“Bojack Horseman” is a show, created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, starring Will Arnett as the titular character along with his colleagues through their lives in an anthropomorphized Los Angeles. Bojack is a horse-man hybrid that once starred in the popular ‘90s sitcom “Horsin’ Around” only to waste the next 18 years picking himself up from being a washed up out of work actor.
The other characters of the show are Todd Chavez, Bojack’s former roommate, Diane Nguyen, a ghost writer, Mr. Peanutbutter, a dog-man and celebrity and Princess Carolyn, BoJack’s former lover and agent. These characters all interact as they further their professional careers in the satirized world of “Hollywoo.”
The fourth season, released Sept. 8th 2017, starts off quite differently than previous seasons, leaving Bojack out of the picture. The story begins where Mr. Peanutbutter left off, a possible political campaign to become governor of California. This first required a recall election, which was hilariously shut down as soon as it started only to be replaced by a scheme to win the position via challenging current governor, Woodchuck Coodchuck-Berkowitz, to a ski race.
To the governor’s dismay, the ski race becomes a legal form of election and is conducted post haste. Through a complex series of events, after a brief run of Gov. Chavez, the two candidates are back to the campaign trail. This plotline clearly reflects the society in which it was written—one where politics has become a playground for the rich and headstrong to take the responsibility from the responsible.
Bojack on the other hand goes on a journey of self-discovery after the loss of his beloved co-star from “Horsin’ Around,” Sarah Lynn, voiced by Kristen Schall. BoJack goes to the summer house of his mother’s family only to find it in disrepair. The house reflects BoJack, through its worn down and jaded exterior, but with some hard work it could be fixed.
After a year and a half, BoJack returns to Los Angeles to find a teenage horse-girl named Hollyhock, who enters his life claiming to be his daughter and goes on a hunt for her mother. On this maternal-centric adventure, BoJack reconnects with his detached, now Alzheimer’s ridden, mother.
BoJack’s mother, Beatrice Horseman, has always been a source of anguish for BoJack as his mother is shown in flashbacks, only to insult and degrade her own son’s prospects. Beatrice is now weak and frail in her old age, but she still manages to muck things up for BoJack and his possible baby.
Beatrice, while acting innocent due to her feeble appearance, slipped weight loss supplements into Hollyhock’s coffee and caused her to be hospitalized and consequently taken away from BoJack’s custody. After a long debate with Hollyhock’s eight adoptive fathers, Bojack was able to reveal to Hollyhock her mother’s information and allow her to finally receive some closure.
“BoJack Horseman” is a show that demonstrates the battle with depression, nihilism and the overall concept of a legacy. These concepts are masterfully hidden under a bright color pallet, many animal puns and sight gags. Season four covers BoJack’s discoveries about his past and his family as several episodes display flashbacks of the mother’s childhood causing the change of perspective to add a positive light on her character.
The negative influence on BoJack’s life through association can be attributed to Matthew Broderick’s portrayal as BoJack’s grandfather, Joseph Sugarman. Sugarman is an emotionless traditional industrialist who overall explains the psychology of Beatrice against BoJack as she became a product of her father’s restrictive upbringing.
Season four ends unlike all prior seasons: on a happy note. The season finale finds BoJack less broken and more hopeful towards a brighter future, rather than his typical wallowing in the past. Season five has already been confirmed with no date set as of yet, however episode one has already been written.BoJack Horseman seasons one through four on Netflix streaming now.