[TV] BoJack Horseman

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[TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby Reichu » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:09 am

BoJack Horseman is an animated adult comedy-drama that debuted on Netflix last year. The basic premise is that the washed-up former star of a 90s sitcom, who happens to be an anthropomorphic horse, is being pressured to crank out his autobiography for a struggling publishing house. He ends up hiring a ghost-writer, and the eventual publication of the book results in his career being revitalized.

While the show is most obviously an expressed criticism of celebrity culture, BJH also hit very close to home in its take on depression. I've seen the show called one of the most accurate screen depictions of the disease, and I can't disagree. While the presentation is radically different, BJH is very NGE-like in its unflinching commitment to showing the dark side of the human psyche without completely surrendering to it.

I watched both seasons with my boyfriend shortly after they premiered, and we were incredibly impressed. The show is both funny and poignant at the same time. It's very character-based, and the story is highly serial -- despite the "adult cartoon comedy" trappings, there are very real consequences in this show. I definitely recommend that NGE fans give it a shot. I'd love to see BJH continue to do well and pave the way for more animated adult drama in the US.

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Postby honsou » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:30 pm

It reminds me of a much more polished version of Moral Orel in that its a serialized, adult cartoon comedy that very quickly turns very serious. I still do prefer Moral Orel due to the fact that once it gained its footing it became an out and out masterpiece.

The second season is actually quite impressive because it did a very good job of being very serious without it the whiplash. And I think that's mainly because the writer started to understand the characters and the world. While the show is very funny, I don't think calling it a comedy is a good way to describe it. I think the best way to describe it is by calling it a drama in an absurdist world.
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Postby Sachi » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:47 pm

I wouldn't have been able to tell that this show dealt with such serious themes on first glance, so I'll have to definitely check this out now. As Honsou mentioned, Moral Orel is absolutely amazing in that regard, so I'm sure I'll love BoJack Horseman. Thank you for sharing!
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Postby Reichu » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:54 pm

Sachi: I notice that your location now says "Central Hollywoo". Does that mean you've checked Bojack out? :tongue:

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Postby Sachi » Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:35 pm

Indeed I did! This thread hadn't bumped yet, so I wrote about it here : http://forum.evageeks.org/post/809139/What-are-you-watching-right-now-tv-series-see-OP/#809139

Thanks for that recommendation!
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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby Reichu » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:01 am

Season 3 is here! Woooooo! I'll be watching it over the weekend with my poopsy-kins; can't wait!

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Postby MuscleRobo » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:51 am

Me and my little sister have been waiting for it! I have a gunpla I need to build myself so I'll start building with it on in the background this weekend.

Edit: So we finished it! Really great season but I won't say too much because of spoilers. However I have one question about the very end and curious if anyone else thought something similar.

SPOILER: Show
Was the girl at the end bojack's long lost daughter? I feel there were hints throughout the season that something like that might exist. For example the most obvious was in the abortion episode he says "I gave tons of money to women to get an abortion. I hope they didn't just keep the money and not get the abortion though." Also in the episode where he fires Princess Carolyn she says something to him along the lines of "It'd be impossible for you to find a woman you didn't want to sleep with!" His daughter could be the first girl he has no desire like that towards as well. Just a thought! I bring it up because no reviews of the season have mentioned it at all and it was something we both focused on!

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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby Director Black » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:57 pm

I've started watching it with my sister (She said she'd already seen it and cried at many parts). I love it, for many of the same reasons the original poster already. I can't wait to watch Season 3 with her soon.
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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby Sachi » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:14 pm

Just finished binging season 3 earlier today. As usual, Bojack doesn't fail to be both funny and completely heart wrenching. The flashback episodes were particularly well-written. Some of the episodes even forgo any attempt to be comedic, and feature painfully realistic and uncomfortable moments that showcase how pathetic some of these characters are. Bojack's continous self-sabotage and tendency to push away those closest to him resonated with me, particularly Diane's line in ep3 about how they're too similar and they enable one another to be bad people.

Side note: having just moved to Hollywood last year, it's incredibly surreal to recognize most of the locations in the show. Paramount Studios is literally a five minute walk from my apartment, and the Griffith Observatory is about two miles away. Is Bojack Horseman a show set in a distorted version of reality, or is my reality a distorted version of Bojack Horseman. (i am Bojack)
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Postby MuscleRobo » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:52 am

View Original PostSachi wrote:Just finished binging season 3 earlier today. As usual, Bojack doesn't fail to be both funny and completely heart wrenching. The flashback episodes were particularly well-written. Some of the episodes even forgo any attempt to be comedic, and feature painfully realistic and uncomfortable moments that showcase how pathetic some of these characters are. Bojack's continous self-sabotage and tendency to push away those closest to him resonated with me, particularly Diane's line in ep3 about how they're too similar and they enable one another to be bad people.

Side note: having just moved to Hollywood last year, it's incredibly surreal to recognize most of the locations in the show. Paramount Studios is literally a five minute walk from my apartment, and the Griffith Observatory is about two miles away. Is Bojack Horseman a show set in a distorted version of reality, or is my reality a distorted version of Bojack Horseman. (i am Bojack)


It's pretty cool they show accuracy like that. For me personally I was hoping they stayed in New York a little bit more for the same reasons, although I don't live in New York City anymore I remember my time there very fondly. I agree Season 3 was very well written but there were some issues I had with it. First, not enough Todd. Maybe it's just my personal preference but I really like Todd and the Todd and Bojack relationship. I felt they were really pushed aside this season even with the one storyline they did share it wasn't particularly well done or explored. Second, while not bad exactly you can look at season 2 and say it was a mostly funny situations and scenes with some very dark and serious moments. Season 3 is mostly dark and serious situations and scenes with some very funny moments. The kind of flipping was interesting but if it continues will season 4 just be a drama? Still, I'm really excited, really enjoyed it, and can't wait for more.

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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby Reichu » Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:24 am

My boyfriend and I ended up not binging it over the weekend, but re-watching season 2 to regain our bearings, and upon finishing we've been watching 2-3 of the new episodes every day. Tonight we stopped at 309, and what a place to stop. That was, in typical BJHM fashion, crammed front to back with laugh-out-loud silliness and the most uncomfortable existential truths. This episode's commentary on intimacy and the inevitability of pain brought on the Eva flashbacks fierce. Despite the very different approach both shows take, they have an incredibly similar sense of honesty and compassion when it comes to presenting and discussing human flaws. I'm guessing the season is going to be tipping more and more toward the latter from here on out, but I still love the skill with which the creators blend comedy and drama. I feel like it's not something that's often done well, despite the coexistence of absurdity and melancholy -- with the line between often blurring -- being rather fundamental to most/all of our lives.

There's been so much going on this season, I feel like I can barely keep up. Looking forward to the inevitable rewatch already!

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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby Tumbling Down » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:32 am

We didn't already have a thread on this show? I know I've talked about it before on this site, as while as every other Eva-related place I can find.

Anyway, I love the show for its characters and story, but the humor is on par with that of The Cleveland Show, and the visuals are so bland that if not for the auto-tweens, it'd be mistakable for a Saturday morning cartoon from the mid-80's. The aspects of the show I don't find good aren't outright bad, but they're not good enough for me to praise them the way that I do the aspects that I like, and it's weird for me to see people claiming to find Bojack Horseman funny. There's a reason people generally don't like the first three episodes of the show, and why the reviews of the first season are so mixed compared to those of the second and third. Without the drama, I think people would notice how mediocre the show's actual comedy is.

Normally, I don't focus on the negatives of this show so much, but the overflowing amount of positivity in here makes me want to, and.. actually, now that I think about it, I might be coming off as a partypooper. Am I coming off as a party pooper?

A show that I think attempted the same comedy-drama balance as Bojack Horseman but with much better actual comedy is Moral Orel. I love that show and really wish it hadn't been cancelled during its prime. However, it came out at the wrong time on the wrong outlet. It might've done better as a Netflix series. Then again, the subjects it deals with aren't as relatable to me as the subjects Bojack Horseman deals with, and so I'm going to go out on a limb and say they might not be as relatable to other people, either. Bojack Horseman is about the unholy trininy of depression, self-loathing, and self-destructive behavior. Moral Orel is about dogma, repression, and hypocrisy, and the latter two elements are subtle because they're not seen through the eyes of the protagonist, only through those of the audience.

But back on topic,
SPOILER: Show
after the way season two ended, I expected Todd to interact directly with Bojack more often. He did have a bigger role this season, but he still didn't have that much interaction with Bojack. It was weird. And in his ReasonYouSuck speech, Todd didn't mention all the times that he needed Bojack but he wasn't there, like the time he went to prison. Another thing Moral Orel did well was it took elements that were funny early on and made them dark and sad, like how Orel's father abuses him. This would've been a great opportunity for that.

Also, I have two more thoughts, and this clip from Season 2 would make a good segue for them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8yjy2-NFoU

1. Does anyone hope/expect that Mr. Peanutbutter will have a breakdown at some point, like Diane did?

2. Does anyone else think that Bojack will ask Todd and/or Mr. Peanutbutter for advice on being happy? I'd love to see how he takes this advice the wrong way. I suppose it could just lead to more drinking and drug-doing.


Edit: Ahahaha, people were already talking about Moral Orel in this thread. I didn't read past the first post! Well, I don't feel like rewriting my post to acknowledge that.

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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby MugwumpHasNoLiver » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:48 am

BoJack, as uncomfortably real as it can get, never goes as far as Orel.

With Orel, there's the pretense of farce, so the undercurrent of cruelty seems a cheap and tawdry affair until the show dives head-first into its realness. By the end of Orel, I am in tears. I am emotionally destroyed. BoJack only occasionally dips its toes into that coldness, that sting like that kiss of a razor blade. The unwillingness to embrace annihiliation, tied with an inability to escape despair, lends Bojack a quality which slowly erodes you.

In some ways, Orel is easier. Orel, the character, is pure It's his father, Clay, the most ghastly and disturbingly accurate depiction of an alcoholic father on television, who embodies the show's darkness. As desperate, hateful and self-lacerating as Clay reveals himself to be, he wounds Orel (figuratively and literally--had the show gone beyond a third season, the limp Orel gets at the end of season two would have never healed), but he never engulfs him. The last episode never fails to bring me to tears, because of that. The ultimate point of Orel is that not everyone is corruptible, but fuck, once you're corrupted there isn't any hope for you. To quote a divine, three-part medley by Bowie "When it's good, it's really good, when it's bad, I go to pieces."

BoJack, while it tends to stick to a sort of millennial tweeness, has been engulfed by his pain. His father--another drunk dad who makes me tear up the handles on my armchair--did engulf him. BoJack has spent years languishing in obscurity and failure, unable to push through the festering lacerations of his psyche, and there's no guarantee he ever will. He's good intentioned at times, short-sighted at others, means it when he's caring, awful when he's selfish, and genuinely finds himself at a loss to connect with, or have meaningful relations with people. He's his own worst enemy. BoJack the show, then seems to be about how everyone is to some degree corrupted, but hey, you have to try, not like there's an easy way out. BoJack, at its best, tends to leave me with a feeling of hollowness, of futility, of "... yeah."

For me, personally, the slower, more cumulative effect with BoJack is more effective. I see myself in him, while I see my own father in Clay. While I do see a lot of myself in my father, there's the safety of distance, of projection, of otherness, and so my own pride and ideals aren't directly scandalized.

Both shows are tremendously funny. That BoJack manages to stay as palatable as it does while going to the places it goes, has to do with how well it balances the comedy and the drama, (the pay-off with Mr. Peanut Butter's spaghetti strainers in the finale of season three was much needed after the previous two episodes) while what makes Orel so intense by its final season is how it slowly strips away the more comedic elements and adds an emotional weight to what had previously been more outlandish, to make them unnervingly real.

Slightly tangential aside  SPOILER: Show
One last point of comparison is how the choices of the two show's animation styles tend to come to embody deeper subtexts.

Orel is stop-motion animated, and many of the characters are named after things relevant to stop-motion animation (Clay, Blobetta, Censordoll, Reverend Putty, a throw away character in a later episode named Mr. Stopmotionanimationname, etc.) Orel's entire world is artificial, and everyone in his life is literally fake, their dogmas malleable to the fluctuations of their own hypocrisy and willful misinterpretation. BoJack, on the other hand, takes place in a world where human-like animals co-exist with people, and many of them still display animal-like tendencies. Take the numerous segues and background jokes, such as the bit where a waiter, who is a fly, gets himself in a bowl of soup and has to take it back. BoJack, on some level, seems to be about how our suffering is caused by a divorce from our animal nature. BoJack never gets any jokes related to him being a horse, and he very infrequently displays horse-like behavior, (while his character in Horsin' Around gets plenty) Princess Carolyn only occasionally acts like a cat, but it's Mr. Peanutbutter, the most jovial and funloving character in the show, is completely dog-like. Every other joke about him is some variation of "he's a main character with a wife and a job, but he's also a dog and does doggy things". This theme is reinforced in the ending credits, which every episode asks us if Bojack "is more man than horse, or more horse than man *whipcrack* BoJack!"


Think I do end up preferring Orel because while BoJack is, to quote his mother "Not Ibsen" by its third season, Orel has a stage-play like quality to it. Especially in that marvelous episode with Clay in the bar.

Definitely check out both.

Orel never got a proper DVD release in the US, (which is to say, season one and nothing else) and I think the only way to legitimately watch it now is on Hulu, though I think there it's ordered by broadcast, rather than production order, which is a shame. [adult swim] initially aired the season finale as a first episode, because they wanted a Christmas special, and so, divorced from what it was building from, came off as a non-sequitur anti-comedy tinged with hopelessness. Several other season one episodes didn't end up on the air until well into season two, I think, due to S&P complications. Shame that for all the good [adult swim] did in throwing money at crazy ideas, it had to mishandle this one the way it did.

Can't complain too much, as while it may have aborted Moral Orel as it hit its peak, and the similarly, tragically underappreciated 12. oz Mouse, it is giving us a seventh season of the Venture Bros, which is less the evolution of the [adult swim] comedy from the square to the cube, as it is straight to the tesseract--whose density of comic effect deserves to be sung from every rooftop until the streets below are panicked with the mute reverberations of busted eardrums.
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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby TheCarkolum » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:33 am

IFL this show. One of the best shows on Netflix. The hobo and Diane are a bit disapointing as characters, but all in all I think it's a amazing show.
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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby MuscleRobo » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:47 am


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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby TheCarkolum » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:17 pm



I don't know if another season is very necessary, but if they top or maintain the quality of the previous seasons this might be one of the best series ever.
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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby Sachi » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:22 pm

The end of Season 3 begs for a follow-up. IIRC, he regresses even further by the end, and so I think at least one more season is needed to wrap things up.

I love Bojack though. They could release three more seasons and I'd probably be happy.
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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby MuscleRobo » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:58 pm

Based on an interview I read I think season 5 is already in the works. They talked about the current political climate but because they were already done with season 4 they couldn't make many changes to it and would tuck those ideas away for a fifth season if they were renewed. Sure, he could have just been trying to throw off the scent if they really plan to end at season 4 but who knows?

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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:30 pm

Oh Season 4 is very needed. The story of BoJack is far from over.

Honestly, of all the Netflix Original Shows that get overhyped - any of the Marvel ones, Stranger Things, House of Cards - BoJack Horseman is legitimately worthy of all the praise it is given. In fact, it's under-praised in my opinion.

Great show. As long as the writing stays strong keep it coming!

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Re: [TV] BoJack Horseman

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Postby Reichu » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:44 am

Agreed. Everything I've seen written about BoJack was well-deserved word-of-mouth. I'm really glad it's been able to keep going like this. I remember putting on Season 1 when it first came out out of curiosity 's sake and being first charmed, then blown away.

My calendar is marked for S4! I was already feeling impatient for summer to end, but now?


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