Animation, comedy, and drama at its finest


A spoiler free review of Bojack Horseman. Graphic by Jack Stilwell

   In 2013, American comedian and writer, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, got his dream project picked up by Netflix, called BoJack Horseman. Netflix only had one condition, the show had to be ready by next year, and so Raphael started work on the first season. It was met with little success; it reviewed 67% on Rotten Tomatoes and 57% on Metacritic. Reviewers thought the show was funny but lacked anything beyond that. But looking forward to these reviews would become irrelevant.

   BoJack Horseman is an animated comedy that follows a cast of both humans and anthropomorphic (contains human characteristics) animals. The star of the show is an aptly named horse, BoJack Horseman, who is an alcoholic, washed-up sitcom actor from the ’90s. We follow BoJack through his ups and downs alongside an ever-expanding cast, including Princess Carolyn, BoJack Horseman’s Hollywood Agent; Todd, a high school dropout that crashes at BoJack’s house; Diane Nguyen, a ghostwriter publishing BoJack’s memoir, and many more memorable faces.

   This setup made for a funny and interesting animated series similar to that of The Simpsons, but this didn’t last long. Season one had its moments: BoJack vs. Neal McBeal the Navy SEAL (who indeed is a literal seal), a romance story between Todd and two rival prison gangs who both want to take him to a jail dance, and BoJack stealing the D from the Hollywood sign, changing it to Hollywoo for most of the series.

   Past the first season, BoJack Horseman really started to become what it was born to be, a breakout show that defied what animated TV was thought to be. The more the show goes on, the darker and more sophisticated the plot gets. It goes from goofy tales, to one’s that explore abuse, drug addiction, building yourself back up, and more. This isn’t to say the show is good because it’s edgy; it is good because it is well written, beautifully animated, and tells a story that rivals Breaking Bad.

   As a result of this new direction, the show fared much better among critics, scoring a 97% or higher for every season after. The show is best experienced spoiler free, but it continues to build up until its finale in the final season.

   Netflix informed Raphael Bob-Waksberg after the fifth season, that they were canceling the project and BoJack Horseman would only get one more season. This announcement forced Bob-Waksberg to rush his final season, but despite this, it came out perfect. A show six years in the making was wrapped up in a two-part season, leaving nothing unchecked. The last final episodes carry more emotional value than any show, movie, or book you will ever experience.

   BoJack Horseman deserves to be watched by everyone, for pushing its own genre, setting up engaging and emotional storylines, and delivering still on the jokes. At a run time of six seasons, it is an easy binge, but here’s betting you’ll try to finish it in one week.

Jack Stilwell, Social Media Editor