Monday, September 22, 2014

Bojack Horseman - 5 Reasons Why

With very little fanfare, the new comedic series ‘Bojack Horseman’ dropped on Netflix a few weeks ago.  Bojack (voiced by Arrested Development’s Will Arnett) is a washed up sitcom star living in a palatial mansion in the Hollywood hills.  For funsies, he also happens to be a horse.  His feline agent, and sometime girlfriend Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) and his live in slacker buddy Todd (Aaron Paul, playing what I like to think of as a happy-go-lucky Jesse Pinkman) enable Bojack to live in an alcoholic haze until, like in all good comedies, hijinks ensue. 

Since I pressed ‘play’ on the first episode, I have been obsessed.  You should be too.  Here’s why.

One - The closing theme of the show will inhabit your dreams.  Written by the indie rock band Grouplove, this original ditty will worm its way into your brain and pop up at odd times, but in a pleasantly enchanting way.  After watching the credits a handful of times, I guarantee your brain will be playing that shizz on repeat. 

Two - Not only is the closing theme quite good, but the opening theme from Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney is also pretty fantastic.  Paired with an extremely watchable intro, the sax-heavy opening theme is a groovy tune that kick-starts each show with a little verve and sass.  Also, extra bonus for Mad Men fans, some awesome person out there created an opening theme flip-flop for your amusement.  I’m not a Mad Men fan per se, but the following videos are definitely worth a peek. 

Mad Men with Bojack theme

(Strike that, reverse it.) 

Bojack with Mad Men theme -

Three – Were you ever curious about what happened to MTV’s resident bespectacled pessimist Daria?  I may be reaching, but the likeness between Daria and Bojack’s Diane is uncanny.  Diane (voiced by Allison Brie) is like the grown up version of Daria – if Daria traded her combat boots and ho-hum pleated skirt for a pair of form fitted jeans and some smartly heeled boots.  Maybe it’s the parallel green jackets speaking to me, maybe it’s the glasses, but if Diane’s name was Daria I would totally buy that Daria moved to LA and became a writer after a stint on an MTV reality series. 

Four – Thanks to the ‘all episodes drop at once like a long ass movie’ Netflix format, Bojack has a continuous plot instead of a series of self-contained episodes like most other cartoons.  The story is absorbing and much like most shows about Hollywood, includes some very meta twists and turns.

Five – Delightful vocal cameos abound.  Most of these actors seem more than enthused to play send-ups of typical Hollywood tropes such as Angelica Huston’s dry, monotone network executive, and Stanley Tucci’s closeted creator of a family-friendly sitcom.  Naomi Watts is particularly delightful as “Naomi Watts”, playing herself as a neurotic, high-energy version of herself that brings to mind her wonderfully zany performance in ‘I Heart Huckabees’.  Other notable contributors include Melissa Leo, Stephen Colbert, Olivia Wilde and Wallace Shawn.  Inconceivable!

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