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The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

Hazbin Hotel Review: A Vibrant Demon-Themed Musical Series

A+scene+from+Hazbin+Hotel.+The+show+has+received+near-unanimous+praise+for+its+animation%2C+soundtrack%2C+and+writing.
Photo courtesy of Amazon Content Services
A scene from Hazbin Hotel. The show has received near-unanimous praise for it’s animation, soundtrack, and writing.

After nearly five years of production, delays, and announcements, the newest animated show from the mind of Vivienne Medrano, “Hazbin Hotel,” premiered on Prime Video on February 4th. The show follows the efforts of the princess of Hell, Charlie, who opens a hotel to rehabilitate sinners in order for them to go to heaven and avoid the overpopulation plaguing Hell. After the pilot’s release, film and television production company A24 picked up the show to produce a full season, and the team quickly got to work, producing the first season from 2021 to 2023. Later, after pitching to several networks and streaming services, Amazon ended up picking up the rights and also ordered a second season, proving they want a piece of the fast-growing adult animation pie, competing with shows from rival networks and streaming services like Netflix’s “Bojack Horseman” and Comedy Central’s “South Park”

“Hazbin Hotel” has for a long time been considered one of the biggest success stories of the independent animation industry, as the original pilot attracted the attention of the internet and took it by storm when it was released in 2019, becoming the most popular animation pilot on YouTube within a year. It continued to gain views and held that title until very recently, losing the spot in December to “The Amazing Digital Circus”, a show that I wrote about previously. The series features a star-studded cast with “the most devilish voices of Broadway” according to the trailer. The cast includes theater stars such as Erika Henningsen, Stephanie Beatriz, Keith David, and Kimiko Glenn playing the main characters, seamlessly providing speaking and singing voices throughout the show’s many musical performances. The show’s soundtrack, composed by veterans in the Broadway industry, is wonderfully paired with the animation and makes the viewing experience a lot better. Each episode features two main songs, with the characters spontaneously bursting into a musical performance. Alex Brightman, who provides the voice of Adam, said, “Because I love singing, I love anything that has a musical element to it. But it is tricky to do sometimes and to make it feel like the scene that it’s coming out of. And I think what ‘Hazbin’ does — what our songwriters did so beautifully was the songs feel like an extension of Viv’s brain; it feels like an extension of the characters that she’s been thinking about for years.” The show’s equally comedic and raunchy writing rivals other adult animated shows with its clever line delivery and timing working like a charm. The animation throughout the show flows well with the expressive voice acting and the attention to detail makes this some of the best animation work according to critics of the show.

The media response to the show so far has been very positive. In an interview with The New York Times, Medrano said of the show’s hype and buildup, “When the trailer came out, it just exploded — there were so many people so fast and so suddenly. It became a massive hit in a way that I never expected!” When asked about the show’s writing, voice actor Erika Henningsen, who plays Charlie in the show, said in an interview with NBC News that “Everything tastes better with a dose of laughter. It’s why we need comedy in the world because it’s how you get people to listen to other things that are just as important as laughing. I think what the show does so beautifully is lure you in with the raunchy jokes and the sort of sexy darkness of Hazbin.” In my opinion, this show is a comedic masterpiece and I encourage everyone to give it a watch if you’re looking for a new show with edgy humor and catchy music that will definitely get stuck in your head. The entire first season of “Hazbin Hotel” is currently streaming on Prime Video, and season two is currently in active production.

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About the Contributor
Austin Daugherty, Staff Writer
Hi everyone! My name is Austin, and I am a staff writer this year. This is my first year on staff, and I wanted to join the team because I have a passion for writing. I am super excited to tell the stories of people and things going on at BHS, so I’m interested in writing all kinds of articles on a variety of topics. When I’m not buried in schoolwork, I am the student chair of Peer2Peer and the BHS Gaming Club as well as working on the BearPod podcast. I also work as a storyboard artist/script revisor on several indie animation projects such as Helluva Boss and Lackadaisy! Other than that, I’m an avid dog lover, and you’ll likely catch me running around my neighborhood with my Labrador husky, Zoey. (My go-to Donut Cutter order is chocolate frosted with sprinkles)

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