man looks like a model.
The dizzying rotation of stars with the blue light focused on Burnham combine with the vocals on this song to create a dizzying effect that mimics the whirlwind that is the internet.
While maybe not the most visually stunning in comparison to the others, this shot is definitely memorable. The overlapping reaction bits plus the accompanying commentary made for a great scene.
Maybe it’s because orange is a pop color or maybe it’s because of the sock puppet (shoutout to Hans Teeuwen for Burnham’s inspiration behind the bit) front and center, but this visual is one that stuck with me after the special. Maybe it’s Burnham’s (performatively) cavalier attitude or the pairing of the blunt yet clever social commentary by Socko. Maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Who knows.
This shot comes near the end of the special when Bo is finally exiting the studio despite his fears of sharing his work. The sliver of light both represents hope at escaping his spiraling mental health that’s been deteriorating in that room and the fear of once again putting himself in the limelight by sharing his work.
Come on, let’s be real. “White Woman’s Instagram” is a masterpiece within itself. The pictures, presented in Instagram’s typical ratio format, are artfully done while the lyrics continue to make fun of everything you’re seeing on screen. The picture-perfect photos emulating posts on Instagram really just tie the whole thing together.
If I could pick one picture to represent the entirety of the special, it would be this one.
With a bright and cheerful background that’s in stark contrast with the lyrics he’s singing, “All Time Low” presents quite the contradiction in terms of stimuli for a viewer. However, the dazzling disco lights are a great example of how Burnham manages to use so little in terms of equipment to create stunning visuals (honorable mention for the flashlight-disco sequence in “Content”).
“All Eyes on Me” is a unique part of Inside to watch unfold, partially because of how different the tone of the song is from the rest of the special. Listening to this song feels like sinking underwater, and the blue light, dulcet low tones of Burnham’s voice, and the slow rocking by Burnham and eventually the camera all combine to contribute to that experience, visually lulling viewers to understand the phenomenon of sinking into the throes of depression.
This small compilation of moments can’t even begin to brush the surface of the reasons this 87-minute special was so great. However, taking the time to appreciate and exalt moments that stood out to us personally and sharing in the delight of a piece of art always helps remind of us of why we loved the art in the first place. Make sure to check out our other content concerning Inside, including our ranking of the special’s songs, here. Got any other moments that stuck out to you? Let us know in the comments!