Socialist Worker

Bojack Horseman—‘horsin’ around’ or a clever satire on US society?

by Tomáš Tengely Evans
Issue No. 2421

Bojack Horseman

Animated comedy Bojack Horseman is based around the life of an anthropomorphic horse, who was the lead star of a 1990s sitcom called Horsin’ Around. 

Now his fame is gone, he’s a depressed alcoholic with nothing to do but watch taped repeats of episodes of himself.

But is it simply “horsing around” with lowest common denominator jokes, or does it take up issues in US society?

The main part of the plot revolves around his failing attempt to make a comeback with an autobiography.

But he can’t do it, as it would mean confronting his life. Numerous missed deadlines later, Penguin Publishers forces him to take on ghost writer Diane.

One episode introduces Diane’s US Vietnamese family. 

It deals with issues around racism in the US against new migrants. 

In another episode, Bojack takes a pack of muffins that another shopper had already earmarked.

He pays for them thinking nothing of it.

But the rival shopper turns out to be Neil McBeal the Navy Seal. 

The TV news presenter turns from a seemingly important piece, to the “breaking news” of Bojack disrespecting “our troops”. 

It drags on and is perhaps a little tedious, but it shines a light on the US media and its patriotic denunciations.

Like other shows of its kind it addresses serious questions, but also degenerates into low level jokes.

While it can at times be funny and does try to take up issues, the emphasis is on the “trying”. 

Bojack Horseman
Available on Netflix.com 

 


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Reviews
Tue 16 Sep 2014, 18:01 BST
Issue No. 2421
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