Helluva Boss is Damned Good Animation

Demonic afterlife assassination and familial problems from the creators of Hazbin Hotel.

A couple of days before Halloween in 2019, Vivian Medrano and her friends at Spindlehorse Animation put together a pilot called Hazbin Hotel, which could simply be described as a D*sney princess, looking for a bluebird in hell. That project quickly got snatched up and appears to be set for release by distributor A24.

But living rent-free in Hazbin Hotel‘s pitch bible were some characters that couldn’t wait, and didn’t fit. So while Hazbin was in production, Medrano summoned another pilot, featuring three imps doing murder for hire called Helluva Boss.

Think of the show as an animated cross between The Office and Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell. Inept entrepreneur, Blitzo (“the ‘O’ is silent” he likes to repeat) is head of Immediate Murder Professionals. Died and gone to hell? Blitzo and his associates Moxxie and Millie will kill the mofos that sent you there. Moxxie is a ninny, with the goat hooves to prove it, and his wife is Millie, a sassy redneck killing machine. Antagonizing Moxxie is Luna, a teenage hellhound and Blitzo’s adopted daughter. While the business has already gone to hell, keeping it from bankruptcy is a royal demon named Stollas, who trades filthy talk and sexual favours with Blitzo to relieve himself from a cuckolded marriage.

Honestly, I hadn’t been impressed with the pilot and I would have let it go. Yet buddies and friends who love art, kink, and weird AF shit, kept saying “You’ve got to see the episodes!” They’re right. I’m hooked. The pilot was good enough to convince a rabid animation fan base to keep Medrano and her artists in ample ramen supply to bust out seven episodes (and a secret eighth episode that has not been revealed yet).

In season one, Blitzo’s kinky relationship with Stollas is fleshed out. Moxxie isn’t merely an annoying simp, but a talented assassin struggling with Blitzo’s impersonator syndrome. And Millie is not to be trifled with. She’s the most vicious of the three, with a voice sweeter than a stolen kiss, getting some of the best lines.

And it’s these relationships, combined with kick-ass animation that carry the show. Moxxie and Millie have their own romantic fan base, as Moxxie often serenades Millie.  We meet the teen daughter of Stollas and feel her sorrow as she’s tormented by her parents’ impending divorce. You’re left wanting more after every episode and it’s very easy to find yourself re-binging episodes.

That addictive quality has season two already out with more episodes, showing us the deeper backstory of the life of Stollas as a royal dandy from hell, and his taboo attraction to Blitzo. Luna transforms from a two-dimensional furry fantasy to a sympathetic young adult recovering from abuse and abandonment. We also see why Blitzo insists on being a father figure, despite his fallacies.

The animation is badass. The detailed backgrounds can be distracting, but reward you with inside clues when you watch episodes again and again. Inside jokes are everywhere. Medrano’s character style is very distinct, but the squash and stretch techniques are definitely old school and you can see nods to the mouse house and WB. The animation itself is superior to most of the Adult Swim lineup on Cartoon Network and surpasses most stuff from Bento Box and Tornante Television.

So if you’re not checking it out, you’re missing out. Go to hell and watch before YouTube pulls it off the platform for too many pixelated dicks.

Now playing at https://www.youtube.com/@SpindleHorse


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