Inside Job features a talking dolphin, charismatic and clueless intern, and a sentient mycelium as just some of Reagan’s coworkers
Think of the most absurd conspiracy theories you have ever encountered. Maybe you’re thinking about the flat earth movement, Mark Zuckerberg allegedly being a lizard, or the moon landing being staged. Now imagine a universe where all of these conspiracies turn out to be real, where true democracy doesn’t exist and where lizard people and a secret organization are in charge of the world. Picture this universe through simpson-like animations, with light-hearted humor and a fun cast of characters, and you have the new 2021 show Inside Job.
Inside Job is a 2021 sci-fi comedy cartoon series, created by Shion Takeushi, who produced the show with Alex Hirsch and Mike Hollingsworth. It follows the adventures of Reagan Ridley, voiced by Lizzy Caplan, a socially awkward genius and her incomptent coworkers, who attempt to keep the world in the control of Cognito Inc., a deep state organization pulling the strings behind closed doors and hiding a plethora of astonishing secrets.
Inside Job is an exciting series that brings the viewer on a journey full of plot twists, using humor throughout to bring the story together, especially through a fun cast of characters that keep the show coherent, despite all the random twists and turns that give it its humor, all through the frame of a large-scale collection of government conspiracies.
From the first two minutes of this show, I was hooked. The cold open did not only entice me, but also illustrates everything that makes Inside Job so good.
In the first moments of the show, a drunk old man raves in front of the White House about how the government is controlled by lizard people, the president is a robot, and the deep state really controls everything behind the scenes. Before he can say any more, however, he gets whisked away by his daughter, Reagan, who lectures him on how he cannot reveal details about the deep state. As their argument progresses, they enter a secret bunker, where not only are there lizard politicians, but also a plethora of aliens, Gerald who controls the weather, and a cult who determines the stock market with blood sacrifices. The long cold open comes to a climax when Reagan reveals the robot president she has been working on, and gets excited over a promotion she hopes she will get. This dramatic scene, however, is suddenly cut off when Reagan asks a random intern to remove her father and use a taser if necessary, though “only level three”, as she specifies. There is then a sudden cut to the introduction sequence, which is a rapid succession of frames, depicting various conspiracies, accompanied with intense electronic music.
The various conspiracy elements introduced become central to the plot, with the robot president and lizard people being the central elements of the plots of entire episodes. The show doesn’t simply add these conspiracy elements as a fun backdrop, but rather integrates them to create an interesting, but often very funny plot. Reagan’s tension-filled relationship with her father becomes a central theme throughout the entire series, as do her relationships with various other characters, especially her coworkers. Although all these relationships are mostly static and one-dimensional, they act as both comic relief, as seen with Reagan ordering that an intern taser her father, and a consistent string throughout the episodes, which can sometimes seem very random and unrelated without these relationships.
This element of randomness, however, is also one of the elements that makes the show so enjoyable to watch. An instance of this can be seen after Reagan accidentally releases various clones of celebrities, especially JFK clones, in a ploy to save the career of Grassy Knoll Atkinson (JFK’s assassin in the show’s universe) gone awry.
When clones of Kennedy get loose, Grassy Knoll Atkinson, the supposed killer of JFK, attempts to shoot them, but misses, then runs out of bullets as they advance, all talking in JFK’s signature Bostonian accent. Brett uses a can of Axe body spray and a lighter to melt the clones, but instead of killing them, heat turns them into a large, deadly, destructive blob, and Atkinson sacrifices himself so Brett can escape and get help.
Although this scene, like many others throughout the series, are filled with seemingly random plot developments, these unexpected twists usually add to the humor, and create problems that, although quickly resolved, add suspense to a seemingly lighthearted episode, although this suspense is often absurdly resolved, making the episodes even more funny. Additionally, this scene illustrates the satirization of the wild and unfounded conspiracy theories that have perpetuated since the sixties that claim Lee Harvey Oswald wasn’t JFK’s assassin, or had help from others like the Mafia, CIA, Cubans, or Russians.