It’s been barely 48 hours since the new season of the animated comedy Bojack Horseman premiered, and I just watched all of it.
For those who don’t know the show: the title character (Will Arnett) is a washed-up 90s sitcom star stumbling through life in a haze of alcohol and bad decisions. Also, he’s a literal horse. It’s definitely what you’d call a dark comedy, even taking into account the fact that the protagonist occasionally spooks when he sees plastic bags in the wind.
Look, I’m not here to tell you what happens this season. Nobody likes spoilers. I’m here to rate the binge-watching experience.
Watch a few episodes of Bojack Horseman, and the first thing you’ll notice (as one would hope) is that it’s funny. The written jokes are wry and clever without being self-absorbed. The visual gags keep the show aloft with their light absurdity—for example, in the first season, Bojack’s agent Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), who is a cat, is walking down the L.A. street when a car nearly sideswipes her; she crouches, hackles raised, and hisses. Then gets back up on two feet and saunters away in her heels. All great stuff. But that’s not all there is to it.
See, when you watch more than, say, three or four episodes in one sitting, you start to get sad. Despite their own cleverness and the whimsical absurdity of the world they live in, most of the characters on Bojack Horseman are miserable. They suffer from loneliness, a lack of direction in life, and a veritable epidemic of self-sabotage. In short, they can be disturbingly realistic.
So, you watch enough of this show at once, something is bound to get under your skin. Bojack’s abusive friendship with Todd (Aaron Paul), a human who lives on Bojack’s couch, might ring too true—or Princess Carolyn’s struggle to find meaning in her lonely, career-driven life might get to you. In the second season, we see the decline of Diane (Alison Brie), Bojack’s writer friend, who nearly ruins her marriage via her own self-loathing. The show makes you laugh, but it also hurts your heart.
Frankly—perhaps it’s my cynical style—I would recommend this show to everyone. It may be cruel, but it’s also delightfully absurd, and it has a slew of wonderful guest stars. This season, for example, included repeat appearances by Kristen Schaal, Stephen Colbert, Stanley Tucci, and Patton Oswalt, as well as new characters voiced by the likes of Lisa Kudrow, Ben Schwartz, Olivia Wilde, and Alan Arkin. The list goes on and on.
But the number one reason to watch this season of Bojack Horseman: a celebrity game show run by J.D. Salinger.
Show rating: 10/10
Binge rating: 7/10. Savor it.
Image courtesy of Google Images.