"Burnham’s special deserves much of the praise it’s gotten," says Lili Loofbourow. "Inside is a major technical achievement, and it took immense talent in a dozen different fields to put it together." But as Loofbourow says she learned surfing various internet forums, many, many people expressed deep concern for Burnham and had to be reassured that "this was not Burnham’s actual life. He’s a wealthy celebrity! He lives in a nice house with his partner, who’s a successful director, and two dogs! This room isn’t where he lives." Loofbourow adds: "Given the confused concern so many fans expressed, the artifice—specifically, the mismatch between Burnham’s circumstances and his protagonist’s—isn’t obvious. And it does take away from it. Confessional meta-comedy of this type, being relatively new, hasn’t yet developed rules about the obligation to truth. Burnham’s special thrives in that ambiguity. Framed by a claustrophobically dominant metaphor, Inside is about feeling as if you were trapped 'inside,' where 'inside' means existence on and with the faux-connectivity of the internet and the hell of your own brain and the confining square footage of a plain studio apartment during the pandemic. take no issue with the first two; it’s the last bit that rankles. Opinions will differ on this: Does it matter that Burnham was not actually trapped in cramped, depressing, uncomfortable spaces that a lot of people actually and nonmetaphorically occupied? Or that he’s conflating immensely interesting artistic and existential questions with mundane but urgent material ones? I realize this sounds like a 'privilege' argument and in a certain sense it is: I do question the choice to situate the story of your misery (and I believe Burnham’s pain to be extremely real!) in squalid conditions not your own to make your suffering seem greater. I’ll go further: As a piece of social commentary, I find the framing device clunky. Say, to take only a slightly more extreme case, that you see the modern condition as one of detachment, rootlessness, and precarity. Should you, a wealthy but tortured creator, channel this into art by presenting yourself as literally homeless and then encourage confusion between the character you’re playing and yourself?"