“Bojack Horseman” Season 4 Recap, Season 5 Release Date and Predictions

Bojack 1Animated television shows for an adult audience have really grown up since the days of The Flintstones premiered on prime time in 1960. Family Guy and other similar adult-oriented cartoons constantly tackle non-family-friendly humor, but Bojack Horseman is an animated show that tackles drama in a way that is superior to most live-action drama shows. Not only has Bojack Horseman Season 4 proven that it is one of the finest animated shows ever made, but it might be one of the finest shows ever made. It is so good, that is going to be hard to the producers to top Bojack Horseman Season 4 with Bojack Horseman Season 5.

Who and What is Bojack Horseman?

In case you don’t have a Netflix subscription and are unfamiliar with Bojack Horseman, it is an animated program that premiered in 2014. Seasons of the show have shown up all at once for streaming every summer, even though Season 4 arrived slightly later than usual. Bojack Horseman takes place in an anthropomophoric world, but unlike worlds like Zootopia, ordinary humans live beside half-human/half-animal people. Not only that, but the humans and animal hybrids mate with other and the science of this is justly never addressed.

The title character, played by comedy alum Will Arnett, was once the star of a nineties comedy shown known as Horsin’ Around, a kitschy premise about a half horse/half man raising three kids, in the spirit of Full House or Family Matters. After the show ended, Bojack has spent the last decade and a half doing nothing in his presumably paid for mansion, doing nothing but drowning in booze and one-night stands.

Bojack 2Season 1 was all about Bojack making a book deal on his autobiography, and attempting to start a relationship with his fully human ghostwriter Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie). It was one that was doomed to fail as Diane developed a relationship with Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins), a half-man, half-dog who was the star of Mr. Peanutbutter’s House, a rip-off of Horsin’ Around. Other characters introduced were Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), Bojack’s off-and-on agent/sex partner, and Todd Chavez (Aaron Paul), a freeloading free spirit who has lived on Bojack’s couch for quite some time.

As for Season 2, you can see my summary of it here with an old article that I wrote for The Gospel Herald, along with predictions. Yeah, I was slightly off on them, as well as my predictions for Season 4 after watching Season 3. By the way, there are some spoilers coming up ahead, so don’t hit the jump unless you want to see them.

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Speculative Fiction Saturday: Bojack Horseman

Bojack HorsemanOkay, I’m going to conclude this month of modern Speculative Fiction series with a series that isn’t really speculative fiction, but I have watched it twice. In all honesty, I’m just writing about it because I like thinking about it.

Bojack Horseman crosses a line, and this is not because it is an adult-oriented animated show. Yes, this has been done before as South Park and Family Guy have been doing them for years. The Cartoon Network also has their Adult Swim programming, but I have found that these shows are often filled with really gross and sexual humor. For this reason, I have been avoiding it, but as I have just written in a now five-part series about the arts, I don’t just avoid a work because there is violence, sexuality, and profanity in it.

About the only speculative element of Bojack Horseman is that it takes place in this anthropomorphic world where some people are half human and half animal. There is no explanation on why, and there really shouldn’t be. I suppose I could ask how these hybrids reproduce, but I’m kind of glad the show doesn’t address this even though the humans seem to pair up with these animal people from time to time.

This doesn’t mean that the world finds these half-human hybrids are normal. Bojack Horseman is a half-man, half-horse, who was in this 90’s comedy called “Horsin’ Around”, which is about a half-horse person who raises three orphaned kids. When the show was cancelled, Bojack essentially had no follow-up acting career. He must have invested is money wisely, because he has a big house in Hollywood and doesn’t seem to do anything.

The show is essentially about Bojack and the relationship with his friends and co-workers. There is kind of a romance that Bojack is having with Diane Nguyen, who has been assigned by Penguin Publishing (which is ran by a penguin) to write Bojack’s biography. Bojack wants to commit to Diane, but she is committed to a half-man, half-dog named Mr. Peanut Butter. Mr. Peanut Butter was on a show with the exact same premise as “Horsin’ Around”. Bojack also has an agent that he works with name Princess Caroline, a half-cat who had a fairly decent episode about her. Then there is Todd, Bojack’s roommate who moved in but probably should move out.

What makes Bojack Horseman work is that it is an animated show that can be taken quite seriously. The show has funny elements like a lot of animals acting human, but it really has a very serious premise. It is clear that Bojack is in the midst of an existential crisis, wondering if he will only be remembered for his 15 minutes of fame.

There is one episode where Bojack goes to see a friend of his who has cancer, and I won’t spoil it at all. It is interesting to see how Bojack deals with the guilt of what he did to is friend, and it feels pretty genuine.

The show can be watched on Netflix, and it has a Christmas Special. What is funny is the special is nothing more than Bojack watching a Christmas Special of “Horsin’ Around”. Bojack and Todd make fun of it, but in the end, they actually like the schmaltz. I suppose this is a commentary on our society, because I have been watching Alf, and even though the jokes, plots, and overall premise is dumb, I still enjoyed it. In the case of Bojack Horseman, it is smarter that it seems to be, and this is why it works.