I have a habit of watching TV shows, hating them, coming back three months later and then binging them from start to finish. Maybe there’s something psychological there to unpack, or maybe I just have commitment issues. That’s a roundabout way of me saying that I recently took up “BoJack Horseman,” the Netflix original series, for the second time.
Sometimes you just gotta power through the first bit to get to the good stuff.
A few months ago, a friend of mine told me to watch “BoJack.” I’m a fan of just about every adult cartoon I can get my hands on, so it made sense that I would like it. The first time I watched it, it just didn’t feel like anything new. It was as if Sterling Archer of “Archer” met Frank Gallagher of “Shameless” and just wasn’t as funny or complex. However, after a more recent run-in with a fan of the show, which just released its fourth season on Netflix, I was told to “power through the first half of season one and you’ll see what it’s all about.” So, from experience with “The Office” and “Parks and Rec,” I trusted this recommendation; sometimes you just gotta power through the first bit to get to the good stuff.
So I did. And now I’m halfway through season two and loving it. There’s nothing better than a good new comedy to get you through the procrastination stage of fall semester (don’t tell me you aren’t secretly looking for a new show to spend all your time watching rather than reading that 60 page European Union article).
The show definitely captures a narrative of the human struggle for success and meaning in life — even if the main character isn’t really human.
What is it that’s so great about BoJack, you ask? Well, he’s a horse, first of all. The weird, and somehow strangely awesome, thing about this show is that it manages to create a world that is entirely like our own with one small difference — animals are humanoid. Yeah. It’s weird. And humans date animals and horses date owls. And you just kind of accept it. It’s never explained or questioned — it’s just there. So anyways, we have BoJack, this washed out horse who starred in a famous 90’s sitcom and has since failed to regain any kind of momentum in his life. So where does he go from there? Well nowhere, for a while anyway. “BoJack Horseman”’s success, I feel, is in part due to its ability to keep you totally enthralled with this self-obsessed, emotionally unstable alcoholic and his day-to-day life, which mostly consists of sitting around the house and drinking, or yelling at the friend he lets sleep on his couch for the entirety of the show. There’s a part of me that grew to love the horse behind the horse (if I might) in the flashbacks to his childhood or in the moments when we see him struggling to win over the girl he loves. The show definitely captures a narrative of the human struggle for success and meaning in life — even if the main character isn’t really human.
What the show lacks in laugh-out-loud moments, it definitely makes up for in dark humor and relatability. So if you’re looking for an obscure cartoon about talking animals and the perils of life in Los Angeles, definitely give “BoJack Horseman” a shot, but make sure you get past the first half of season one.