[All the thoughts, none of the spoilers!]
With Season 4 coming out in just a couple of months, I thought I’d write about Netflix’s animated comedy starring Will Arnett, BoJack Horseman. It is without a doubt my favourite series Netflix has created. However, I also think it’s a show that a lot of people have looked over, even though it’s filled with some of the best writing on television at the moment.
The show focuses on the life of washed-up millionaire, BoJack Horseman. After a successful sitcom in the 1990s, BoJack now lives a life in the Hollywood hills consumed with addictions of all kinds. Trying to rebuild his career, a ghost writer, Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie), follows his day-to-day life for a biography. Following the success of this, he tries to make it as a ‘real’ actor in drama films. All the while, he’s trying to manage (poorly) his relationships with those around him and rid himself of his deficiencies.
With such a troubled character, you’d expect nothing but moans and groans throughout, but BoJack‘s genius is finding the funny in the tragic. The show is like the visual representation of a defence mechanism; laughing in the face of adversity because, sometimes, there’s not much else one can do. Unlike the sitcom BoJack once starred in, the show isn’t about tying up a 20-minute episode with a nice, neat bow, and this is referenced a lot. It’s another of its great attractions – it understands itself. It understands the privileged positions of most of the characters and places them in the charade of an environment that is Hollywood, where individual issues take a back-seat for fame and fortune.
The three main characters, BoJack, Diane, and Todd (Aaron Paul), are perfectly balanced in how they’re portrayed. Diane grounds the show in reality, Todd is the ridiculous comic relief, and BoJack lies somewhere in between. That being said, in three seasons each and every major character has been given room to breathe. Their own perspectives have been the focal point of many episodes; many of which entailing BoJack’s often-destructive influence on their personal lives.
But I can’t stress enough, this show is seriously funny. Will Arnett’s dry demeanor provides plenty of sarcasm throughout. Contrasted with his rival, Mr. Peanutbutter’s (Paul F. Tompkins) over-the-top, lavish behaviour and excitement, the show covers all angles. There’s a character for everyone in BoJack Horseman to enjoy.
Plus, it’s an well-animated show about anthropomorphic animals with pun-filled names. Ever wanted to know what Quentin Tarantino would look like as a tarantula? Yeah, me neither, until I saw it.
BoJack Horseman Season 4 is coming to Netflix September 8.