In the age of the internet, conspiracy theories have found new places and audiences to attach their claws to. New communities have found their core sense of belonging in the belief that some or many of these theories are real. We are talking about the Illuminati, who control the world from the shadows. The belief that the earth is flat, and that a race of humanoid reptilians, has infiltrated all levels of government worldwide. And even that Avril Lavigne died in 2003, and she was substituted by a double or a clone. So, what began as a couple of people sharing theories has become a way of life for thousands of people.
The result of this rise in interest in the subject, of course, ends up being the creation of countless pieces of content to appease this new target audience. Inside Job is one such show. The show is the creation of Shion Takeuchi and Alex Hirsch. The last one was also the creator and showrunner of Gravity Falls, one of the most successful animated shows of the last decade. The result of the collaboration with Netflix is a lot more freedom in creating a show that is more aimed at adults than kids, and that is able to push the envelope when it comes to violence and even sex.
Inside Job stars Lizzy Caplan, Christian Slater, Clark Duke, Andrew Daly and Bobby Lee alongside a great number of excellent voice actors. The premise of the show has been seen many times. A secret organization that actually rules the world from the shadows, in a world where every single conspiracy theory is real. And they need to be monitored and controlled in order to give the high council of rulers a good report at the end of each month. Most of the humor comes from the absurdity of some theories when taken in real form, and also from the examples of incompetent bureaucracy that we are all very familiar with in the modern world.
The great strength of the show lies in its characters. The ensemble comprises a number of very fun and unique characters, each one with its own flavor and stories and agency in the plot. The fact that the characters create the plot and not the other way around becomes one of the best decisions the show makes during Part 1. The result of this decision are characters that, while outrageous in their behavior, also feel real about the things they worry about and the things they want for themselves.
Lizzy Caplan as Reagan Ridley is a perfect protagonist. Reagan is undoubtedly a genius, but her people skills are lacking at the next level. She doesn’t know how to relate to others in a healthy manner. So when she’s forced to work with Brett, a generic yes man, who, while handsome, is kind of lost at his new job, Reagan forces herself to establish better connections with her coworkers.
This dynamic between the characters isn’t new or groundbreaking, we have seen it many times before; BoJack Horseman and Mr. Peanutbutter, Rick and Morty, etc. The dynamic isn’t even new in animation, but it can be denied that it works and makes for very funny situations.
On a technical level, the show does pull off some beautiful pieces of animation here and there, but mostly it stays in the realm of similar shows like Gravity Falls and Rick and Morty. But their world and characters are created in such an organic way that the show stands out as unique in the way they construct their world building.
Characters such as Rand Ridley, Reagan’s dad, are too similar to other characters in other shows though, in this case, Rick Sanchez, from Rick and Morty. So, at points, the show feels like it is following a trend instead of creating its own. This aspect doesn’t really take away from the show being funny, but it doesn’t feel like a lack of imagination when creating some characters.
Netflix will release the shows in “parts,” as it does with many of its animated shows. This first part works really well as an introduction to the characters and the world, and sets up some pretty cool stuff for Part II. Saving the world from the apocalypse seems to be something that these characters will have to deal with almost on a daily basis. Let’s hope the writers don’t rely on the trope all the way throughout the whole show.
If you want to watch something fun over the weekend, or even better, if you’re already interested in conspiracy theories, then Inside Job is the perfect show for you. Having previous knowledge about this whole subject will definitely give you more for your buck when watching it. It’s totally worth it.