My generation loves cartoons; the prevalence of Spongebob, Shrek and Disney memes pretty much proves this. The so-called "adults" of this world constantly dismiss the medium as kids' stuff, but the ever-increasing genre of adult cartoons — especially on television — has resulted in something I comfortably describe as art (starting all the way back with The Simpsons and thriving with the likes of Rick and Morty and Archer).
With season 5 of Netflix's BoJack Horseman having premiered on September 14, now is the time to look at why the show is not only a shining example of its genre but also one of the sharpest satires of our generation.
No. 1 The show shows an exemplary understanding of the zeitgeist.
Any television comedy, especially one as steeped in cultural satire and pop culture references as this one, needs to absolutely nail its analysis and representation of society in order to leave any sort of lasting impression. With a Hollywood setting, Bojack Horseman places its characters at the self-proclaimed culture capital of the world, in which no medium of entertainment remains unscathed. We are constantly treated to hyperbolic yet hysterically accurate depictions of news networks, book publishing, app start-ups, online blogs, politics and, of course, every entertainment industry. The show openly mocks the superficial nature of new media and the greed of the old while revealing the small beams of light that come from genuinely heartfelt endeavors. In short, these writers understand our time, and they successfully make a show that acts as a mirror to society — as well as a time capsule.
No. 2 It has better continuity than the DC superhero movies.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has made intricately planned, continuity-driven stories a hot trend (something the DC universe fails to copy in even a satisfactory manner). BoJack Horseman is not just a collection of loosely collected episodes like the television of old but a thoughtful, intentional story in which each episode and season adds a crucial piece. From character arcs to running jokes, the creators designed this show for those who will pay attention all the way through. The series rewards multiple viewings with the high-quantity of visual gags and rapid-fire dialogue in nearly every scene.
No. 3 The characters aren't one-dimensional.
As in any show, plot lines come and go, but the characters inevitably stick around. Without relatable, complex personalities and emotions, writers often recycle the same jokes and simplistic traits for each character throughout the entirety of a show's existence. BoJack, on the other hand, grows its characters and allows them to make mistakes and learn a lesson or choose to continue on in their old ways. No main character is ever the same by the end of a season, and the crazy part is that they do this successfully for five main characters.
No. 4 The show always has something to say.
For all of the reasons already stated, the show's creators could be proud. But it would ultimately just be entertainment. Instead, this show constantly comes at you with some sort of insightful commentary or bold statement. From the little things, like how honeydew is garbage fruit, to big topics like gun control and the meaning of friendship, BoJack Horseman has always got something to say.