Austin Burke’s review published on Letterboxd:
A new comedy special shot and performed by Bo Burnham, alone, over the course of the past year.
I have decided to add this to my list because of how it does genuinely feel like a movie, even if it is technically a “Comedy Special.” It checks off most of those boxes, and it has a (well-written) structure to it that most of your standard movies don’t even have. Terminology aside, this is easily the most impactful piece of art that I have witnessed this year. Not only has every single song resonated with me, but it has that “it” factor that I haven’t really felt in awhile. Bo has always been a top comedian for me, but this may have pushed him to the top of all of my lists. Whether it be musician or writer, he has proven time after time that he can do it all. The most important aspect is how this project makes you feel after it is over, and both times have left me with a plethora of emotions.
My reasoning for placing it at number two (right now) is simply that A Quiet Place’s mesmerizing theatrical experience (both times) boosts it up just a bit. Both projects are outstanding, but Inside may feature the best writing of 2021. Each song is calculated in a way that feels authentic, and the in-between elements are just as impressive. Bo is also opening up to the world in a way that I wish I could. He speaks on his anxiety and the things that he believes holds him back. Clearly I look up to him, and many of us do, but he proves to us that no one is perfect. We all go through these stages in our lives that are hard, but there is also this sense of hope and optimism that he leaves viewers with when it is over. I will definitely be watching this again soon.