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Tyler

BoJack Horseman (Netflx)

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The second season of Netflix's talking animals show debuted on Friday, and I had burned through all 12 episodes by Saturday night. I think it's easily the best Netflix Original show, although I wasn't a fan of it initially. It combines silly jokes and trenchant insights into depression, often simultaneously, in a way I can't recall seeing anywhere else.

 

Todd VanDerWerff calls it a worthy Mad Men replacement.

 

 

It was possible to simply sit back and let Mad Men flow over you as a series of surface-level pleasures. The sets and costumes and general look of the show were so potent that they could be enjoyed in and of themselves. But there was always so much going on behind Mad Men's exterior, so much questioning of the human condition and ruminating on the meaning of life, that the deeper viewers dug, the more rewarded they would be.

 

Similarly, if you merely want to watch a goofy comedy brimming with gags about animals who act like people, well, BoJack will oblige. But if you want to go further than that, there's plenty there to discuss. This is a series about a bunch of characters who all might suffer from depression but never seem able to put their fingers on what ails them (or simply don't want to put their fingers on what ails them), but it's also a series about how the feeling of being broken helps them bond.

 

We often watch TV to witness those bonds being formed, for the way incomplete characters can make each other whole simply by existing in proximity to each other. What's so daring about BoJack is the way it suggests that this type of relationship is both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes, when you're in a depressive state, what you need is someone with whom to wallow. But at other times, what you need is someone to call you on your shit. On BoJack Horseman, these two states of being are occasionally one and the same, and the result is both thrilling and dangerous.

Edited by Tyler

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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The Vulture Podcast discussed this show on their most recent episode. It inspired me to give the show a spin. Currently a couple of episodes into the first season and I'm really digging it.

Edited by NBooth

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Second season is just as good as first season. Just excellent work here.

 

The prelude crescendo of Bojack's spinning face with horns in the background and final fade to Mondrian geometry of his pad ranks among our era's most finely executed TV transmissions.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Fixed that for you...

 

I finished the second season this morning. This is, by some measure, the best TV butt comedy out there.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Jen Chaney: Deep Down, BoJack Horseman Is a Hopeful Show

Though various works are referenced in each pop-culturally attuned episode — from Charlie Chaplin films to Fuller House — BoJack Horseman reminds me most consistently of the two most influential animated franchises of the past 30 years: The Simpsons and Pixar movies, both of which project a sense of optimism that BoJack does not embrace nearly as openly. But in small but significant moments, it does, cautiously and tentatively, embrace it a little.

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Season four does not offer anything as immediately impressive as season three's underwater episode, and it shows some of the strain most shows hit at this point in this run (at least major character gets an arc that feels undercooked). But it's still hilarious, and, when everything comes together, it cuts right to the bone.

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