Why We're Falling In Love With "Bojack Horseman"
Following House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Netflix continues to hit the original programming out of the park with their latest series: Bojack Horseman. Featuring the vocal stylings of Arrested Development‘s Will Arnett, Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul, and everywhere’s Amy Sedaris, this vaguely absurd and semi-sadistic adult cartoon follows a washed-up ex-sitcom actor as he attempts to re-invent his image by penning a tell-all memoir. The big twist? The washed-up actor is a horse.
That’s right–Bojack, while tonally similar to other half-hour animated sitcoms about terrible people (Archer, anyone?), is set in a world where humans and animals coexist sans hierarchy. Community’s Alison Brie, for instance, plays Bojack’s intrepid (and human) memoir ghost-writer, while Amy Sedaris is the feline Princess Carolyn. While it can get occasionally creepy with assorted and semi-graphic human/animal romance scenes, this landscape also lends itself to delightful puns out the wazoo. For one, the local news source in this alternate universe is MSNBSea. Word to the wise? Look to the details in each scene for the real fool’s gold.
The has-been-finds-redemption story is well-worn, but show creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg has lent Bojack‘s first seasona pleasing mix of flint and pathos. Horseman can be jealous, lazy and wildly self-centered, but he’s interested in change. The constituents of Bob-Waksberg’s Los Angeles wasteland are drug-addled, neurotic or downright silly, but they have believable goals and feelings. This is the first cartoon show I’ve seen in which a narrative unfolds. There’s an arc to the first season. For all these reasons, Bojack is designed for the binge-watch.
And if you’re into casual cynicism, word play and redemption songs–or really, any of the fantastic voice talents behind this show–give the Horseman a chance. Bonus fun: the show’s opening and closing credits were scored by indie band Grouplove and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, respectively.
If you’ve already finished the series and find yourself hungry for more, fear not–Netflix has already renewed Bojack for a second season. So giddy friggin‘ up!