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BoJack Horseman

BoJack Horseman
File:BoJack Horseman.jpg
BoJack Horseman promotional poster
Genre Animated sitcom
Adult animation
Comedy-drama
Adult
Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Voices of Will Arnett
Amy Sedaris
Alison Brie
Paul F. Tompkins
Aaron Paul
Theme music composer Patrick Carney featuring Ralph Carney
Opening theme "BoJack Horseman Theme"
Ending theme "Back in the 90's (Bojack's Theme)" by Grouplove
Composer(s) Jesse Novak
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 12 + 1 Special (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Will Arnett
Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Aaron Paul
Steven A. Cohen
Noel Bright
Producer(s) Sampson
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) The Tornante Company
ShadowMachine Films
Distributor Netflix
Release
Original channel Netflix
Picture format 1080p (16:9 HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
Original release August 22, 2014 (2014-08-22) – present
External links
Website

BoJack Horseman is an American animated sitcom created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg. The series stars Will Arnett as the eponymous character, BoJack Horseman. The supporting cast includes Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, and Aaron Paul. The series' first season premiered on August 22, 2014, on Netflix, with a surprise Christmas special premiering on December 19. The show is designed by the cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt, who had previously worked with Bob-Waksberg on the webcomic Tip Me Over, Pour Me Out.[1]

Despite mixed critical reviews, the show proved to be successful with viewers. Less than a week after its initial release, Netflix renewed the series for a second season set to premiere on July 17, 2015.[2][3]

Premise

In a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals live side by side, BoJack Horseman, the washed-up star of the 1990s sitcom Horsin' Around, plans his big return to celebrity relevance with a tell-all biography that he dictates to his ghostwriter Diane Nguyen. BoJack also has to contend with the demands of his agent and on-again-off-again girlfriend Princess Carolyn, his freeloading roommate Todd Chavez, and his frenemy Mr. Peanutbutter.

Characters

Main characters

  • BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett) – An anthropomorphic horse who starred in the 1987–96 sitcom "Horsin' Around" where he played a character called "Horse." Frequently overwhelmed by frustration and self-loathing, he's grown bitter and spiteful since the show ended and often hints at hating what he has become in his later years. Though usually petty and lacking self-control, BoJack has frequently shown himself to be intelligent and level-headed in certain situations, when not overwhelmed by self-loathing or alcoholism. For instance, he cites a number of intelligent and reasonable issues with widespread public praise of all uniformed military members during a televised apology to a soldier he had annoyed and has devised numerous machiavellian schemes to benefit him, such as his attempt to sabotage Diane's wedding. He believes that completing his memoir may be his last shot at getting the public to care about him again.
  • Princess Carolyn (voiced by Amy Sedaris) – An anthropomorphic pink Persian cat who is BoJack's agent/on-and-off girlfriend who works at the Vigor agency. She prides herself on being able to separate her personal life from her professional life when dealing with BoJack. She begins to question her loyalty when she realizes that she's sacrificed several dreams for BoJack's sake. She turns 40 in "Say Anything."
  • Diane Nguyen (voiced by Alison Brie) – BoJack's Vietnamese-American ghostwriter, misunderstood intellectual, and third-wave feminist from Boston who lives rent-free with her rich and famous boyfriend, Mr Peanutbutter. She and BoJack initially develop a strong friendship that becomes strained after BoJack develops feelings for her.
  • Mr. Peanutbutter (voiced by Paul F. Tompkins) – An anthropomorphic Labrador Retriever who is BoJack's former sitcom rival and also Diane's boyfriend (and later husband). Mr. Peanutbutter was the star of "Mr. Peanutbutter's House" which BoJack claimed to have "borrowed the premise" from "Horsin' Around." and has had a stint at filming a celebrity reality show called Peanutbutter and Jelly. His demeanor is constantly energetic, cheerful, and neurotic. Despite their rivalry, Mr. Peanutbutter cares a great deal about BoJack's opinion and admires him for his work on "Horsin' Around." He has an especially good relationship with Todd, and his positive attitude and financial resources combined with Todd's outlandish schemes and plans often result in the two starting questionable business ventures, such as a Halloween store that exclusively opens in January.
  • Todd Chavez (voiced by Aaron Paul) – An unemployed human slacker who ended up at BoJack's house for a party five years before the beginning of the series and never left. Although BoJack constantly voices disdain for him, he secretly cares about Todd, continuing to financially support him and sabotage his attempts to gain independence out of a fear of being alone. Todd has been shown to a plethora of skills including an understanding of Japanese, an entrepreneur; having allied with Mr. Peanutbutter for various business ideas, and a writer; having written his own rock opera, but his overall laziness and video game addictions often hinder him from success.

Recurring characters

  • Pinky Penguin (voiced by Patton Oswalt) – An anthropomorphic penguin who works at a publishing house and depends on BoJack's book to save his job and company.
  • Sarah Lynn (voiced by Kristen Schaal) – An actress who played Horse's precocious adoptive youngest daughter Sabrina on Horsin' Around, and who looked up to BoJack off-screen as a father figure. After the show went off the air, she became a successful pop singer in the early 2000s before drug addiction and alcoholism ended her career. Flashbacks indicate that Sarah Lynn's self-destructive behavior is in part the result of BoJack (who she idolized) having neglected her as a child. Around the end of "Later," she was seen visiting Andrew Garfield (with whom she was mentioned as having an on-again, off-again relationship) at the hospital.
  • Herb Kazzaz (voiced by Stanley Tucci) – BoJack's former mentor, an experienced comedian who created and wrote Horsin' Around. The pair had a falling out at the apex of the show's success, when Herb was blackballed by the network for being gay and Bojack didn't stand up for Herb for fear of losing his job. At the beginning of the series, they haven't spoken for nearly eighteen years. BoJack attempts to reconnect with him after learning that Herb has been diagnosed with terminal rectal cancer and is being watched over by a bear nurse. Though Herb reveals he lived a full life in spite of losing "Horsin' Around," he hasn't forgiven Bojack for not being there when he needed a supportive friend.
  • Beatrice and Butterscotch Horseman (voiced by Wendie Malick and Will Arnett) – Two anthropomorphic horses who are BoJack's neglectful, verbally abusive parents. Both are apparently dead at the outset of the series according to a drug and alcohol induced stupor that BoJack has in "Downer Ending," but appear in flashbacks to BoJack's childhood. Beatrice was an heiress to a sugar cube company. Butterscotch, who hailed from a working class background, was a failed novelist and alcoholic, resented his wife's financial independence and took out his insecurities on BoJack. In flashbacks, Butterscotch is often seen yelling nonsensical conservative hyperbole such as claiming that the Panama Canal is for "Democrats".
  • A Ryan Seacrest Type (voiced by Adam Conover) – This is the name of a human character that hosts "Excess Hollywood" (later renamed "Excess Hollywoo" after what happened to the D in the Hollywood Sign) and interviews celebrities.
  • Character Actress Margo Martindale (voiced by Herself) – An exaggerated version of actress Margo Martindale who willingly goes along with BoJack's schemes no matter how convoluted or dangerous. BoJack and others consistently refer to her as "Character Actress Margo Martindale" rather than simply address her by her forename. On a related note, Margo Martindale had previously appeared in the 2010 film Secretariat.
  • "Vincent Adultman" (voiced by Fielding Edlow in "Horse Majeure," Maria Bamford in "Later") – Princess Carolyn's boyfriend in the latter part of the first season. Everyone except for Bojack is oblivious to the fact that he appears to be three children standing on top of each other underneath a trench coat, obviously echoing a similar scheme devised in "The Little Rascals." Though he speaks in a child's voice and has awkward syntax, he also occasionally exhibits strangely keen insight, prompting others to ignore BoJack's observations.
  • Dr. Allen Hu (voiced by Ken Jeong) – A physician who sells drugs to Sarah Lynn. An unseen character throughout most of the first season, he is the subject of a recurring joke based on the phonetic similarity of his name to "who" with BoJack and others believing that Sarah's drug connection is a man who simply calls himself "Doctor Who" rather than an actual physician. He made his first onscreen appearance in "Downer Ending."

Minor characters

  • Neal McBeal (voiced by Patton Oswalt) – A seal who is also a Navy Seal. BoJack gets into a tiff with him because McBeal called "dibs" on a box of muffins at a grocery store which BoJack later bought and ate out of spite.
  • Angela Diaz (voiced by Anjelica Huston) – A human woman who's in a position of authority at the studio that produces Horsin' Around. She gives BoJack a speech about how the entertainment business works, persuading him to leave Herb behind to preserve BoJack's own career.
  • Charlotte (voiced by Olivia Wilde) – A deer who was Herb Kazzaz's old girlfriend with whom BoJack was once in love. During a drug and alcohol induced stupor in "Downer Ending", Bojack imagines an alternate life where instead of becoming a television star he moves to Maine with Charlotte. In this fantasy, the couple get married, have a daughter named Harper, and lead a quiet rustic lifestyle.
  • Bradley Hitler-Smith (voiced by Adam Conover) – An actor who played Horse's adopted son Ethan on Horsin' Around. A running joke was that he had a catchphrase to which the studio audience responded with an awkward silence.
  • Joelle Clarke (voiced by Alison Brie) - An actress who played Horse's eldest adopted daughter Olivia on Horsin' Around.
  • Mr. Libertore (voiced by Stanley Tucci) - Horse's unseen boss in Horsin' Around who runs a business firm.
  • Goober (voiced by Fred Savage) - A character from Horsin' Around who always shows up to Horse's house unannounced leading everyone to say "Go home, Goober!" (similar to Roger from Sister, Sister).

Guest characters

  • Naomi Watts (voiced by Herself) – Naomi Watts is an extreme version of herself and plays Diane in Mr. Peanutbutter's film. While in character as Diane she engages in a fast-paced sexual relationship with Bojack, only to lose interest in him when her character is ultimately written out of the movie and replaced with a ball on a stick.
  • Wallace Shawn (voiced by Himself) – Wallace Shawn is an extreme version of himself and plays BoJack in Mr. Peanutbutter's film.
  • Vanessa Gekko (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth) – Vanessa Gekko is a human Hollywood agent at FME who is Princess Carolyn's rival. She temporarily shares her office when their agencies merge.
  • Mr. Witherspoon (voiced by Stephen Colbert) – Mr. Witherspoon is a bullfrog that works at the Vigor agency and is Princess Carolyn's boss.
  • Secretariat (voiced by John Krasinski) – A racehorse and BoJack's hero. He was banned for life from racing where there were allegations that he had been betting on his own races. After being disgraced, Secretariat committed suicide by jumping off the bridge into the river below.

Music

The main title theme was composed by Patrick Carney, one half of the blues-rock duo The Black Keys, while the ending credits theme "Back in the 90's (Bojack's Theme)" was performed by the indie-pop act Grouplove. Jesse Novak composed the incidental music.

Episodes

Season 1 (2014)

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Reception

Critical

The series received a rating of 59 out of 100 on the review aggregator Metacritic based on 13 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[4] Another review aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes, gives the series 53% based on 15 reviews, with the consensus stating: "It's intermittently funny, but in most respects, BoJack Horseman pales in comparison to similar comedies."[5]

Erik Adams' review of the first six episodes gave the series a C+ grade; in the review, Adams wrote that the show "spoofs the emptiness of celebrity, but does so without any novelty or true insight."[6] At Slate, Willa Paskin was more enthused. "[It] is perhaps a little more clever than it is uproariously funny, but it is often very clever, and, moreover, well-tuned to the ludicrousness of the sort of low-level fame that surrounds BoJack." She likened it to 30 Rock in its ability to "[present] big ideas without having to commit to them."[7] Chris Mitchell from Popzara was equally optimistic about the show's future, saying that "Fans of FX's Archer or Fox's Bob's Burgers will definitely want to check this one out, as its rapid-fire delivery is always consciously spot-on."[8] The New York Times described the show as "hilarious and ribald".[9] At Vulture, the show was described by Margaret Lyons in a positive review as "Radically sad. I love it"[10]

References

  1. ^ "TMOPMO Merch". Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ Surette, Tim. "Whoa! Netflix Orders Season 2 of BoJack Horseman". TV Guide. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.indiewire.com/article/netflix-reveals-bojack-horseman-season-2-release-date-new-poster-20150521
  4. ^ "BoJack Horseman – Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved April 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ "BoJack Horseman: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ Adams, Erik (August 21, 2014). "Netflix's entry into the adult-animation race, BoJack Horseman, stumbles out of the gate". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ Paskin, Willa (August 22, 2014). "The Longest Face". Slate. Retrieved August 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ Mitchell, Chris (August 29, 2014). "BoJack Horseman Popzara Review". 
  9. ^ Neil, Genzlinger (August 24, 2014). "A Talking Horse of a Different Color: Blue". Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  10. ^ http://www.vulture.com/2014/09/bojack-horsemans-radically-funny-sadness.html

External links