Inside Job Review – Despite all the craziest conspiracies being true, Inside Job is a hilarious, relatable, and poignant workplace comedy
Lizard people, the city of Atlantis, sheeple, it is all true… at least in the world of Inside Job. Netflix‘s new adult-animated series is about the company that produces the world’s conspiracies, Cognito Inc., and the dysfunctional team whose 9-5 is to run the company. In a company that deals with government coverups, secret societies, and even masked orgy etiquette, Reagan Ridley (Lizzy Caplan) is able to be the weird person of the office. She is a brilliant scientist and believes if she ran things she could make a real difference, but due to her lack of people skills, the CEO of Cognito Inc. has assigned her a co-team lead, Brett Hand (Clark Duke), who may lack Reagan’s scientific mind but overcompensates with his incredible people-pleasing skills. Together they must work together to maintain order in the workplace, and the world.
Inside Job is one of those shows that is so far out there, it came around and feels normal. Despite having a human-dolphin hybrid, a mushroom from the depths of hollow Earth, and a mothman HR representative, the workplace of Cognito Inc. is nearly indistinguishable from any large corporate workplace. The show is filled with people who are bad at their jobs, others who just do not do their jobs, office jerks, and people who really love the job to the point of being annoying. The series really captures that despite the grandeur a company might exemplify or project, it is still run by people. It is an incredibly human show that is incredibly poignant. This Inside Job review will try to uncover how a show about conspiracy reveals so much truth about reality.
A town stuck in the 1980’s, the president being replaced by a robot, selfies were invented to trick the world into surveilling itself, are just the surface of the workplace situations Inside Job cover. Part 1 of the series is 10 episodes exposing — or confirming — different conspiracies. The show fully commits to its reality which gives everything from the situation to the characters an heir of authenticity. This authenticity does not take away from the bizarre nature of events, such as Tupac clones, but instead uses them to highlight the characters’ traits and actions. This brilliant way of using absurdity to highlight reality really drives the comedy and the heart of the series. It also may be priming audiences to the truth in this reality…
The characters their dynamic relationships outshine all of the bizarre conspiracies. Reagan Ridley, brilliantly brought to life by Lizzy Caplan, is the center of the series. Her father, Randy Ridley, or Rand, used to be one of the two leads of Cognito Inc. However, he was ousted from the company and now lives with his daughter as a sloven old grouch who exposes conspiracies for rides to Wetzel’s Pretzels. He holds a grudge against Cognito Inc., its CEO and former partner J.R. Schelmpough, and tries to live vicariously through his daughter by controlling her life. Christian Slater brings an incredibly manic energy to Rand, that seems absolutely crazy, but feels controlled. Rands antics and thoughts are crazy and hilarious, but thanks to Slater’s performance, radiates that Rand is in control of who is laughing, at what they are laughing at, and why they are laughing.
In contrast to Rand, there is Brett Hand. Where it feels like Rand controls audiences and other characters by making himself out as a joke, Brett is kind of a joke that the other characters and audiences will gravitate to. Brett’s naivete and genuine need to be loved is endearing in contrast to the toxic work environment. He immediately wins over Reagan’s team, and despite her reluctance, even reaches Reagan. Clark Duke brings a palpable likability to what could easily be a dumb douchebag character. This likability opens up deep levels of comedy that allow some traumatically depressing situations hilarious. Duke is likely one of very few who could bring out the comedy in what would otherwise be a truly dramatic and depressing situation. If Brett’s situation in “The Brettfast Club” episode would be a tear-jerking episode if performed by most others.
In the middle of Rand’s negative influence and Brett’s positive influence, there’s “The Gang,” Gigi (Tisha Campbell), Glenn Dolphmann (John DiMaggio), Magic Myc (Brett Gelman), and Dr. Andre (Bobby Lee). Each character represents different aspects of the company and personality spectrum. Each member of “The Gang” is a workplace archetype with their personality set to 11. Each character seems like they are capable of their jobs, but absolutely reluctant to perform. The constant back and forth with Reagan leads to barbed insults, trash-talking, and a full spectrum of confrontations. In contrast to the back and forth with Reagan, “The Gang” seems to just agree with Brett. However, this does not protect him from the verbal abuse and attacks on his character, but it also does not seem to affect him as it does Reagan. Without getting into specifics, each member of “The Gang” steals scenes constantly. Gelman as sentient mushroom Magic Myc says some of the most out-of-pocket insults that make keeping liquid in one’s mouth near impossible. Campbell radiates confidence and competence that will have everyone thanking her, and her character, for even thinking about doing her job. Lee gets the best reactions and commentary out of all the characters. And DiMaggio delivers another iconic performance that will likely spawn overly quoted jokes that can only be pulled off by DiMaggio.
All of these characters are supported and enhanced by Lizzy Caplan’s Reagan. Caplan embodies Reagan with pure maniacal energy. Reagan is always one move away from becoming a world-conquering supervillain. Her father’s focus on the work over people manifested a daughter who saw people as more tools for her projects. That is until Brett shows up and begins to break her programming. Caplan masterfully bounces back and forth from work-mind only and the beginnings of an emotionally capable person constantly. Caplan does a great evil laugh of a person who is trying to do an evil laugh but also does not know what laughing is. She somehow conveys that this character forgets to comb her hair for weeks in her vocal performance; this is without saying it or the animation even displaying it. On top of it all, Caplan fully captures the change and journey Reagan goes through. But, she’ll most likely be most regarded for Reagan’s catchphrase which her boss, J.R. Scheimpough (Andrew Daly), says she says, “… a lot for a lady.”
Inside Job is ready to take its place among the best adult-animated comedies with its perfect and chemistry-radiated cast, high-concept yet grounded concept and flawless execution. It fully takes advantage of the animated medium to bring impossibilities to life and probably kill it too. The show is thoroughly hilarious, from the art and animation to the writing and performances, it flawlessly executes a grounded workplace comedy in an absurd workplace. The series reflects the workplace dynamic so well, that it will have audiences questioning if the conspiracies in the show are actually true. The series could be a double fake to expose the truth but have it disregarded because it is delivered in the form of a genius animated comedy. Netflix could actually be the deep state. How else could they explain being such a big company when we everyone shares one Netflix account? This Inside Job review gets a 5/5.
WHY CAN’T I TYPE ANY OTHER NUMBER!?
Inside Job releases on Netflix this Friday
5/5/5555… October 22, 2021.
Be sure to check out my interview with Clark Duke and Christian Slater for more about the series.
Inside Job is ready to take its place among the best adult-animated comedies with its perfect and chemistry-radiated cast, high-concept yet grounded concept and flawless execution. It fully takes advantage of the animated medium to bring impossibilities to life and probably kill it too. The show is thoroughly hilarious, from the art and animation to the writing and performances, it flawlessly executes a grounded workplace comedy in an absurd workplace. The series reflects the workplace dynamic so well, that it will have audiences questioning if the conspiracies in the show are actually true. The series could be a double fake to expose the truth but have it disregarded because it is delivered in the form of a genius animated comedy. Netflix could actually be the deep state. How else could they explain being such a big company when we everyone shares one Netflix account?