For the sadly un-initiated, Bojack Horseman is a Netflix original animated comedy about the title character, a washed up TV star (and actual horse) played by Will Arnett, and an ensemble cast of equally broken but compelling people, some human, some animals. I’ve reviewed the show before, and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d have anything new to say about it. I was wrong, though.
Once again, it’s been 48 hours since the latest season premiered on Netflix, and I’m here to rate the binge-watching experience for you. Let’s get started.
The show maintains a lot of the draws of the previous seasons. The cast is still unbelievable,* the tone wacky and surreal with an undercurrent of sadness, the gags on point, the social commentary absurd yet brutal. The bingeing experience, however…the more I watch this show, the more I become aware that it is not a bingeing experience for beginners.
The experience of bingeing season 3 of Bojack Horseman is a little like going insane, I imagine. You are thrust into a candy-colored wonderland where all the rules are different, yet oddly familiar. You step forward on the path home only to find it is a giant loop that leads back to where you started. Through the journey, bereft of love, bereft of hope, you are laughing like a maniac. When you come to yourself–if you come to yourself–you may wonder why everything seems different.
In this round of Bojack, the wit is sharp–sharp as a serrated blade slicing through your heart. Sure, you can laugh at society’s pain as things like pop feminism and the Oscars are dissected and mercilessly laid out in all their gore, but there will be things you can’t laugh at. I won’t spoil it for you, but I will warn you: you will grieve for the characters as if they are your own friends, spouses, parents, and children as they are put through the comedy writers’ gauntlet for your entertainment.
There’s a saying, especially on tumblr: when you really love something, when it takes up your time, when you expend energy thinking about it, empathizing with and especially grieving for the characters–when you talk about it all the time and feel wrapped up in its world–you say that thing is “ruining your life.”
Well, Bojack Horseman is ruining my life.
I’m giving the show a higher binge rating this time around, but be warned: this binge experience is not for the faint of heart, and UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES binge more than one season of this show at a time. Or if you do, do not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least twelve hours afterward.
Show rating: 11/10
*If you’re wondering whether someone you love has been on this show, the answer is yes. In addition to a core cast of Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, and Aaron Paul, this season included guest stars (most of them returning) such as Angela Bassett, Ben Schwartz, Kristen Chenoweth, Alan Arkin, Kristen Schaal, Aisha Tyler, Keith Olbermann, Wyatt Cenac, and, of course, Character Actress Margo Martindale.
Image via Netflix