BoJack Horseman

You have Netflix, right? Is that even a question you have to ask people anymore? Whatever. If you have Netflix, you should watch BoJack Horseman.

If you're not familiar with the show, there are plenty of TV critics that can give you a good idea of what you're in for. I recommend Margaret Lyons' piece at Vulture.

She touches on exactly why I love the show. I love it because it could have easily--EASILY--been a funny show with goofy animals and two-dimensional characters. It might have even been pretty good. But creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg chose to imbue it with actual characters that grow and change and feel, with a continuity that rewards paying careful attention, and with a subtle but affecting look at depression and loneliness.

Quick synopsis: It's about a sitcom actor (the titular BoJack) from a popular show in the 90s who, today, lives a lonely life with the wealth he accumulated during his heyday. Yes, he's a horse. No, that's not particularly significant to the story.

Season 1 touches on a variety of subjects across its twelve episodes, but one that sticks out is Episode 8: "The Telescope." BoJack receives word that his partner, with whom he created the sitcom that gained him his fame, is dying of cancer. (It's a good thing Bob-Waksberg waited until Episode 8 to drop this plot -- I can imagine uninvested viewers abandoning the show if this was their first experience. What a downer, right?) BoJack visits him, and along the way recalls how he screwed his partner over, getting him ousted from the show.

BoJack hopes to reconcile with him before the end. I know I've felt that way, even if I've never been in a situation as extreme as this. I can't stand to have people mad at me, and neither can BoJack. 

Most comedies, if they dared to tackle a topic like this, would get in a few good laughs and then end with a heartfelt reconnection. Music swells, fade to black, happy feelings all around. BoJack Horseman does not do this. BoJack Horseman, ostensibly a show about cartoon animals living alongside cartoon humans, filled with sight gags and occasional raunch, allows this plot to resolve naturally. BoJack doesn't get what he was hoping for. No resolution or forgiveness. Just hurt feelings and failure. 

I don't think I've seen that sort of storytelling maturity in most television dramas.

Season 2 was just released, and Netflix has announced Season 3 for 2016. Get onboard, folks. As long as you know what to expect, it'll be a good ride.