Horsing around with ‘Bojack Horseman’

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Hayden Gotch

The Netflix Original Series BoJack Horseman is, at the surface, a story about a washed up celebrities return to relevance but the show reflects on deeper, darker elements.

This animated show is about an anthropomorphic horse named BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett) as he struggles on his journey from washed-up 90’s sitcom star to actor in his dream role. Unlike nearly any other animated series out there, this show reflects more of the dark side of people and almost never has a happy ending.

The show is unlike any other due to the in-depth look at human character and emotions through the humorous lenses of funny cartoon. It deals with dark topics like death, drug use, depression, and existential crisis. One could build a psychical case study one BoJack and most other characters.

While the show is very heavy in the dark drama there is an underlying tone of humor, especially in characters like Todd and Mr. Peanutbutter who frequently are the source of the shows zany antics and comedic situations.

The thing this show does best is the even mix of dark drama and comedic instances. For instance, having a personal talk about a struggling relationship while surrounded by the burning wreckage of the failed attempt to recreate Disneyworld in the backyard.

“Bojack analyzes the depth of human despair with realism and a balance of humor,” said Alex Bruner, sophomore computer science major. The show is surprisingly relatable considering the cast is mostly animated anthropomorphic animals.

Season 1 follows the production of a biography about BoJack’s life is created with the help of ghostwriter Diana. The goal of the book is to take a deep look at the character, flaws and everything. This season establishes characters and running jokes smoothly and quickly.

Season 2 continues where the previous season left off as all the characters get involved with the filming of BoJack’s new movie based on Secretariat, the racehorse. This is where the show “truly comes into its own during season two, maturing into an ambitious comedy that sensitively blends wackiness with dark, nuanced drama.” (Rotten Tomatoes critics’ consensus)

Season 3 is about the fallout of the movies completion and the road to the Oscars. This season the show changes up a lot about the previously established characters.

One episode was included almost no verbal communication and was especially praised for its inventiveness. This season, more than the previous two, ends on an especially dark and depressing note.

Season 4 follows the range of characters as they all face drastic changes in their lives. BoJack himself dives deep into his families dark past after a teenager shows up on his doorstep claiming to be his daughter. The season starts to build a happier life for the suffering horse.

Season 1 was poorly received critically with a score of 59 on Metacritic. The scores for seasons two, three and four picked up with 90, 89 and 87 respectively. Critically season 1 was not good but the content and viewer ratings was just as popular as the succeeding seasons.

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