Bojack Horseman Delivers A Stellar Third Season

Bojack Horseman Delivers A Stellar Third Season

Courtesy Photo The new season of Bojack Horseman,an animated dark-comedy about a washed up 90s sitcom anthropomorphic horse, is streaming now on Netflix.

Bojack Horseman, the strange animated show from Netflix about a world where homo sapiens exist alongside anthropomorphized, walking, talking animals. Bojack himself is an actor that starred in a hit comedy from the late ‘80s/early ‘90s called Horsin’ Around.Bojack has gone down a track often seen from stars, and the Bojack we meet in the first season has grown quite a bit in the time between then and now.

That’s not to say he’s changed for the better. Bojack (Will Arnett), and many of the other characters that surround him like Aaron Paul’s hilariously inept Todd, and the Labrador Retriever next door Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Thompkins) and his (human) wife Diane (Alison Brie). Yeah, if you think too hard or too long on the world Bojack exists in, it rapidly descends into a weird grossness, but oddly, that weirdness ties into it’s brilliance.

I’ve rarely, if ever, seen a show that deals with depression quite like Bojack Horseman does. It’s an unforgiving examination of the titular character’s psyche. We see all the good and all the bad in Bojack, and we aren’t expected to forgive him when he messes up on spectacular levels. Bojack has his ups, riding high on a big studio biopic of his hero, Secretariat (in this world, a track star whose career ended after a doping scandal). He has his lows, too, spiraling down into drunken, drugged-out stupors, seemingly bottomless pits of depression. It captures that feeling of hopelessness incredibly well, which is odd considering the insane universe it exists in.

The third season is nothing short of revolutionary in my eyes. From an episode that relies almost entirely on silent comedy, to yet another sharp reality check for Bojack himself, this show is on a level that animated television rarely reaches.

That’s what makes Bojack so unique amongst the landscape of “adult” cartoons. The Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, Bob’s Burgers, South Park,and Archer are all fantastic in their own rights (though some are outside my personal realm of humor), but Bojack Horseman never feels like it’s even slightly emulating any of those shows.

Because it’s an animated show, and because it takes place in a wacky world of anthropomorphized animals and humans living together and marrying and somehow having children, it’s easy to overlook Bojack as what it is: a dramedy. There are more than enough hilarious moments to justify watching this for a good time, but there are just as many thought-provoking, serious things that actually make you take a second. Especially if, like me, you have your own struggles with depression, seeing them filtered through the animated lens is unusual, and kind of amazing.

It was renewed through season four, so we’ve not seen the last of Bojack Horseman for a while. My hope is that they continue to prove that the format the story takes matters a helluva lot less than what the story has to say. So far, they’ve knocked it out of the proverbial park on that front.

All three seasons of Bojack Horseman, starring Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, and Aaron Paul are available for streaming on Netflix, with season four coming sometime next year.

Categories: Commentary