Non-Geek TV From The Geek Perspective: BoJack Horseman

Gabbing Geek What We're Watching

There’s a lot of TV out there, and some of it looks like a typical Hollywood satire with talking cartoon animals before becoming something much deeper.

Yes, this time we cover BoJack Horseman.


What’s the premise?

Washed up former 90s sitcom star BoJack Horseman is having a memoir ghost written while going about his day to day life.

What’s the appeal?

A cartoon for grown-ups featuring talking animals that do drugs and have awful lives?  Well, some people seem to dig that sort of thing and then they learn something about the show.  Besides, the voice cast includes TV favorites like Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, and Paul F. Tompkins.

Anything stand out?

The show…well, it’s much deeper than it appears to be.  BoJack starts off as your standard Hollywood, washed-up former celebrity type, and there doesn’t seem to be much to the show since it combines cartoon animals doing animal things and the basic Hollywood satire we’ve all seen a million times before.

Then the show changes and gets a hell of a lot better.

See, BoJack is an intensely lonely guy.  He comes across as self-centered and obsessed with the spotlight, but the more we see, the more we learn BoJack is an incredibly depressed man, er horse.  He has few friends, if any, and gets little to no respect.  He doesn’t even seem to like himself.  His best hope at first appears to be getting his ghost writer Diane to fall for him.  Diane is currently dating BoJack’s neighbor, Mr. Peanutbutter, a dog who had an incredibly similar show to BoJack’s, but Mr. Peanutbutter is seemingly the opposite of BoJack in terms of personality.  That actually turns out to be a lie, and Mr. Peanutbutter’s unending upbeat optimism he just something he does to ward off his own nihilism.

Diane and BoJack actually get each other.  Season One ends with BoJack confessing he just wanted Diane to like him.  She simply says, “I know.”  And while most of the characters seem to end the season in a good place, BoJack is still alone.

Any downsides?

You have to go through the run-of-the-mill Hollywood silliness before you get to the good stuff described above.  It’s tempting to quit.  Characters voiced by Arnett and Paul might as well be cartoon versions of characters they are better known for from shows like Arrested Development and Breaking Bad, but the wait is worth it.

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