It’s often the more bizarre and outlandish TV concepts that make for the best experiences; the fourth season of Bojack Horseman comes out today on Netflix, and I had to take this opportunity to talk about one of the most unique shows of our time.
Bojack Horseman is an animated show centred around a depressed, alcoholic, washed up sitcom actor…Who also happens to be an anthropomorphic horse (Voiced by Will Arnett, no less). In the weird and wonderful world of Hollywoo (Yes, I am spelling that correctly), Bojack is suffering the downturn of his career and the lack of hope in his future, but he’s not alone on this journey. Joining him are his strong willed agent Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), pretentious yet troubled writer Diane (Alison Brie), TV’s favourite dog Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) and his slacker roommate Todd (Aaron Paul). Their adventures are often abnormal, troubling or downright depressing, but it makes for one of the best TV shows around.
I’ve never had more trouble describing a TV show to others; I’m uncertain of what to call this type of humour. It’s very on the nose, off the wall, plays on puns and stereotypes, it’s very satirical, and it just feels so unique. It’s utterly hilarious, but not through loud or obvious jokes, but rather small background happenings, certain turns of phrase, even just great editing, though that’s not to say it’s more central gags aren’t great too. With that said, where Bojack succeeds is in it’s darker aspects. The show deals with many complex themes such as depression, grief, regret, alcoholism, and self loathing amongst others, and it all makes for a painful experience. Bojack is the epitome of flawed characters, and you often find yourself jumping between sympathy and anger in the things he does. The way the show approaches these themes is very raw; despite the humour, every part of this feels real and it’s absolutely crushing. That’s why it hits so well, because it doesn’t play off of any exaggerated or stereotypical definitions of those themes, it understands each one to it’s most complicated core and puts it on show for all those who have ever felt it and to sit there and say “…Fuck”. It offers you no reward or satisfaction in these moments, just leaves you to fester in the unbearable awkwardness it creates.
Perhaps all of that doesn’t sound too appealing, but that’s the beauty of this show. It’s a very bizarre and off putting concept that’s hard to grasp on paper. It’s something that needs to be seen to be believed. The first few episodes aren’t quite as good as what follows, but please do stick with it for the true sense of what this show has to offer. Every little detail is key, it’s most baffling story lines are among it’s best, it never lets up on the laughs or the tears. No, Bojack Horseman is a stunning example of a balanced show; it offers you everything to it’s absolute best, and is easily one of the best written and best performed shows we have today. It’s hard to find words to do it justice.
Even now I don’t think I’ve done a satisfactory job of explaining it, but it’s the best I’ve done so far in relaying this to anyone. Bojack Horseman is as unique as it gets.
Bojack Horseman Season 5 hits Netflix today!