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Hazbin Hotel, A24's first animated series, imagines heaven and hell with Broadway voice cast

Vivienne Medrano, creator of "Hazbin Hotel," is a proud horror maker with a love for musical theater and a diverse cast.

Vivienne Medrano, a proud, fiery Latina, was once averse to horror and anything considered adult or inappropriate. However, a switch flipped in high school when she was exposed to "South Park" and "War of the Worlds," and she found herself drawn to the darkness and different feelings they evoked. Fast forward to 2024, and Medrano, now a horror fan and creator, is at the helm of Prime Video's animated horror-comedy show "Hazbin Hotel."

The series, which is adults-only, follows Charlie, the Princess of Hell, as she embarks on a mission to rehabilitate sinners and demons before heaven's annual extermination of Hades' residents. The show, which originated as a 30-minute pilot on Medrano's YouTube channel, has garnered 93 million views and has been picked up by the art-house studio A24 for a full season and a second season.

What sets "Hazbin Hotel" apart is its unique blend of horror and musical theater, featuring a colorful and queer-inclusive cast, fast-paced action, and a Broadway pop score. The music, composed by Sam Haft and Andrew Underberg, ranges from old-school want songs to uptempo dance numbers, setting the stage for an absurdly bloody yet bright-eyed opening number that introduces the show's characters.

The voice cast includes Broadway stars such as Tony nominees Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jeremy Jordan, and Patina Miller, as well as Alex Brightman, a two-time Tony nominee. The show's unique fusion of horror and musical theater has attracted a diverse and talented cast, with Medrano expressing her admiration for the actors and the opportunity to work with them.

In a recent interview, Medrano and Brightman discussed their love for horror and musical theater, the complex themes of redemption and second chances in the show, and the significance of forgiveness and empathy. When asked about her personal connection to the character of Charlie, Medrano revealed that she sees herself in the character's plucky and determined nature, as both are fighting uphill battles to see their dreams realized.

The show's exploration of the gray areas between good and evil and the complexities of redemption and forgiveness draw parallels to the themes in "Wicked" and "Bojack Horseman." Medrano emphasized the importance of understanding the reasons behind someone's actions and the potential for change through love, support, and faith.

When asked about their beliefs regarding the existence of hell, Brightman described himself as a spiritual-leaning agnostic, while Medrano expressed her uncertainty about the universe and her occasional wish for the existence of hell. The show's thought-provoking themes and complex characters reflect the creators' deep engagement with the human experience and the complexities of morality, redemption, and empathy.

In conclusion, "Hazbin Hotel" is a testament to Vivienne Medrano's journey from an aversion to horror to becoming a creator of a groundbreaking animated series that challenges traditional genre boundaries and delves into the depths of the human soul. The show's unique blend of horror and musical theater, combined with its diverse cast and thought-provoking themes, makes it a compelling and innovative addition to the world of animated entertainment.

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