It’s safe to say Seinfeld set the tone for the generation of television comedy that followed it. And since its debut in the early ’90s, audiences have developed an addiction to self-obsessed, mentally ill, destructive, crass and ultimately friggin’ hilarious anti-heroes.
Just looking at the success of your Arrested Developments, your It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphias, your Larry Sanderses (that one was tough), and, of course, your Curb Your Enthusiasms, even your *shudder* Two And A Half Mens, it becomes apparent that we’re a sucker for arseholes.
So it’s only appropriate then that BoJack Horseman, the animated, alcoholic, horse hero / former star of ’90s, Cosby-style sitcom Horsin’ Around has returned on Netflix for a second, pun-soaked, and already gloriously celebrated, season.
For the uninitiated, the concept for BJH is as ridiculous as its title. Set in a Hollywood (sorry, “Hollywoo”) that is a mixture of talking animals and humans, big BoJack is a washed up, former TV star, attempting to reignite his smouldering career whilst staying true to his celebrity lifestyle and cynical mouth. Amongst the witty dialogue between the show’s stars (Will Arnett as BoJack, as well as a supporting cast of Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul and many other awesome names), the show revolves arounds BJ’s constant spiraling out of control, as well as swathes of more animal puns (aka anthropomorphism for those of you playing Scrabble at home), both verbal and visual, than you can wave a carrot at. Personal highlights include a secretary gecko getting stationary uncontrollably glued to its hands, or paparazzi birds crashing into pane glass windows – they all serves as reminders that satire doesn’t need to take itself too seriously to still be effing funny.
And that’s why Season 2 of BJH kicks so many goals. Yes, it tears shreds out of every show-biz stereotype with terrific, intellectual jabs – but it’s also just plain silly. For example, when a group of foxes are shown firing guns from a… FOX HOLE. Okay, maybe I’m not nailing the description, but believe me – it’s hillllarious.
And that’s the show’s ultimate drawcard – its versatility. Whether you’re up for witty word/visual play, brutally black humour, or you just dig a dumb chuckle, BoJack is the ass for you. And just like most quality animated series, there are subtle elements that evoke childhood nostalgia for when cartoons ruled our comedy world.
Seinfeld‘s appeal lay in the fact that it reminded viewers they aren’t nearly as self-obsessed as the characters they’re watching. BoJack‘s appeal lies in that despite these modern times, when it seems like everyone is getting closer and closer to that horrible Seinfeldian existence – where people are allowed to take their dogs on planes and it’s a fashionable thing to dress like a bum – we could be a lot worse. And probably will be.
Plus, every time Mr. Peanut Butter (BoJack’s Labrador frenemy) articulates his hatred for the postman, I just about wet my pants.
BoJack Horseman is definitely a Netflix series worth saddling up for . See what I did there? I’ll show myself out.
Words: David Goodley