Inside Job

⭐⭐⭐½ based on 2 reviews.

tl;dr: Quirky, creative, a whole lot of fun, and beginning to craft that touch of depth that could elevate it to the next level.


Animated Sitcoms

Season One

Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

The core concept behind Inside Job is so fun that it kind of baffles me that no one has really done it before. I mean, there's clear president set by series like Hellboy and even the X-Files, but setting a comedy in a world where the evil, world-dominating organisation genuinely exists, one where conspiracy theories are all pretty much true, that has such broad potential for parody, satire, and straight-up comedy it feels like a no-brainer – once it exists.

To that end, Inside Job makes good use of its potential, but never really breaks through into the realm of exceptionalism. It's a fun, quirky show with an interesting central gimmick, some decent characters, and just enough intrigue to keep you, well, intrigued. Reagan is a good focal point who helps guide the audience through this bizzarro world of monsters and mischief, whilst Brett acts as a useful counterpoint, someone to whom this is all brand new and can therefore ask the "stupid" questions on behalf of the audience. The resultant antics are generally entertaining and often humorous, with just enough emotional engagement to make you care, at least a little.

Honestly, that's one area that the show falls down: it doesn't ever really make me care for these characters. But for an animated comedy more in the vein of Family Guy or The Simpsons, that's also perfectly fine. It doesn't need to try and be high art like Bojack or push any boundaries; it's fine to just have some fun and laughs. What I will say is that there's more than a little American Dad to a lot of the gags, and I feel like the show really shines when it has a message, but often just provides a story based on the gags it presents alone. The result is better than many American animated comedies, but falls short of true classics like Futurama or Rick & Morty just through lack of something meaningful or particularly clever to say.

Season Two

Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

After the first season ended I wrote that the show was "lacking the touch of depth that could elevate it to the next level". Well, I think that it found it. Not only is the second season much tighter in terms of characterisation and narrative goals, but the whole Ron arc adds a mixture of foreboding and heart that really works. Reagan has a genuinely hard decision to make, yet still does so in a way that has weight and feels believable for the character that they've created; it ties back together with many of the previous episodes; and it sets up a nice cliffhanger for season three.

There are still plenty of goofy moments, and the show is openly honest about the fact that they maybe hadn't thought through the world-building too well early on, but now that it's starting to settle into its own rhythm, it's pretty great. I'm also happy that we're moving past Rand being in charge. This made for a good, steady mid-season, but it was wearing a little thin at the end. In fact, my biggest gripe is that Rand's arc somehow felt overly rushed and also like it had too much focus. On the one hand, we get very little pay-off from JR coming back, or from Rand's discovery that the Cloaks are still surveilling them, and then all of a sudden he's actively altering timelines like something out of Rick and Morty. It created a fun plot, but it did feel a little sudden.

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