The fourth season of Bojack Horseman is as heartbreaking and witty as ever.
As usual, the show provides a scathing satire on hot-button issues, with episodes featuring commentary on everything from gun control to gender politics.
The absurdist, zany and quintessentially ridiculous nature of the show allows it to talk about these issues through satire, and as a result important points are made without appearing preachy to the audience.
The show is graced by an extremely talented group of voice actors, featuring Will Arnett, Alison Brie, and Aaron Paul in the central cast. These stars are supplemented by celebrity cameos galore: Daniel Radcliffe, Zach Braff, and esteemed character actress and fugitive Margo Martindale, to name but a few. These celebrities play over the top parodies of themselves, leading to an abundance of pop culture references and cynical critiques of celebrity culture.
Bojack hits the perfect balance between wacky and profound. There are puns, rhymes, cartoonish hijinks, and animal jokes both in the dialogue and visuals.
The humour of the show is offset by moments of great depth, introspection, and sadness, as the show’s portrayal of mental health is far more accurate and realistic than most fiction ever manages to achieve.
In episode six, aptly titled ‘Stupid Piece of Shit’, Bojack’s internal monologue is heard throughout the episode. His depression and self loathing are more apparent than ever and, for the first time, the audience gets to fully see how much he hates himself.
The entire season is fantastic but episodes two, six, and eleven specifically stand out. They are by far the darkest and yet, there is a haunting beauty to them. Episode eleven in particular, ‘Time’s Arrow’, is not only one of the top episodes of the show; it may be one of the finest pieces of television ever produced. Between the tragic story and the unique format and artistic style used to tell said story, it is harrowing and heart-wrenching from beginning to end. Episodes like ‘Time’s Arrow’ are proof that TV at its best is more than just entertainment. It is art.
It is hard to summarise what makes Bojack Horseman such a special show. The compelling characters, honest writing, and bizarre humour all combine to form a genre-defying tragicomedy masterpiece. It is a truly genuine programme with a perfect blend of pun heavy humour, gut-wrenching drama and horror. Somehow, a cartoon about a depressed anthropomorphic horse has managed to capture the human condition better than any other show on television.