What if the deep state and lizard people were real, but the moon landing was fake? What if the stock market was controlled by the sacrificial killing of lambs? In Netflix’s new animated series, “Inside Job,” all of these conspiracy theories are true and orchestrated by a shadow government agency headed by artificial intelligence whizz Reagan Ridley. Part one of the series hit the streaming platform on Oct. 22.
Reagan, voiced by Lizzy Caplan, is a socially-inept genius who has just been promoted to boss of her team at Cognito Inc. after her genius alcoholic father (Christian Slater) has a mental breakdown that threatens to expose the deep state. Reagan must combat her own awkwardness, the enduring legacy of her father and mansplaining coworkers to keep her team out of trouble and lead them to success.
The show was created by “Gravity Falls” and “Regular Show” writer Shion Takeuchi as the first project in a multi-year deal with Netflix’s animation studio. She is joined by her old “Gravity Falls” colleague Alex Hirsch and “Bojack Horseman” alum Mike Hollingsworth, who serve as executive producers on the series.
“I use comedy to process difficult emotions, and with the world the way that it’s been, it’s certainly a way to explore these kinds of topics and the ridiculousness of them for me, to kind of poke through and feel like it’s all going to be okay,” Takeuchi said in an interview with The Mary Sue.
Takeuchi takes these ridiculous topics in stride with “Inside Job.” The show explores classic conspiracy theories and some that audiences may be unfamiliar with. There’s no shortage of chaotic absurdity in “Inside Job” which features everything from clones of Avri Lavigne to a robot president aptly named ROBOTUS, voiced by Chris Diamantopulos (“Silicon Valley”).
“He’s a robotic replica of the president that is meant to do the bidding of the deep state,” Diamantopoulos said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “He’s their puppet, but he’s the most sophisticated AI, which means he is constantly learning.”
As for the woman behind Reagan, Lizzy Caplan is happy to have had “Inside Job” as a form of creative sustenance throughout the pandemic. Audiences may recognize her voice from her iconic role as Janis in “Mean Girls” or from more recent roles like Annie Wilkes in Hulu’s “Castle Rock.”
“It ended up being something quite different, in that it ended up being a bit of a lifeline because it’s something we were able to do throughout [the pandemic], no matter where everyone was in the world,” said Kaplan in an interview with Nylon. “So I’m very grateful that at the time I made a casual decision to do this thing that ended up taking up a lot more of my life in a really positive way.”
“Inside Job” is a saving grace for adult animation, a genre that’s been plagued with too many less-than-average shows in recent years. There’s a lot of online buzz comparing the show to fan-favorite “Rick and Morty,” which is easy to see given the main character’s dynamic with her Rick Sanchez-like father and their mad scientist-like experiments. But with its quick, smart humor and engaging characters, “Inside Job” has no trouble standing out on its own.