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Watch BoJACK HORSEMAN Now

The best show Netflix has produced isn’t House of Cards or Orange is the New Black — it’s BoJack Horseman. The second season was recently released and has established itself as one of the wittiest and insightful comedies out there now, right up there with Inside Amy Schumer.

Some quick background: The show is satire of Hollywood and celebrity culture that is unrelenting in attacking the vapidness of TV entertainment. It follows the exploits of BoJack Horseman, a washed-up, self-loathing 1980s sitcom star whose struggling to rebuild his career.

What makes Bojack unique is it assumes that viewers are broad consumers of popular culture. Jokes are shot out at rapid fire; time isn’t wasted with lots of exposition to make sure you get the punchlines.

For example, in the current season BoJack tells his girlfriend that she “makes him want to be a better man.” She’s been a coma for thirty years and thus has never seen As Good As It Gets. She asks BoJack if he just thought that up; he says he did.

In most other other comedy shows on TV that joke would have been setup with BoJack watching As Good As It Gets earlier in the episode, or there would have been some kind of explanation after. And even if you don’t know where the line came from, Bojack realizes that you’ll get he’s lying, that it doesn’t have to be explicitly said.

In another episode BoJack goes to a high school prom and the show uses that to work in some Back to the Future references. There’s a less than one second shot of a DeLorean and the name of the prom is quickly revealed to be “A Night Under the Sea…Under the Stars.” The show doesn’t belabor these visual jokes — if you look away for a second you’ll miss them — and if you’ve never seen Back to the Future, then sucks to be you.

And this one of the pleasure of the show. There’s so much going on that you can watch episodes over and over again and keep picking up new things. It’s like there’s this whole other show happening under the surface.

A final example that really shows the extent to which the show respects viewers is a Scientology spoof that will leave you confused if you don’t know what Sea Org is.

Without revealing too much, this season’s best episode is a spoof of the Bill Cosby controversy (or really any celebrity who has a history of sexual harassment accusations). It’s by no means the first show to do this, but it does it more effectively than other comedies. It really drills down into how the media turns men like Cosby into the victims because their careers could be damaged by the accusations. And meanwhile, the women who go public face harassment and are smeared by the media.

The episode is satire at its best and shows just how much BoJack understands the entertainment industry’s mediocrity.

Now if my references to a girlfriend who was in a coma for 30 years, a prom, and Bill Cosby make it seem like the show is allover the place, both season 1 and 2 actually follow pretty tight narrative arcs for the characters. Take away the comedy and you still have a well-scripted character study.



The highest praise I can give for BoJack is that after watching all 12 episodes of the new season, I immediately went back and watched them all again.

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