Show: Bojack Horseman.
Created by: Raphael Bob-Waksberg.
Produced by: Netflix Original.
This is a Netflix Original online streaming animated sitcom about a has-been television actor as he attempts to cling to the fading wisps of his glory and still be something.
From a technical aspect, the animation style reflects the premise of the show with character designs by cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt, whose style has a good combination of stylized cartoonish features to reflect the humour but at the same time just enough realistic detail to make them just a little gritty. An appealing style to work a dramedy type show through.
The first half of the first season focuses more on the humour of what this unique world and colorful cast can offer and takes a bit to pick up into the sudden more serious dramatic overtones, but the evolution of the subtle overarching plot that begins to develop over time merges the serious and the silly into a riveting story.
Bojack as the lead expresses the heart and theme of the show, and is likable in a drunken cynical sort of way, being voiced by Will Arnett who really captures the heart and identity of Bojack.
The adventures of the side characters such as his roommate Todd (Aaron Paul), his manager Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), his autobiographer and courtesy straight-man Diane (Alison Brie) and Mr. Peanutbutters (Paul F. Tompkins) acts as both a great foil and reflection for Bojack, yet at the same time also well-established enough to stand on their own from time to time in subplots and also help to balance out Bojack’s more depressive qualities.
The second season is where the show really shines, embracing its dramedy to the core, and not as episodic as its first season. With its overarching narrative structure being more prominent, the side characters are given even more space and identity separate from Bojack, particularly Diane. The characters are challenged more as individuals, with such a serious character growth and development, that they are made very real and very compelling to viewers, and some of the best characters to come out of an adult animation.
This is a surprisingly very moving television show that touches on some serious themes and life lessons with an ending that will usually surprises you. It embodies both the comedy and tragedy of life and the various personalities, each uniquely different from the other, living together in this world of ridiculousness and cynicism and for a time the spectator gladly lives this with them.
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