Saturday, August 6, 2016

TV Show Review: Bojack Horseman (Season 3)

Hard-drinking, formerly famous Bojack Horseman returns for a third season to skew the Oscar nominating process and touch on sensitive issues. Will Arnett voices the washed-up anthropomorphic horse who recently starred as Secretariat, or at least was computer-generated to be in the film. His agent Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) works to keep him employed despite his abject laziness and commitment to partying instead of working as an actor. His freeloading roommate Todd (Aaron Paul) pursues various business propositions with a total cluelessness that skews faux pas and leads to little profit. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Peanut Butter (Paul F. Tompkins) and Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie) struggle with their relationship as they deal with an unwanted pregnancy, injuries, and poor career choices. New to this season is Bojack's publicist committed to his Oscar campaign, Ana Spanikopita (Angela Bassett). A romantic relationship blossom between the promiscuous horse and his domineering publicist, but they are fraught with the shallowness of the industry.

There are some pretty funny episodes like a silent one undersea where Bojack attempts to return a seahorse to its father, an entire episode on the phone with a newspaper saleswoman, and a bender flashing-forward through blackouts. From the vapidness of celebrities using abortions for fame to the violation of safe spaces to drug addiction, Bojack Horseman does not stray away from controversial issues while continuing to deliver silly animal puns about Hollywood, spoofed here as Hollywoo.   

More of the Bojack story is revealed as there are repeated flashbacks to 2007, which is quite a while ago now that we think about it. The relationship between Bojack and Princess Carolyn is expounded upon a bit more. Bojack reunites with his old costar, the recurring role of Sarah Lynn (Kristen Schaal) who turned from a cute child actor to a drug-abusing popstar with no real purpose in life. 

For the subversive cartoon genre, Bojack has done quite a bit to distinguish itself, especially carrying this genre for Netflix, which allows for all the episodes to be delivered at once. The messages get lost in the relentless jokes, but anyone looking for morales in cartoon may find something to enjoy in the wild narrative. The emotional core explores depression and success in between a sick beat to start off the credits and a goofy, catchy, close credits track. I'd recommend Bojack to those looking for a quick cartoon binge, not easily offended, and fans of talking horses. 

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