Netflix original show bridges gap between comedy and sadness

Image courtesy Netflix

Image courtesy Netflix

By Emily Lowes, ’19

Bojack Horseman has been acclaimed as one of Netflix’s best original series. Writer and creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg credits its success to the way it parallels real life. There are no neat endings on Bojack Horseman. The episodes seem to end abruptly and there is rarely a heartwarming conclusion. The plot twists for the most part are rooted in events set in motion during past episodes. Bojack, voiced by Will Arnett, repeatedly makes selfish decisions and suffers from the consequences.

Bojack Horseman approaches topics that few cartoons dare touch on; sadness. It’s the cynical worldview from a has-been star struggling to find contentment. The audience watches as the main character, a horse named Bojack, spirals in and out of depression for two seasons. It’s a bit of a mid-life crisis piece, but the overbearing theme of feeling out of place connects easily with teens. This feeling of connection remains strong throughout. The show has a melancholy note to it, as Bojack searches for a place he can belong, to no avail.

Humor, however dark, is also prevalent in Bojack Horseman. There’s a mix of cheap slapstick jokes, cynical laughter and deeply ingrained wit. It’s a funny, even hilarious at times show, but once the laughter fades away the show leaves no room for feel good softness.

Bojack Horseman is rated TV-MA for drugs, sex and profanity. The show generally portrays alcoholism as a legitimate issue, but it is occasionally thrown around as a casual buzz word. Hard drugs and addictions are often used for cheap humor. Causal relationships are used mainly to show the stark differences between love and sex.

Overall, Bojack Horseman is a clever, dark show. It’s perfect for a Netflix binge, and just in time for the 3rd season, which is coming in 2016.