I'm not even going to begin to describe the backlog of television shows on my Catch-Up-On-This-Sometime list. Let's just say that it's...formidable. It always feels good when I can knock one off, especially if the show winds up being better than I thought it was going to be. Such was the case with BoJack Horseman, a weird little Netflix show from 2014. I remember reading blurbs about it on some of the entertainment sites I read, but didn't really give it much notice until it kept showing up in my recommendation algorithms. Not that those algorithms are always dependable (I'd rather watch an episiotemy than the Adam Sandler dreck someone keeps trying to shovel), but I finally gave in and decided to give this one a whirl.

It is, in a word, batshit. But in a good way! In the universe that this show inhabits, humans and animals are peers. Every fully-functioning member of society is a man or a woman...or a cat or a lizard or a dog or a mole or whatever. The protagonist is BoJack Horseman, who used to be on a silly-but-popular sitcom - think Full House, but starring a horse - but who is having trouble adjusting to life after fame. And by "having trouble adjusting", I mean he's an alcoholic, womanizing (well, "female"-izing) misanthrope who makes himself and the people (well, people and other animals) around him miserable. He begins to fall in love with the woman who is writing his biography and who is dating his main rival, and the show takes off from there.

If it had a different cast, I don't think I'd have liked it as much as I did. It's pretty clever about skewering the cults of fame and the lifestyles of those in the entertainment industry, but is rarely laugh-out-loud funny (the only joke that gave me a belly laugh is when a character named Vanessa Gekko turns out to be human). Luckily for the show, putting Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, and Aaron Paul together to do the voices was enough to really elevate the material into something worth watching. The excellent casting continued with the guest voices, including everyone from Naomi Watts to Anjelica Huston.

Even if BoJack Horseman isn't everything I'd want in an animated comedy, there's plenty to keep me interested, and I was happy to hear that Netflix has ordered more episodes. And it's not as if I can't be patient for Season 2 to show up. That vast TV backlog is still staring me down.

BoJack Horseman - Season 1: B


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