Story by Ty Smith, Managing Editor
Photo courtesy Netflix
The saddest show on television is a comedy, and now’s the perfect time to start binging it. “BoJack Horseman” is set to receive its final season in two parts, and the first of these drops Oct. 25.
“BoJack Horseman” is set in an alternate reality Hollywood where humans and anthropomorphic animals coexist. The main character, BoJack, is a washed-up, alcoholic horse humanoid who was also the star of a 90’s era sitcom.
Set after his career fell apart, “BoJack Horseman” follows his struggles to overcome his depressive episodes and find meaning in life again. He’s not alone, though—his ghostwriter Diane, quirky roommate Todd, former sitcom rival Mr. Peanutbutter and ex-girlfriend, and agent Princess Carolyn all do their best to help him while keeping their own lives in order.
If you think this sounds like some B-tier comedy that belongs in the same group as Family Guy or something on Adult Swim, I wouldn’t blame you. And for the first six episodes of the first season, that’s exactly what I thought it was as well. I’d almost turned it off for good, but as the series progressed, the characters grew and changed in scarily realistic ways. I often found myself relating to BoJack’s self-destructive tendencies more than I’d like to admit.
The show is possibly the best representation of depression and mental illness that I’ve seen on television yet, and somehow it manages to be equal parts witty and sad. It’s common for me to be laughing at some clever visual pun or witty wordplay in one scene, and trying not to cry the next. The show always finds the perfect balance between the two, so that it’s never too depressing to watch, or so funny that it loses its edge.
Throughout the seasons that are currently out, there are rarely any low points as far as the quality of writing or the voice acting. It’s one of the rare shows that I think fully takes advantage of the binge format that Netflix encourages. Storylines transition smoothly, and season arcs are easier to comprehend if the episodes are viewed in batches. An entire season can be binged in one or two days, and it’s one of the best ways to experience the show.
Unlike most television shows nowadays, “BoJack Horseman” manages to be funny and have full, deep characters who change and grow as the seasons go on. The animal puns are funny in that moment, but there are some scenes and arcs that will give you a gut punch to your emotions and leave you feeling it for weeks afterward. With the first half of the final season dropping soon (Oct. 25), it’s a good time to start watching so you can be all caught up when the final part drops on Jan. 31, 2020. “BoJack” has spent five seasons inching towards redemption, and if you start watching now, you can be there to see how it all ends.