A Review of Bojack Horseman, Season 3

Partial spoiler alert, but no more than what you’d get by reading the episode descriptions.

The only downside of having access to a whole season of a show that I love is that I will watch all of it as quickly as possible, and then I have to wait almost a whole year for the next season. That’s what I did with season three of Bojack Horseman. I just finished it, all twelve episodes in the span of a week. And I feel blown away.

If you haven’t seen the first two seasons, let me give you a quick rundown on the show. It’s about an actor that was famous in the 90’s for being on a sitcom called ‘Horsin’ Around’. It’s a similar show to Full House or Boy Meets World. He was happy on the show, for the most part, having survived an abusive childhood. Then the show ended, and his life fell apart. It turned out that he was only happy when everyone was clapping for him.

Twenty years passed. He didn’t work for the most part. Mostly he drank, did drugs and slept around. Along the way he picked up a kid named Todd who sleeps on his couch. He’s on again, off again with his agent, named Princess Caroline. His last hope at being loved again is an autobiography. When he’s incapable of doing that because he has nothing that resembles self-control, he’s forced to hire a ghost writer.

Enter Diane, who is dating then married to Mr. Peanut Butter, who Bojack happens to hate.

The first two seasons were pretty spectacular. Don’t watch the third season if you haven’t watched the first two. During that time Bojack, after getting popular again after Diane’s book comes out, gets to star in a movie about his childhood hero, Sagritariate.

The third season is about Bojack trying to win an Oscar for that movie. At the same time, one of his old costars is trying to make a spinoff of the show, called Ethan Around. (Think Fuller House and Girl Meets World) He falls in love with his crazy publicist, and is confronted head on by all of the mistakes he’s ever made. As his current attempts to be happy are thwarted in every way possible, his sins won’t allow him a moment of peace. He can’t seem to manage to not be a terrible, selfish person for anyone or anything. One by one, the people who have tried so hard to save him give up. It get to the point that, by the last few episodes, I was cringing every time Bojack was behaving himself. It usually meant he was about to do something terrible.

The cast is pretty spectacular, with Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris and guest stars like Weird Al, Daniel Radcliff and Liev Schriber, it’s a well-acted, well written show. It’s also incredibly subtle. As person after person in his life give up, they disappear from the opening credits. The ending of the season is pretty much telegraphed, but only in retrospect.

As a warning, this is a dark season. Topics like abortion, suicide and excessive drug use are explored in great detail. Don’t watch this one with your kids, even if half the characters are anthropomorphic animals.

It really was an amazing season, though. Give it a watch when you get the chance. All three seasons are available now on Netflix

Season four, by the way, is scheduled to come out in summer of 2017, damn it.

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