I was late to the game in watching BoJack Horseman. By the time I started watching it, there was an immense level of hype and expectation that few shows could meet. Even though it was loaded with voice actors I love (Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, and Paul F. Tompkins, to name a few) and “aired” on a “network” (Netflix) that had come to exhibit a tremendous pedigree, I was still worried. BoJack was hyped as a game-changer, a hilarious comedy, and a can’t-miss show.
Mid-way through the first episode, I texted my friend. “BoJack gets better… right?”
“Oh yes,” he said. “Trust me.”
I finished the first episode. I watched the second. I watched the third. There were funny moments, sure, but the first 90 minutes of BoJack’s first season was, on a whole, unremarkable.
Then I started the fourth episode, and something clicked.
I don’t know whether the fourth episode is better than the first three, or I finally “got” what the show was doing, or it was a combination of these two factors, but that’s all it took. From the fourth episode, I was on board. I tore through the rest of the season, and every episode from the fourth on was a home run.
You see, unlike animated shows like The Simpsons or Family Guy (to name a few), BoJack doesn’t “reset” after each episode. More like a drama than a comedy, BoJack tells a single story, stretched over the season’s 5 hours. And while BoJack is routinely hilarious (especially my favorite character, Vincent Adultman), it’s dramatic and depressing in ways that few comedies dare to be. BoJack is a hybrid of a show, and a fascinating one at that.
Netflix has been on point with its original content recently, and BoJack is no exception. Not only is it one of the funniest cartoons currently “on the air,” but it’s also one of the smartest written shows, period. Anyone who subscribes to Netflix owes it to themselves to give this one a go. Be warned, though, that it takes a few episodes to find its feet. Once you get over that initial hurdle, though, it’s immediately apparent that BoJack Horseman’s first season is worth your time.