A conspiracy theory is an idea that some events with a seemingly normal explanation cover up something far more elaborate. For example, all those people who say the moon landings were faked (which they weren’t), or J. Edgar Hoover helped off JFK. More often than not, conspiracy theories are flat-out wrong and make for insane stories told in bars and on the Internet. However, what if they ended up being true, all of them? What if there was a massive, Illuminati-Esque group going around keeping everyone else in the dark, making it an inside job?
That’s the whole premise behind Netflix’s new animated series, Inside Job, which uses it for all its worth in this The Office, Rick and Morty love child.
Reality Is An Illusion, the Universe Is a Hologram!
From Gravity Falls alumni Shion Takeuchi and executive producer Alex Hirsch comes another piece of media from the Gravity Falls family tree, Inside Job. Taking placing in a version of Earth where almost every conspiracy theory is true, the show centers around Cognito Inc. They’re a clandestine organization whose job it is to make sure the public remains in the dark about everything crazy in the world. And at the heart of that is Reagan Ridley, a young scientist who thinks that she can use her company’s resources to make the world a better place. However, she has to spend her days putting up with the fact that her coworkers are either self-serving, crazy, or some combination of both!
Between this and the issues she has with her parents, Reagan has her work cut out for her.
Inside Job Makes it all True, and Hilarious
What sets Inside Job apart from a lot of contemporaries is the sheer absurdity behind the show’s premise. Every conspiracy theory, no matter how insane or stupid, is true. As a result, the show’s team has free reign to come up with all sorts of outlandish stories. For example, one of their operatives killed JFK, but only because he had sex with the alien from Roswell and was pregnant with their mutant spawn. There’s the fact that Cognito Inc douses an entire town with mind-erasing chemicals every year, leaving them stuck in the year 1984, just so they can sell them old junk. Furthermore, the moon landing’s happened, but they hired actor’s to play the astronauts because the real ones formed their own lunar colony and wouldn’t come back.
Every episode of Inside Job seems determined to top the last with how crazy and stupid the conspiracies are capable of getting. And while some might question how something so dumb could make for good entertainment, that’s kind of the point. The writers are giving themselves a free pass to come up with whatever crazy explanation for conspiracy theories they want. The humor comes from the implausibilty and how most characters react to it so casually.
The one conspiracy theory that isn’t true, though, is the Flat Earth Theory. Even Cognito Inc knows that that’s fake.
A Character-Driven Story
As hilarious as the conspiracies are, they’re only the backdrop for Inside Job. At it’s heart, the show’s centered squarely on its characters and how they interact with one another. To be more precise, it’s focused on Reagan and her struggles at a company that she devotes so much to but has yet to get much out of.
From the start, Regan Ridley is shown to be a super genius. She knows it, everyone around her knows it, and the viewers are meant to understand this very quickly. What sets her apart from other super geniuses like Rick Sanchez, though, is that she doesn’t let her intelligence make her feel superior to others. She acknowledges that she’s not perfect, can make mistakes, and has her shortcomings. Granted, she’d rather invent her way out of addressing said shortcomings, but this makes for a refreshing change of pace from other super geniuses. And while some of her flaws are simply personality quirks, the rest of her problems aren’t even her fault. It’s the fault of her parents.
Meet Rand Ridley, Reagan’s father and a mad scientist that, somehow, makes Rick Sanchez look like a saint.
No, I’m being serious. Rand Ridley has all of Rick’s worst aspects, his alcoholism, manipulative tendencies, and overall selfish behavior. However, the difference is that Rick is full of self-loathing and genuinely wants his family (outside of Jerry) to be happy. Rand has none of these qualities and goes so far as to use his own daughter to regain his old job as head of Cognito Inc. He literally uses Reagan as part of an inside job, hence the title of the show.
Inside Job– A Crazy Show for a Crazy Time
There’s no denying it: we live in a time of absolute insanity. Threats abound across the world, and thanks to the power of the Internet and social media, information and the ability to distort it are easier to access than ever. Is it any wonder that a Gravity Falls alumni felt inspired to create a show about conspiracies?
Inside Job only has ten episodes thus far, but they are ten episodes of a must-watch show this Fall. Considering how Halloween’s right around the corner, it feels appropriate to have something that feels like all the conspiracies of Gravity Falls on drugs for the occasion. I highly recommend it.