The same day I wrote a review of Hazbin Hotel, the Vivziepop channel posted a trailer to another pilot called Helluva Boss.
Now, I liked — oh who am I kidding, LOVED Hazbin Hotel. However, I find it odd they’re creating two shows with the exact same setting and releasing the pilot the same year. The first time I saw this, I honestly thought it was a 2nd Hazbin Hotel episode for a couple of minutes.
Yes, I understand the people being shows are different in how they show Hell, however, are you really expecting me to believe the same team will create two shows in the same location and not make the settings as similar as possible? You would be crazy to think this isn’t at least somewhat of an excuse to reuse assets from Hazbin Hotel.
Maybe the Hazbin Hotel wiki can help me find some differences.
Unlike Hazbin, Helluva Boss is recorded under SAG-AFTRA, allowing more Hollywood voice actors to be cast for the short. The casting was done by Kellen Goff who frequently visited animator Ashley Nichols’ animation streams.Recording was done in ensemble at SPG Studios in Los Angeles.
Well that changes everything!
Am I being unfair to Helluva Boss? Almost certainly, I’ll admit that upfront. However, Hazbin Hotel just felt like so much more to the point where it’s impossible not to compare the two, and for Helluva Boss to come off worse in every single front.
This does not make Helluva Boss bad, after all with how much I loved Hazbin’s pilot it was possible it would be hard for more Hazbin to top it, but the difference is still there and slightly jarring.
Helluva Boss is designed to be episodic in nature, while Hazbin Hotel was designed to serialized. This gives Helluva Boss more of an excuse to be joke after joke, which is not a bad thing. However, it says something when I found Hazbin Hotel to consistently be funnier than Helluva Boss. Even with the darker and deeper moments, I had way more fun watching Hazbin Hotel than watching Helluva Boss.
I struggle to think of a single joke that really stuck out to me throughout all eleven minutes of Helluva Boss. To be fair, the pilot for Hazbin Hotel was three times longer than the pilot of Helluva Boss — however, the attitude of Helluva Boss was much faster paced than the attitude of Hazbin Hotel, which should logically lead to more fun moments, not less.
Hazbin Hotel at least had the excuse of having to set up the location and the characters both directly and indirectly. Helluva Boss really needed to only do this indirectly, meaning they should have had more time to show these characters in action. Oh, and they also didn’t do a very good job with it by the way.
Yeah, let’s get to my biggest issue with Helluva Boss — the characters. They’re not unlikable or anything, I just don’t really know who any of them are.
I complained about something similar to this in my Hazbin Hotel review, where characters are either very serious or just jokes — creating a contrast that leads to constant clashing and fighting on the show’s style. I’ll give Helluva Boss that it doesn’t have the fighting, however — remember how I called Alastor just a prop for the comedy, well so is every character in Helluva Boss!
This wouldn’t bother me at all if I liked the comedy more though. The most I ever got out of a Helluva Boss joke was mild amusement, in part because I don’t really know who any of the characters are.
Every character in Helluva Boss feels like one person chopped up a bunch of times in order to make it so the show isn’t just some guy talking to himself. Any real differences between each demon is shown way to fast for my brain to have time to get anything out of it.
Why is it funny Blitzo stalks Moxxie and Millie? Is it because he’s a demon? Is it because that’s something bosses tend not to do? Is it because he has a funny voice?
Why is it funny that Loona has Syphilis? Tons of people have Syphilis, including Roman Emperor Caligula and American Founding Father and former Vice President Aaron Burr. Caligula declared war on the Ocean itself, won, and danced (depending on who you ask either naked or in drag) in front of all of Rome. Then some guy William Buckley didn’t like, the creator of Penthouse, and some Italian director made a movie about him which Roger Ebert gave zero stars. Aaron Burr had a duel with Alexander Hamilton and wrote letters to his daughter about his sex life. Now those are funny, but having Syphilis by itself isn’t.
Wait a minute — Helluva Boss is just everything the critics of Hazbin Hotel pretended it was! An adult comedy more focused on telling “mature” jokes than an actual story, relies to much on fucked up situations, and every punch line can be seen from a mile away.
Holy shit! Really VivziePop? I love your work, make no mistake. However, this is just you taking one giant step back to please, who exactly? The people who watched negative Hazbin Hotel reviews and responded with “I wish”? How many of those kinds of people exist?
I guess some because Helluva Boss is getting mostly positive reception, some are even saying it’s better than Hazbin Hotel. Well you know what, those people have an opinion I disagree with but also one I understand. If you like slice of life style comedies I would recommend giving Helluva Boss a shot, however, I fail to see what it does differently from the many other slice of life online adult comedies that have been made — let alone the vulgar ones you can find in animated form online.
That’s the thing that really gets me here, I more than likely wouldn’t be even be thinking of this video had it not been from the same people who made one of my favorite pieces of web animation ever. Any other group of people I wouldn’t even notice if something like this was #1 on YouTube trending — if only because I assume everything on trending is garbage, but this feels personal.
What I’m saying is I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.