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The adult animated series “Hazbin Hotel” isn’t for everyone, but this inspired effort hits all the right notes for the right audience.

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It’s rare that a piece of art comes along that feels as if it is made just for you. And if you’re that certain flavor of horror hound who has a soft spot for musicals and is a total nerd for Judeo-Christian mythology, then the answer to your unholy prayers has finally come with Hazbin Hotel.

Vivienne Medrano (better known as Vivziepop) is an animator with a long history on YouTube and Tumblr. However, her work reached viral levels in 2019 with a 30-minute pilot episode for a potential series called Hazbin Hotel.

Quietly released on YouTube just a few days before Halloween, it spread like hellfire and currently sits at a whopping 95 million views.

Personally, I was mere weeks postpartum with a squishy newborn in my lap when a friend sent me the video. This brightly colored, potty-mouthed smorgasbord of gothy theatre-kid wet dreams, both mean-spirited and brimming with sincerity, snapped me right out of my new-mom fog and into pure joy.

There were hints and teases of a full series through the years — a music video or two, plenty of fanart, and finally an announcement of being picked up by A24 (so they did get my letters!)… and then three years of silence.

But the long-awaited date finally arrived, and all that pining paid off in spades.

Turns out that, in Hell, the pit of eternal damnation isn’t the end of your suffering.

Due to overpopulation, every year, the angels come down from Heaven for annual extermination, a real death for the dead.

Charlie Morningstar, daughter of Lucifer and princess of Hell, thinks there must be a better way. Her solution is rehabilitation at the titular hotel, giving sinners a second chance to repent and possibly ascend to Heaven.

It’s an idea so revolutionary that it’s gotten her laughed out of the building more than once.

The only ones who even partially believe in Charlie’s schemes are her fiercely loyal girlfriend Vaggie, who hides her apprehensions just beneath her faith in Charlie, and prolific porn star Angel Dust, who claims he’s only hanging around for the free room and board.

Enter Alastor, the Radio Demon, mysteriously reappearing in Hell after a long absence. He takes an unusual interest in Charlie’s hotel, wanting a stake in the proceedings but unclear about what he stands to gain from it beyond his personal entertainment of watching sinners struggle.

He fixes up the place and brings in his own staff with psychotic housekeeper Niffty and bitter bartender Husk.

So now Charlie has a (mostly) functional facility full of empty rooms and no prospective clients!

Meanwhile, at the headquarters of The Vees, Vox, Valentino, and Velvette run the world between their respective powers over television, pornography, and social media. They form a supposedly balanced alliance steering the culture of Hell, although we wonder exactly who is keeping who relevant in this equation.

When Vox hears whispers of the Radio Demon being back in town, he scrambles to tell everyone to ignore that “old-timey prick.”

A talk show host and televangelist rolled into one persuasive businessman, Vox is certainly a powerful enemy, yet deeply insecure about his status as Hell’s top tastemaker.

All this chaos has a ticking clock hanging overhead due to a horrifying announcement: the angels are moving up the date of the next extermination, allegedly just because they can.

“Can’t wait a whole year to slaughter those little cunts / I know it’s just been a week / but we’ll be back in six months!” sings Adam (yes, that Adam) over his air guitar solo.

For all of this — and it is a lot — to work to its full potential, every facet of production has to bring all its enthusiasm and talent, and Hazbin is busting with both.

The animation is the show’s most instantly obvious strength, dizzying at first but only growing richer the more you get to know the characters.

The show is littered with fascinating creations that you catch a glimpse of in one episode, only to be thrilled when you finally get to meet them in the next. At the risk of being overdesigned, these creatures communicate so much personality before they even open their mouths. And when they do, it’s often in a catchy song!

The musical team of Andrew Underberg and Sam Haft have done something really special here with a grab-bag of styles and clever lyrics that can have you laughing one second and choking up the next.

If Charlie’s Disney princess opening number, “Happy Day in Hell,” doesn’t win you over, Vox and Alastor’s mile-a-minute duet/roast, “Stayed Gone,” will leave you smiling from the sheer bitchiness.

At the same time, Angel’s dark pop confessional “Poison” will haunt you for days.

The cast is stuffed with Broadway alumni, which bumps up the quality of the songs and the enthusiasm behind the performances.

The relentlessly sunny and often naïve Charlie could be grating, but Erika Henningsen (Mean Girls) brings an effervescence that makes it hard not to root for the Leslie Knope of Hell.

Stephanie Beatriz (Encanto) plays Vaggie with perfect deadpan, but plenty of heart along with hard-won cynicism. Newcomer and scene stealer Blake Roman as Angel Dust never misses a chance to turn any phrase into innuendo, but soon enough, we start to see the cracks in his sexed-up armor.

Amir Talai, a guy who’s been in literally everything, makes the Radio Demon equal parts lovable and terrifying with his mid-Atlantic rat-a-tat, his voice fuzzed over in a haze of static. His abrupt shifts from charming to sinister are particularly delicious, that toothy grin becoming a vicious snarl within the same sentence.

And Christian Borle’s (Legally Blonde) honey-smooth huckster Vox has me swooning over a man with a flatscreen for a head.

Rounding out the cast are Broadway royalty in Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent), James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin), and Beetlejuice himself, Alex Brightman. The cherry on top is American treasure Keith David as Husk, who may be playing a demon but has the unmistakable voice of an angel.

Criticism, especially where the pilot is concerned, is understandable.

The copious swearing, casual gore, and a busy plot with even busier scenery could be a turn-off for plenty of people.

However, anyone who finds themselves cringing at the edge-lord nature of the pilot should give the series a shot.

Hazbin Hotel

The rougher aspects of Medrano’s world have been polished — certainly not cleaned up, mind you, but instead brought to a winning shine.

The show’s greatest strength is that everyone involved seems to be having so much damn FUN. Every frame is alive with palpable energy and scrappy confidence that is hard to resist.

Packed with lovable and layered characters, sparkling originality, and queer as hell, this is a show that vibrates on a very specific wavelength — big “the girls that get it” energy.

And if you like your adult animation to sucker punch you with emotion now and then, à la Bojack Horseman, you’ve come to the right place.

You’ll either fall in love or turn it off in minutes; frankly, that’s just what good art does.

As for me and my house, we’ll serve the devil… but first, we’re gonna sing a little song.

Hazbin Hotel is streaming exclusively on Prime. The pilot is available on YouTube.

Written by Rylee Edgar

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