- Critics Rating
BoJack Horseman (seasons 1-4) Review
Imagine a show set in a world where animals are humanoids who co-exist with humans. This bizarre context itself is enough to tickle anyone’s fascination, right? BoJack Horseman is a sitcom that just fits this bill. The everyday antics of its protagonist Bojack, a half-man-half horse, and his acquaintances is BoJack’s elementary theme. In the beginning, you may write off Bojack as another dull animated comedy show like the dozen others (Read the Simpsons) that plague our screens, but Bojack is much more than that.
In all fairness Bojack does start off as a comedy and not a bad one at that but it is only in the later act of season one that the show goes from being a show filled with laughable animal gags/puns to one with great depth and understanding of the darkest human emotions.
Yes, an animated show about a reverse-centaur goes on to explore the grey areas of our psyche to reveal startling behaviors. Bojack is funny, at times hilarious, but its comedy stems from the meaningless and empty lives of its characters or more accurately put, from its protagonist.
The show captures loneliness, depression, anxiety and self-destruction in an acute manner. It gives a glimpse into celebrity culture, particularly what a has-been means in America, and what they go through. It also makes a strong case against child actors by finding similarities with the definitions of child labor. Child actors growing up in America amid much fanfare turn out to be usually addicted to drugs or worse dead at a young age and Bojack tries to show you why.
The show gains momentum through season one and the subsequent ones turn so dark that you can’t help gasping for air. This 20-min animated show will break you in an unexpected manner and in a way that you will forever cherish because you will have witnessed an important chapter in TV history.
One of the highlights of Bojack Horseman that impresses you most is the character development. It’s hard not to be amazed witnessing the seemingly unimportant characters reveal the layers of their personalities as the seasons progress. No character is insignificant in this show that treads on threads of existentialism to make you question everything around you.
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The show doesn’t shy away from showing the ugly side of life and how different people deal with depression. And in that it makes itself unique. This could be one of the only few shows who have managed to get the ‘existential crisis’ part relatable. I cannot fathom how a show with such dark undertones can still have enough moments of laughter to call itself a comedy. Rarely does anything come by that can boast of being so unabashedly honest about human emotions and yet be able to infuse comedy in it. This show will shock you and may leave you in despair but it will leave you in awe and asking for more. A must watch, especially for people who don’t take the animated medium of storytelling seriously.