In one of the latest of Netflix’s original series, BoJack Horseman stands out as an oddity. For anyone who sees the advertisements of an alcoholic horse past his prime, they expect to see a Family Guy clone, just with a lot of horse puns.
While the horse puns are in full effect in the 12 episodes of the first season, more so than Family Guy, there is also dark character development and continuity between the episodes. At times, the story can be stirring enough to draw comparisons to FX’s acclaimed Louie.
The star, BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett) is living a life of regression, 20 years after his All-in-family-style sitcom, Horsin’ Around ended. Since then he’s found little to do other than drink and live a shameless party lifestyle. The season centres around his hopes that by writing a biography about himself, it might bring him back into the celebrity spotlight.
The cast is well rounded as well, featuring Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie and Aaron Paul to name a few. The misadventures that the show surrounds aren’t as loosely tied together as other cartoons and seems like they are strong enough stories to be stand on their own without cutaways and flashbacks.
While the series may come off as a bit juvenile at first and come out of the gate a bit slow (get it?), if you’re willing to put in the effort to get to about episode seven, then the following five episodes will be watched in rapid succession, guaranteed. When it stops relying on vomit jokes, the show becomes a touching tribute to love, work and finding a purpose in life. Besides, who doesn’t want to see a cow working at a burger joint, or a penguin running a publishing company? It’s a crazy animalistic world, and it makes the setting of Los Angeles ripe for satire and off-the-wall writing.
BoJack Horseman may not be the next Simpsons, but it will definitely have a cult following, and hopefully will get renewed for a second season by Netflix. He’s got more charm than he deserves, and let’s hope that’ll save him from a trip to the glue factory.