If you appreciate the tragic charisma of the wonderful Mr Will Arnett (Gob from Arrested Development) then I’m pretty confident you should check out one of his Netflix exclusive offerings, Bojack Horseman.
Arnett plays the titular Bojack, a washed up, ex-tv sensation whose fame dwindled after his family friendly sitcom ‘Horsing Around’ was cancelled in the late nineties. Now he spends his days drunk, being bitter and trying to chase the fame of his younger years.
Bojack drinks, abuses people, takes drugs and just generally wallows in self-pity whilst neglecting the few people he can just about tolerate; his housemate Todd, played by Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul and his biographer/love interest Diane, played by Community’s Alison Brie (oh Alison Brie…)
The supporting cast of characters consists mainly of his feline agent, and canine arch-rival Mr Peanut Butter, one a workaholic and the other an effortlessly successful optimist, and they both drive Bojack mad by representing everything he isn’t. Add to this his on-screen daughter who has grown into a drug-addled liability and you start to see just why he’s such an unhappy dude.
The show is an acid wash of neon-pastel colours, giving it a kinda eighties vibe, oh and did I mention that all the characters are anthropomorphic talking animals? No? Well, they are, and it just lends to the shows twisted aesthetic. It’s not quite Disney on crack, think more along the lines of Disney on cocaine and anti-depressants.
The humour in Bojack should be somewhat familiar to anyone who appreciates other such adult themed cartoons like Archer, albeit slower paced, in that it utilises surrealism in a somewhat realistic setting, whilst adding in elements of the truly bizarre. For instance, Bojack’s agent having a relationship with a character that is definitely three children in a trenchcoat, or Bojack’s theft of the letter D from the Hollywood sign leading the town to be referred to as Hollywoo forevermore without anyone really questioning it, it’s a very particular type of humour. One episode in particular had me in stitches as they kept finding new ways to refer to auto-erotic asphyxiation, blue-faced blastoff anyone?
If anything described above sounds like it could float your boat, you should definitely check it out, seeing as it’s the creators first attempt at a TV show it impresses even more; taking the usual sitcom tropes and turning them on their head to create a unique show that’s full of charm and surprises.
Bojack Horseman is available to watch on Netflix