BoJack Horseman is an American animated comedy-drama series that premiered on Netflix in August 2014. The show’s main character – a human-like horse named BoJack Horseman was the star of a sitcom series in the 1990s, but now he is out of all that ‘Hollywood fame’ and complains about everything in life. He plans on giving a huge comeback with his autobiography written by a human girl named Diane Nguyen.
The show was renewed for six seasons, and the final season was released on the same platform in January 2018. The first 5 seasons of the series each had 12 episodes, and the sixth and final seasons had two parts of 8 episodes, thus having a total of 76 episodes for the whole show.
The showrunners also released a special Christmas episode in December 2014, which makes 77 episodes in total. The running time of each episode is around 25 to 27 minutes.
Cast & Crew:
The show was created by the American writer and comedian Raphael Bob-Waksberg. He also performed as a voice artist for various characters in the show. The series also stars the voices of various artists like Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, and Aaron Paul. Arnett is a Canadian-American actor and comedian who voiceovers for the show’s main character – Bojack.
He has a deep bass voice, which landed him as a voice actor in famous films like Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ratatouille, Monsters vs. Aliens, Despicable Me, Dolittle, and Batman in the Movie Lego franchise. In 2021, he won the Critics’ Choice Super Awards for ‘Best Voice Actor in an Animated Series’ for BoJack Horseman.
The background music for the show was composed by the American music composer Jesse Novak, whose other notable works include The Mindy Project, The Baby-sitter’s club, and SuperStore. He is the brother of actor and producer B.J. Novak. The title theme music for the show was composed by the American musician and producer Patrick Carney along with his uncle Ralph Carney.
The hit ending theme – “Back in the 90s,” was composed by an American alternative rock band called the Grouplove. The show was produced by three production houses – Tornante Television, Boxer vs. Raptor, and ShadowMachine while Netflix acquired the distribution rights. The illustration work was done by cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt.
The show’s main character is BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett), an anthropomorphic horse who is a cynical alcoholic actor in his 50s. He starred in a 90s sitcom series called Horsin’ around and was a very successful actor during those times. He slowly began to become bitter and depressed and started loathing Hollywood.
He is shown to be caring and insightful but also has a self-doubting mindset and is always feeling lonely. His need to be approved by everyone and his guilt over his destructive actions make him a devastated character. The journey of BoJack slowly breaking this chain is the outline of this show.
Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) is a pink Persian cat who is seen as BoJack’s agent. Like everyone who is working, she too is struggling to manage her personal life and hectic work life. She is projected as a character who is a lot relatable with working women, or women in general, as Carolyn goes through all phases of life in this show. She has multiple miscarriages and finally finds a family with adoption.
Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie) is an ignored human intellectual feminist who is always misunderstood and pushed back. She works as a ghostwriter for BoJack’s autobiography. Diane and BoJack build a strong friendship throughout the show, even though BoJack initially has a crush on her. Diane’s character deals with depression, a failed marriage, and how mental health affects a person’s body image too.
Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) is an optimistic Retriever who was once BoJack’s acting rival. Despite the rivalry, Mr. Peanutbutter respects BoJack’s work and personal opinions and has a huge admiration for him. He also has a strong friendship with Todd Chavez, who complements Mr. Peanutbutter’s optimism with his freakish behavior.
Todd Chavez (Aaron Paul) is a jobless human who ended up in BoJack’s house after party years back and never left. His character is shown to be wild and reckless as he figures his life out. He tries very hard to be independent by working with Mr. Peanutbutter, but all his efforts are in vain as BoJack is kinda obsessed over their friendship and sabotages all his efforts. After realizing the toxicity between them, Todd leaves BoJack.
The show is set in an alternate universe where there are anthropomorphic animals and humans and many different beings living in harmony. The show mainly takes place in a place called Hollywood where BoJack Horseman – a washed-up sitcom star of the 1990s, lives. His show – Horsin Around, revolves around a Horse who takes care of three orphaned human children.
He was the star of the show and was very famous during the airing of the show, but it got canceled in the middle. His professional rival was another actor Mr. Peanutbutter, who is a Labrador Retriever and starred in the show Mr. Peanutbutter’s House.
In the present, Bojack is out of fame and is always cynical and depressed about life. He keeps on complaining about everything and everyone around him, and he has no optimism toward life.
He plans on giving a huge comeback to fame with his autobiography, for which he seeks the help of Diane Nguyen, who agrees to act as his ghostwriter. Parallely, he deals with his alcohol addiction and destructive nature by which he hurts himself and everyone around him.
His agent Princess Carolyn, who is an ambitious Persian cat, deeply yearns for a successful career and goes through so many obstacles in life. Elsewhere, Todd, who lives with BoJack, is a freakish jobless human who has potential but is dependent on BoJack for too long that even when Todd decides to move out, BoJack does everything he can to make him stay with him. How BoJack deals with his alcohol addiction and his destructive behavior and how every character grows into their character arc is the plotline of BoJack Horseman.
Though the show started off with mixed reviews from critics as it only seemed like an animated comedy-drama in the beginning, everyone’s opinions immediately changed as the series progressed. The show dealt with mental issues, alcoholism, depression, self-loathing, selfish and destructive behavior, miscarriages, childhood trauma, teenage pregnancy, drugs, sex, and many more sensitive topics.
The series also addresses social and political issues like mass shootings, whether or not people should easily have access to guns, sexual abuse, harassment, sexuality, and much more. The series was rated as one the best shows to be aired on Netflix in 2019 as it talked about so many serious topics in a hilarious but responsible way.
It also was one of the first shows to give rise to a new sub-genre called sitcoms, which is a combination of both sadness and comedy, much like romcoms, which is a combination of romance and comedy. The show’s characters were written with so much care, and their character arcs had been developed into more mature and solid personalities.
All the characters are so different from each other and still manage to bring together a life that reflects reality. Bojack is complicated, selfish, and cynical at the beginning of the show, and we can clearly see how different he evolves to be as the show progresses.
Diane is almost the opposite of Bojack, even though they have gone through the same trauma in life. On the outside, she seems to be this easy girl, but on the inside, she is this complex human who yearns for happiness.
Princess Carolyn is a perfect mix of complex and chill. She does things everyone else is afraid to do. She is brave and honest and balances the show very well. Mr. Peanutbutter is extremely soft and kind. He is loyal and always worries about others’ opinions. Todd is the one person in the show who does uncomplicated things.
Even though his life seems hopeless, he never stops trying. He is the character that teaches us that it is okay to fail, it is okay to be miserable, and still love the way things move. All the characters here are so beautifully written and animated you simply cannot hate even a single one of them.
The dialogues are written in such a way that they are so eloquent and entertaining. The creators of the show have done an extraordinary job, and the animation is just perfect. Every episode carries so much weight that there is a subtle message every viewer understands, even though the tone is comedic and humorous. Overall, the show is a must-watch for all of us.
BoJack Horseman is an honest portrayal of life and the struggles of this world.
Our Rating: ⭐️ (4.5/5).
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