BoJack Horseman (Season 3) (2016)
Netflix / TVMA
Animation / Comedy / Drama
Starring: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie
Creator: Raphael Bob-Waksberg
I was already in love with Netflix’s BoJack Horseman after its first two seasons, but lo and behold, the show’s third season made me love the show even more. I didn’t think it was possible. The show manages to stay fresh while delivering its trademark dark and dry humor. It’s a show that’s brutally honest and bend over backwards hilarious. It also isn’t afraid to get real…super real. (You already got a taste of this towards the latter half of season two) Show creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg has a true bona-fide hit on his hand and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be slowing down any time soon.
This season we have the post-Secretariat aftermath that BoJack (Will Arnett) has to maneuver himself through. If you’ve been keeping track, the show has pretty much taken us through the gauntlet of what it’s like to be an actor in Hollywood. The show’s first season portrayed the trials and tribulations of being an old washed-up actor while season two dove head first into the world of filming a movie. This season, we get to watch as BoJack deals with press junkets, award shows, and the brunt of execs who want to throw script after script at him because he’s made it big with Secretariat. In true BoJack fashion, he seems to be handling everything well (relatively, of course) but then things take a turn for the worse as friendships get tested and tried. Remember when I said this show isn’t afraid to get real? Yeah…this show gets pretty sobering in the later episodes. BoJack might have approached his lowest point yet. That says something, especially considering the fact that last season he was caught in a yacht with a teenage girl on prom night. Just watch season two to see for yourself…
All your favorite characters, both big and small, make it back for season three. BoJack’s feline agent, Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), is facing some hard times with her new agency and she starts to question herself as well as others. She even finds new love. Diane (Alison Brie), one of BoJack’s best friends, is helping him with his social media outlets, among other things. Her and Mr. Peanutbutter’s (Paul F. Tompkins) relationship is tested once again as they continue to work out the kinks in their estranged marriage. Finally, everyone’s favorite lazy roommate Todd (Aaron Paul) is…well, not so lazy this season. He still has his fair share of wacky off-the-walls adventures, but the main portion of the season focuses on his new tech start-up, which focuses on giving woman a “safe place” in the cab industry. Although it soon starts to evolve into some crazy directions.
There aren’t too many new characters introduced this season, besides BoJack’s publicist Ana Spanikopita, voiced by Angela Bassett. Bassett does a great job with the character, who has to put up with BoJack’s crazy shenanigans and bloated persona. Instead, this season mainly focuses on the character we already know and love and develops them even deeper, giving us some much appreciated backstory in the way of flashbacks. It felt like I knew the characters even more by the end. There’s a whole episode that’s totally devoted to each character’s backstory, which happens to be one of the best episodes of the season.
I was constantly amazed by the fresh ideas that were brought to the table over and over again this season. The same familiar humor is still abundant and healthy, but we get some cleverly written episodes that demonstrate the show’s prowess. There’s an episode that rewinds time back to the year 2007. Not only do we get to see all the characters and where they were at during this time, but it’s also chock full of 2007 references. Everything from the music to the billboards. I was laughing out loud for the entire episode. On the other hand, we got an episode in similar vein to the silent films of the Golden Era of Hollywood. BoJack takes a trip under the sea for an underwater film festival, but things go south as he has to care for a newborn seahorse. He’s unable to speak (because he’s underwater), which makes for an episode devoid of conversation but full of heart and hilarity. Despite the lack of words, it might have been the most well-written episode of the season.
It’s not often that we get TV shows that consistently nail it out of the park every single episode. With its third season, BoJack Horseman truly makes the mark. It’s brilliant up and down the board. There’s lighthearted episodes mixed with some sobering episodes, all with a heavy dose of clever and relevant humor. The writing this season is top-notch and almost all the characters elevate in terms of development. This season’s finale is both sad and optimistic for BoJack, who goes through a whole arsenal of emotions of the course of the season. It only got me hopeful for what is next in the already confirmed fourth season. You know your killing it when your fourth season gets green-lit before the premiere even airs.