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‘Hazbin Hotel’ Still Going Strong on Streaming

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCU chapter.

“Hazbin Hotel” is a new adult-themed animated musical set in hell that premiered in January on Amazon Prime. People are still talking about it! It is still one of the highest-rated and most-watched shows on the platform. By this I mean views did not drop off after the first week. If anything, the show’s popularity has ramped up with discussions.

The series is a lot older than most people may think, the creator Vivvian Merando started the series as a short collection of web comics and character biographies before developing it into an animated pilot episode that was posted on YouTube back in 2019. Among the wave of success of the pilot more indie animation projects took off leading to a thriving online community. Its music during all stages of development has been a big attraction. You may have already heard a tune or two floating around on the internet.

“Hazbin Hotel” follows the story of the Princess of hell, Charlie, the daughter of Lucifer and Lillith Morningstar of old Judeo-Christian mythology, as she attempts to redeem the sinners to save their eternal souls form being erased by the heavenly army of exorcists that massacre the sinners once a year to stop hell from being overpopulated. The story is filled with a colorful cast of characters all ranging in a scale of self-destructive, cartoonish villainy, and pure evil.

From silly songs to the emotional journey of escaping abusive situations, the show takes its story and themes with grace that its whimsical nature may not reveal at first glance. One of the biggest talking points of the show is that it does not shy away from how mature its themes are and not just in the nature of sex. Yes, there is discussion in the show about sex, but there is also discussion about recovering from drug addiction, struggles to feel accepted while in recovery, dealing with toxic relationships, and abuse of power by authority. The show’s comedy helps the viewer deal with the heavy themes and stay engaged with the story without keeping an overly depressing atmosphere and maintaining a theme of hope. It’s the strongest pillar in the story and is often under appreciated.

“Hazbin Hotel” knows that its subject matter is dark, and that people shy away from looking at situations that are uncomfortable. This is exactly the conversation that it is trying to start. It uses its bright tone and the music to bring an audience together. Its characters are more than their trauma or sins — they are happy, singing, and laughing. Humor is often referred to as a coping mechanism for pain and “Hazbin Hotel” uses that to keep an upbeat tone while conveying a deep and sorrowful story about redemption without belittling the situations of each character.

“Hazbin Hotel” tackles the mythology of Christianity with the idea of individual struggle to betterment. The show is not trying to convert you to Christianity nor is it trying to take a jab at the institution of the church. Instead, it tries to apply the concepts of the magical nature of angels and demons with the philosophy of redemption in order to tell stories about the struggles of humanity and recovery. It’s a fresh take on dramatizing these lesser-known mythological figures and it uses it source material to the best of its narrative strength.

If you do decide to give the show a watch, don’t worry! The second season will be coming sometime in the next year or two, so you won’t have to wait long to see what happens next. If you’re new to the series and can’t wait for more, try checking out the early material of the show’s development that is still online. While the cannon material that survived the transition to show is still up for debate the older comics and short animations are still on YouTube and the original blogs and are worth checking out.

Even if “Hazbin Hotel” is not your cup of tea, its influences for good original projects getting green lit more is undeniable and worth giving props to the creative team for preserving through the seven-year struggle to get the show on air. Hopefully more shows will be given a chance to follow in its footsteps.

I like writing stories and reading books. My favorite classical writer is Mary Shelly, and my favorite current writer is Wiley E. Young. I like light rainy weather and chia tea. I also play video games and watch a lot of old movies.