Greetings, Bojack Horseman is an animated comedy series created for Netflix by Raphael Bob-Waksberg which ran for 6 seasons and a holiday special from 2014 to 2020. Some rather big names are attached to this show including Arrested Development’s Will Arnett as the titular Bojack Horseman, Amy Sedaris as Princess Carolyn and Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as Todd Chavez. Comedian Paul F Tompkins plays the over excitable Mr Peanutbutter and Alison Brie, notable for her leading roles in GLOW, Community and as a Trudy Campbell in Mad Men, stars as the intellectual but depression prone Diane Nguyen. The music was composed by Jesse Novak.
The series is set in a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals live together and is mostly located in Hollywoo, California. The naming convention of Hollywoo is the result of an ongoing joke in which the ‘D’ from the Hollywood sign is stolen prior to the events of the series. It follows the exploits of Bojack Horseman, a washed up and alcoholic actor who’s fame had reached its peak in the 1990s when he stared in the celebrated sitcom, ‘Horsin’ Around’. Now in the 2010s, Bojack is floating aimlessly in relative pop culture obscurity and decides he wants to be relevant again. At this point his on and off again girlfriend as well as his talent agent, Princess Carolyn, suggests that he write a memoir that will get him back into the public eye. While hosting one of his many parties in his multi-million dollar Californian home, Bojack encounters Diane for the first time.
Diane is a ghostwriter who agrees to write Bojack’s biography after he discovers that she wrote one for his childhood hero, the racing horse Secretariat. So begins a complicated and often difficult or fraught relationship between the two. Diane’s work eventually brings Bojack back to the spotlight and he starts being offered starring roles again after his career seemingly declined over the last decade. The series often explores the wacky, off the wall misadventures of friends Todd Chavez and Mr Peanutbutter. Todd is a freeloader who slept on Bojack’s couch for years after crashing one of his parties and never appears to be motivated to leave and start his own life. Mr Peanutbutter is optimistic and enthusiastic, a direct inverse of Horseman, and was once his sitcom rival as he stared in his own television show opposite Bojack’s ‘Horsin’ Around’.
The series is ultimately about the self-destructive and self-loathing behaviour of Bojack and his numerous attempts to better himself, although often failing in his noble endeavours. There are loads of clever little background jokes or subtle puns that often fly under the radar and the show also has its fair share of famous cameos or voice actors amongst its cast. Bob-Waksberg doesn’t currently have many projects in his filmography but he did some writing with the Horseman’s cartoonist, Lisa Hanawalt, on Tuca and Bertie. This was another Netflix animated show that had some of the Horseman Team behind it. It only ran for one season before a swift cancellation but despite its short-lived run it did receive critical acclaim. After watching it myself, I admittedly came away disappointed and consider Bojack Horseman to be leagues ahead of it. I would definitely, however, recommend Bojack Horseman itself if you are looking for something smart, funny and not afraid to embrace darker themes or display more serious moments.
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And that's me on the set of Dances With Wolves. They gave me a small part; I played "Throws Like a Girl."