Netflix’s first original animated series, BoJack Horseman, premieres its second season tomorrow, July 17th. We here at Nerdist got a chance to check out the first six episodes of the season early in order to assure you of the quality of this season. Consider its quality assured.
I initially had no interest in BoJack Horseman when it was first announced for Netflix last year. It seemed like a failed Adult Swim pitch that had called in favors to some big names, like star Will Arnett, for a voice cast. Boy, am I glad I was wrong about that. There is something about BoJack Horseman that many won’t know from the advertising that has been put out, and that is the amount of heart that comes out of its story. Some may find it hard to look past the animals-as-people gag that the show runs on, but the humanity of its characters is a lot more evident than the joke that Horseman is a horse-man.
Season one played a lot on the joke of a washed-up sitcom actor trying to make it back into the world of Hollywood with some wacky adventures, but it also explored the deeper and darker areas of depression that one can fall into when they feel life has passed them by.
The second season of BoJack Horsemen offers a look at life now that BoJack has made it back into acting. The season starts off by letting us know that even when we get what we want, it may not fix all our problems. After getting a part in the Secretariat bio-pic, BoJack starts off the season with a B.N.T. (Brand New Attitude) and a self-help audiobook voiced by guest George Takei. We soon see, though, that pretending to be different doesn’t automatically make it true, and BoJack still has a lot to learn about himself and his life before he can truly be happy.
Through the six episodes made available for advanced screening, BoJack must grapple with his childhood as well as learn how to be part of a relationship just for starters. The most heart-wrenching moment, though, comes from Mr. Peanut Butter (Paul F. Tompkins) and wife Diane (Alison Brie) as a failed birthday party leads to deep investigations of their marriage, communication, trust, and their future together.
This does not mean the show has suddenly become a drama. The show’s truly stand-out moments are more due to the ridiculous comedy that surrounds them, and sometimes sewn throughout them. Mr. Peanut Butter’s codependency is both very real, but also natural because he’s a giant dog. Not an episode earlier his plot involved having to wear a cone so he doesn’t chew stitches in his paw. The reason the comedy hits is because of the seemless blending of relatable human traits with humorous animal ones. Plus, Aaron Paul’s lovable slacker Todd is always there to sprinkle in some optimism or comic relief when things might be getting too heavy. Whether he is building his own Disneyland, becoming his cooler, more confidant persona Toad Cha-vez, or try to save a giant chicken from the slaughter house, he helps maintain the show’s ridiculous concepts.
Be sure to check out Season 2 of BoJack Horseman, premiering July 17th on Netflix.
All Images courtesy of Netflix