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TV review: ‘BoJack Horseman’ good for a peek at least, guilty pleasure at most

The first season of 'Bojack Horseman,' starring Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Amy Sedaris, and Alison Brie, is available for streaming on Netflix. Credit: Promotional poster for 'Bojack Horseman'

The first season of ‘BoJack Horseman,’ starring Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Amy Sedaris and Alison Brie, is available for streaming on Netflix.
Credit: Promotional poster for ‘BoJack Horseman’

Netflix has done it again with another original series. But instead of orange jumpsuits and contraband, humans and animals live in a perfect fantasy in the animated “BoJack Horseman.”

BoJack Horseman, voiced by Will Arnett, is a sweater-wearing anthropomorphic horse. After being a childhood star in the fictional ‘90s hit “Horsin’ Around” whose existence is a vacant shell of the childhood star (he starred in the fictional ‘90s hit “Horsin’ Around”) he once was. He lives in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills with his free-loading human assistant, Todd (voiced by “Breaking Bad”’s Aaron Paul), his feline agent and on-again, off-again booty call, Princess Carolyn (voiced by Amy Sedaris), and hangs with his human ghostwriter, Diane (voiced by Alison Brie), in hopes of finishing a memoir to recharge his fame.

I am tempted to compare it to Seth MacFarlane cartoons like “Family Guy” or “American Dad” but the truth is, it’s much different.

None of the characters get along, yet a lot of them are sleeping with each other (animal-human combos not excluded). Most of the characters have either a troubled past, an alcohol problem or both, and there is an influx of profanity used by the characters in every episode. But it differs from typical raunchy cartoons in the way that there is a past, present and future with the characters.

“Family Guy” episodes are their own separate entity, and while there are a fair share of throw-away jokes in “BoJack Horseman” like there are in MacFarlane cartoons, there is some continuation in the series. Viewers gain an insight into the horse and we can see him develop throughout the episodes and move forward toward his goals. Watchers even learn about Diane’s daddy issues through flashbacks to her childhood. Though the continuation of the plot is minute with the characters’ relapses into a spiral of drugs, alcohol and self-loathing in the foreground, there was thought put into the storyline.

Despite how hard it was for me to swallow the fact that animals and humans carry on sexual relationships, I managed to finish the one and only season on Netflix in about a day and a half.

For me, “BoJack Horseman” is the horrible accident on the side of the highway from which you just can’t tear your eyes away. Like I said before, there is some depth to the show, and it was interesting to see what sort of washed-up guest star they’d bring on the show (including Wallace Shawn, whose only contribution to Hollywood was the line “inconceivable” from the movie “The Princess Bride”), but I really did not think it was all that funny. What kept me hooked was how bizarre the whole thing was.

I encourage everyone to take a peek at it, but I must warn you — like most other shows on Netflix, you might find yourself up all night, watching the train that is “BoJack Horseman” derail.

But once you notice you’re missing class or skipping meals, please log off. This show really isn’t worth it.


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