BoJack Horseman: Season 2 created by Ralph Bob-Waksberg (Netflix, Tornante Company, ShadowMachine Films)

Starring Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul, Amy Sedaris, and Paul F. Tompkins.

Surprisingly Human

Can you recall a tag line? Any tag line. Seriously. Not many are memorable. There are the classics, like “Just Do It.” But for the most part, tag lines represent vanilla pudding.

While most tag lines provide bland descriptions of a good or service, some stand out for distinct reasons. Animal Planet, for example, has the tag line, “surprisingly human.” It’s a good tag, albeit a little odd. It attempts to draw the connections between our quadrupedal brethren. It also fits considering the myriad of reality television now residing on the channel.

If I could re-appropriate that tag line, I would apply it to BoJack Horseman.

Not Your Average Animated Comedy

A comedy, detailing the life of a humanoid horse who starred in a 90s sitcom, BoJack Horseman offers an absurd setting for riveting drama and excellent humor.

The eponymous character, BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett) lives luxuriously off his past success, sharing his mansion with a freeloader, Todd (Aaron Paul) and veering between love and hate for his friends, a dog named Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) and Mr. Peanutbutter’s wife, Diane (Alison Brie).

While a preliminary assessment of the show would liken it to similar animated comedies such as The Simpsons and Family Guy, especially when it comes to humorous cutaways, BoJack Horseman has greater depth, making it one of the best shows I’ve seen in quite a while.

For starters, the premise is amazing. The Hollywood—more on this in a minute—of BoJack Horseman blends typical humans with a variety of animals. In addition to BoJack the horse, we see a cat as his agent, Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), the aforementioned dog, Mr. Peanutbutter. Keith Olbermann offers his talents as a talking head whale, Tom Jumbo-Grumbo on MSNBSea, as well as many animal cameos (Quentin Tarantula and Maggot Gyllenhal to name a couple).

Bringing these animals to life creates ample humor as the writers blend animal characteristics with the human aspects of the characters. A brief example of this aspect would include the scratch toy Princess Carolyn has on her desk at work.

Why You Should Stick Around

More interestingly, however, BoJack Horseman focuses specifically on depression and the permanent nature of choice. BoJack lives in the past, watching reruns of his hit sitcom and continually searching for ways to fill his happiness tank, to poor effect.

To emphasize this point, the writers keep the environment consistent with the choices made. We see sofas in BoJack’s house get ruined without replacement. Even funnier, season 1 sees the “D” from the Hollywood sign get stolen and ever since, the show refers to the region as, “Hollywoo.” Permanence permeates this environment.

Start watching BoJack Horseman because it’s really funny; stick around because the show provides incredible depth. It’s surprisingly human.

Verdict: 5 out of 5

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