If you’re the type of person that becomes emotionally irate over lines like “Juice controls the media,” I can’t imagine you’ll agree Bojack Horseman is the best TV Drama. If you give the brilliant show the proper commitment however, you’ll understand how context works, and why it’s important to give characters their own voices.
The creators of Southpark have been quoted as saying that if their television show wasn’t animated, then it wouldn’t get away with anything. Anyone who watches Southpark knows that under the political incorrectness exists messages of logic and morality. I don’t expect everyone to understand or agree with that, and that’s okay. You’re missing out. The same rings true for Bojack Horseman.
The first season of Bojack Horseman was good – not great. It’s one of the shows that the more you progress through, the more you get the “feels.” Each episode delves deeper into the mind of a Hollywood television actor, in this case, Bojack Horseman, an anthropomorphic horse, played by Will Arnett. I’m going to spare excruciating detail and spoilers, because it’s required of you to fully experience Bojack Horseman in all grandeur.
Currently only two seasons in, the first season introduces us to Mr. Horseman, a washed up star who’s lost in the world. The guy runs into trouble, makes terrible relationship decisions, and has otherwise completely lost his spot in the world. His dream to star in a certain film seemed unlikely since childhood, his parents literally ignored him, and he’s constantly forced to make decisions he doesn’t want to make – and some that he makes on his own, depending on your frame of reference.
All the money Horseman has can’t buy him happiness. Part of his journey so far is finding happiness in other ways, like meeting with his cancer ridden ex-best friend and apologizing for abandoning him twenty years prior during a time of need. Even then, Bojack learns differences among closure, selfishness, and authenticity. The quasi prejudice horse-man slowly discovers slivers of peace toward the end of the first season, but not without inflicting pain on himself and those who surround him.
Even though it’s a slow start, the hard hitting season finale makes it all the worth while. You’ll actually feel something for cartoon characters, even the walking talking animals, because they’re all relatable.
The second season of Bojack Horseman carries powerful weight and shows the audience how story structure, set up, and pay off works. Normally, I don’t cut slack for the first half of a movie or television show if it’s just “good enough” because of how it’ll “pay off,” later. Story tellers are entrusted to make each act equally impactful. If not, their job is incomplete. The show runners did an impressive job making the first season one of the best in history regarding set up.
I dare not judge, but if the word “impactful” makes your eyes itch, I imagine your desire to watch Bojack Horseman doesn’t exist in this realm or any other. Either way, we’re moving on.
Characters that are in the background, barely spoken to, pictures, signs, and stories from season one all reappear in the now second half of Bojack Horseman, either to haunt or present themselves as obstacles Bojack and friends must overcome. Some things are as small as restaurant chains creating commotion or as big as missed opportunities finding true love.
After a while, you’ll realize the political incorrect absurdist dramedy you have been watching is deeper than you thought. If you go in thinking you’re going to listen to racist jokes devoid of wit and swamped with foul language, then you’ll never know that Bojack Horseman is poking fun at you behind a silver screen.
If you need brass tax, the reason why Bojack Horseman is the best television drama can be summarized in a few words. The show doesn’t take itself seriously when it knows it shouldn’t. It only takes itself to heart when it has something to say, which is normally to be accepting of one another, because not doing so will lead to a catastrophic domino effect destroying lives everywhere.
It’s not afraid to talk about inequalities, those who are lazy, the drunks, the druggies, the sociopaths, the mentally abusive, and everything in between. The show, a cartoon, correctly balances witty dialogue and uses exposition in a way to rail into itself, creating humor in doing so. When it’s not talking at us for humors sake, it’s providing the audience with visuals suggesting humor and action, which according to film theory, is the way it should be done.
To clarify, some shows tell us everything. They’re thirty-to-sixty-minute talk-fests to be easily ingested even if you’re out of the room taking a crap. Those shows seeking your approval do not have respect for the gestation period after you consume it. That’s the period you should be reflecting on what you just learned – the point of film and storytelling. Looking at you Prime Time Television.
BJHM respects us, showing us and telling us, because it cares about what it has to say. In the end, that’s more important than whether or not you agree with the messages it wants to deliver. Respect in how stories are told to us is everything.
That’s why Bojack Horseman remains the unrivaled television masterpiece.
Bojack Horseman Season 1 and 2 are currently available for review with a valid Netflix subscription.
IMAGES IN ARTICLE CREDIT: www.bojackhorseman.com
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: www.bojackhorseman.com