While this article avoids spoilers, the first five episodes of Hazbin Hotel were screened for review.

Let’s not mince words. The new animated adult musical comedy Hazbin Hotel from Vivienne Medrano is superb. Smart, funny and original, this debut season crackles with energy and demands repeated viewings. 

Hazbin Hotel season 1 review

Hazbin Hotel is the story of Princess of Hell Charlie Morningstar (Erika Henningsen). At the outset of the series, she’s just opened the titular establishment. Assisted by her loving partner, Vaggie (Stephanie Beatriz), Charlie aspires to rehabilitate the denizens of Hell, allowing them to “check out” into Heaven. This would be an unprecedented development. However, for Charlie – who is an empathetic and gentle soul –  hope springs eternal.

Charlie Morningstar

But the stakes for Charlie’s hotel are exceptionally high. This is thanks to the fact that, in spite of what you may have heard, the systems set into place by the Heavenly authorities aren’t exactly designed with “justice” or “mercy” in mind. Worse still, pushing back against this systemic inequality is, as with all shitty authoratative bodies, a good way to become the target of the shitty machinations of “the good guys.” 

Rounding out the staff at the Hazbin Hotel is Keith David as the surly Husk and Kimiko Glenn as the disturbing and bug blood thirsty Niffty. Meanwhile, Blake Roman plays twink spider demon Angel Dust, the hotel’s first guest. And the uncanny Alastor (Amir Talai), aka the Radio Demon, looms over the proceedings at the hotel, bringing a barely-restrained chaotic energy. Finally, Sir Pentious (Alex Brightman) nurses a longstanding grudge against Alastor. Each of these performers are given great material in the script, and deliver on that material’s potential.

Furthermore, the season boasts a plethora of impressive guest stars, many of whom have Broadway productions on their C.V.s. And like the characters in the main cast, the majority of the supporting roles are richly developed, and sure to subvert whatever expectations you may have for them. This is particularly true in the case of Lucifer Morningstar (Jeremy Jordan). Whatever you think you’ll get from this character’s depiction in Hazbin Hotel, prepare to have your expectations thoroughly subverted.

Welcome to Hell

Hazbin Hotel looks and sounds fantastic. It’s aesthetic is singular, mixing elements from influences that range from classic animated “Princess” stories to the comic and animation work of Jhonen Vasquez (Invader ZIM star Richard Horvitz even co-stars in Helluva Boss, an online animated series from Medrano set in the same world as Hazbin Hotel). 

But do not mistake Hazbin Hotel for derivative. The character designs in particular, which feature a plethora of hearts and asymmetical flourishes, are especially unique. Meanwhile, the sets that make up the hotel and the rest of the world of Hell are rendered in a limited color palette, and filled with visual details that further build-out this already well-realized world.

And in terms of music, this debut season is a cornucopia of sonic delights. You know when a TV show is obstensibly a musical, but the songs are all half-assed and sound the same? Hazbin Hotel is the polar opposite of that, providing catchy tune after catchy tune. These songs have a variety of different sounds and take full advantage of the show’s main and guest casts’ talents. Well-crafted, high-quality and laced with profanity and debauchery, the soundtrack is destined to be performed ad nauseum by musical theater kids for decades to come.

Reservations Now Available


Hazbin Hotel is a sacrilious sing-along that will shock and scintillate. Clearly, Medrano has a very clear vision for the series, which has been realized here with aplomb. Don’t waste any time in checking out this singular and spectacular animated show.

The first four episodes of Hazbin Hotel will be available for streaming on Prime Video beginning Friday, January 19th, 2024, with two more episodes to be released on each of the following two Fridays.