If you haven’t watched the first two seasons of Bojack Horseman, you need to do so right now.
First of all, there are only 12 episodes per season, and 25 minutes per episode, so you’ve no excuse that you don’t have time.
More to the point though, the series is TV at its best with its all-too-human characters (even when most of them are animals), engaging pace, and sharp writing that has you roaring with laughter one minute and heartbroken with empathy the next.
First, a quick round-up of our main characters and where they are at this point in the series.
In the last season, Bojack did some pretty horrible things which he’s put behind him. Though his feelings for the TV series that made his career, sometimes loathing and sometimes nostalgic, remain unresolved, Bojack now focuses on moving from movie actor status to movie star.
His goal is to secure an Oscar nomination because then ‘life will have meaning’, he hopes.
His friend and agent Princess Carolyn keeps being disappointed in love but is on the lookout for a meaningful relationship again. However, with the busyness of her new agency and the sheer amount of labour involved with managing the inconsistent Bojack, PC struggles to find time for herself.
Writer Diane is now Bojack’s social media manager, a job she struggles to not be cynical about. When we last left off, Diane and her husband Mr Peanutbutter had reunited after being in different countries for a long period, and in this season, they continue to struggle with their marriage.
Mr Peanutbutter, who we learn more about the family of over the course of the season, particularly shines in this edition of the series and undoubtedly generates the most laughs.
A new addition to the cast is Bojack’s publicist, a no-nonsense gal who promises to secure Bojack his nomination. While she doesn’t bring quite the same energy to the series as Lisa Kudrow’s Wanda did in Season 2, the persona of her character works and blends into the show’s quirky ambiance.
Finally, there is Bojack’s best friend Todd, who continues to be absolutely bonkers and has a (girl) friend from the past return to his life.
This season deals with some pretty sensitive contemporary issues, including abortion. It also parodies Seaworld (in reference, of course, to documentary Blackfish) in a way that is typical of the show – really weird and surreal but also hilarious.
One of its highlights is an episode that takes place entirely underwater. It is strikingly animated and harrowingly executed. It tributes the strength of the show as a whole in its ability to reveal so much emotion with next to no words.
The season also sees Bojack’s past TV shows (one we only learn about in this season) come back to haunt him.
The series for the most part continues to interrogate what it means to have an existential crisis which, although it hones in on Bojack, is applicable to several of the characters.
Cartoon series like Family Guy, South Park and The Simpsons in the past have all proven the comedy and wit that animation can bring to TV, as well as animation's unique ability to reveal universal, contemporary truths in ways that would not work or may be too harrowing to be handled by live action series.
In any case, Bojack Horseman achieves all this and more. It sets the benchmark for television tragicomedies.
Bojack Horseman reminds us that we’re all flawed and we all go through periods of self-loathing. But it is also hopeful and shows that we don’t have to be alone in this. There are people all over who are kind and supportive, and can get you through the hard times – if you only have the courage to let them in.