Hazbin Hotel

Hazbin Hotel
Hazbin Hotel
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Lucifer’s daughter tries to open a hotel in hell, Hazbin Hotel is the funniest animated musical series you will ever watch. Vivienne Medrano made a name for herself with her popular YouTube pilot that she financed all by herself. It was then picked up by Prime Video because of its popularity. The episodes are full of F-bombs and best described as a raunchy Broadway show with heart behind the vulgarity, which doesn’t always hit but Viv has talent.

The premiere “Overture” recapitulates what happened in the pilot briefly. Charlie Morningstar (Erika Henningsen), princess of Hell tells us how her father Lucifer (Jeremy Jordan) and Lilith, the first woman were thrown out of heaven for falling in love. Lucifer gave Adam (Alex Brightman) and Eve free will which then created sin. His followers along with Earth’s damned human souls were sent to suffer in Hell accompanied by demons. Heaven sends down angels once a year to cull Hell due to overpopulation.

Charlie comes up with an idea to save everyone from dying every year during culling season, The Hazbin Hotel would serve as their redemption facility. Because let’s face it, everybody deserves a second chance at escaping eternal damnation right? She tries convincing her girlfriend Vaggie (Stephanie Beatriz) to help her, who refuses at first but eventually comes around after hearing about what happens if they don’t do anything being obliterated sounds bad enough already though doesn’t it?. They get Husk (Keith David), the bartender who is a demon himself; Niffty (Kimiko Glenn), a loony one-eyed maid that is psychotic; Angel Dust (Blake Roman), who lives there already and fucks everything that moves plus some things that don’t sometimes; all enlisted into making this television commercial for The Hazbin Hotel so people know where it is when looking for somewhere safe during Hell’s annual angelic genocide. Charlie wants to go straight to Heaven for her first meeting but Vaggie realizes she has no idea how to make a commercial and enlists the help of Alastor (Amir Talai), a powerful Overlord and Radio Demon who doesn’t come with no strings attached that’s for sure.

Hazbin Hotel throws out the old biblical definitions of good and evil. The demons aren’t all bad, even though they have sinned before. Heaven is run by self-centered angels who love torturing the sinners here on earth just as much as they do over there in Hell where it’s more fun because you can actually die again if you want to but what’s stopping them from doing that right now huh?. Charlie’s first meet with Adam (the angel) was hilarious because he showed his true colors when he saw she had made friends with some demon buddies of hers which pissed him off because he thought everyone down here was supposed to be miserable or whatever but guess what buddy boy not everyone up there is divine either pal so get over yourself already why don’tcha?. This will obviously be offensive towards fundamentalist Christians, so if that describes you then this show isn’t for you sweetie pie.

The animation style itself was very strange; characters looked human-like except for certain features like ears on their heads where they shouldn’t be or too many eyes stacked on top of each other kinda thing. The demons each have different abilities based off what they did when alive so it makes for interesting battles between them throughout the series. Alastor being one badass motherfucker had cat ears instead of hair plus an elongated grin filled with teeth that could cut through steel wire like butter any day sonny jimbo! He always gets challenged by other demons which plays into overall narrative quite nicely considering how much dialogue goes into those parts yeah know what I mean?. Niffty does a lot of sight gagging and reacting to things that go on around her which is great because who doesn’t love seeing someone react to batshit crazy stuff with their own brand of batshit craziness?. The show is strange, but by the end you can’t help but love these characters.

Every episode has number musical numbers that stop the show and demonstrate the range of the voice actors. Erika Henningsen, who played Cady Heron in Mean Girls on Broadway, is a standout with her powerful singing — it’s hard to believe she wasn’t cast in the movie. The songs are crass and hilarious with their foul-mouthed lyrics. The show owes much of its success to Medrano’s many composers. You don’t have to love the plot to enjoy the feast for the ears.

Hazbin Hotel uses sex as comedy. Angel Dust, an adult-film star who’ll sleep with anything that moves (or doesn’t), is the object of desire for countless horny demons. These dirty subplots get some mild laughs but wear thin quickly. It’s clear what Medrano intends by sexual liberation, but he overloads it until you’re numb. There might be no skin here but there’s no nudity either; Medrano wisely avoids animating naughty bits, which would only clutter an already visually busy narrative.

Hazbin Hotel starts strong out of the cannon, but loses steam in later episodes. It’s never boring, just predictable in tone and format after a while. You can always tell when there’s going to be a song. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it could easily be catnip for some viewers — but it does veer into formulaic territory at times, if only briefly . But for minor quibbles with execution here or there, Medrano deserves credit for sheer originality; his audacious vision is like nothing else out there right now . Hazbin Hotel is another Harley Quinn: an adult animated series centered on women that stands apart because of its perspective (though this one may appeal more to cosplayers).

Hazbin Hotel was produced by SpindleHorse Toons in association with Bento Box Entertainment, A24 & Amazon Studios.; four of the season’s eight episodes are now streaming exclusively on Prime Video via the link below. Watch the trailer here, too.

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