Wednesday, September 3, 2014

BoJack Horseman

BoJack Horseman is a pleasant surprise.  It starts off as an adult cartoon comedy and then somewhere along the way, without us realizing it, it turns into something darker, more serious, and ultimately very satisfying.  BoJack (Will Arnett) is about a washed up 90s family sitcom star who starts re-evaluating his life when Diane (Allison Brie- Annie from Community :D), a ghostwriter, pens his life story.  

The first three episodes are probably the weakest of the bunch but do stay with the show, the payoff is worth it.  In a lot of ways, it reminds me of the fourth season of Arrested Development in which each episode builds on each other and it's only when you're a few episodes in that things start making sense and you start getting the jokes.  BoJack is full of dark humor and has lots of zany anthropomorphic jokes.  One of my favorites are the bird paparazzi.  There's also a lot of jokes around Hollywood (Hollywoo') culture and some around internet culture a la Buzzfeed.

The characters, despite most of them being deeply flawed, are all immensely interesting and I was surprised by how much I grew to care for all of them.  Among the main characters, there's also Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), BoJack's intense, overworked and underappreciated agent; Todd (Aaron Paul!), BoJack's loyal, slacker housemate; and the always sunny and optimistic Mr. Peanutbutter  (Paul Tompkins), BoJack's rival.  Among the more minor characters, there's the hilariously constantly panicked publisher Mr. Penguin (Patton Oswalt).

BoJack is really at its best when it upends traditional storytelling and has some of its best episodes towards the end of the season.  Some of my favorites are: Say Anything- in which we learn a lot more about Princess Carolyn, who goes from someone who's hard to care for to a fully developed, complicated character, The Telescope- in which BoJack visits an old friend and his past, and Downer Ending- which goes to emotional depths you'd never expect the show would be capable of early on.