Modern journalism & writing, combined with the proliferation of social media platforms like Twitter that promote brevity over anything, the more hyperbolic a statement typically the more successful that statement is, be it a Tweet, an article or something else. If someone were to suggest something was “okay” or “pretty good” on social media, unless it’s humorous irony or the meme of the day, that statement is unlikely to succeed as much as its O.T.T cousin. I say this all to hopefully convince you that, by acknowledging the current state of journalism today, the following statement is genuine and not one of a need for this article to “succeed”: Bojack Horseman season four is the greatest piece of television ever produced.
If you haven’t yet caught up with the show, Bojack is yet a Netflix Original animated series following the life of Bojack Horseman, a washed-up actor who has yet to really do anything of note other than a successful sitcom years ago. Starring Will Arnett as Bojack, the show has covered a multitude of themes to great acclaim, and its incredibly strong, varied supportive cast, including Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, Community & GLOW star Alison Brie, seasoned voice actress Amy Sedaris and more, has led to both the world-class humour & drama woven through the scripts to come-off better than most adult animated programmes.
While the show has been outstanding in the past, with a highlight for me being the season three episode (‘Fish Out Of Water’) that occurred almost entirely underwater with little to no dialogue throughout, season four has seen Bojack ascend from being a pretty great show to one of the best of all time. In the past Bojack has covered some uncomfortable subjects, including child abuse, inappropriate relationships, depression, infidelity, alcoholism and more, and while it did those incredibly well, sometimes even outstandingly, it was always just another TV show. A great one, but with the high standard of television these days, nothing overly special. This all changed with Season Four.
Like its preceding seasons, season four of Bojack attempted to hit a few tough topics, including but not limited to: depression (again), miscarriages, racism, systemic racism, gun violence, dementia, even fracking for frack’s sake. The way these topics were handled must also be praised, from the emotionally taxing, almost beautiful way the show tackles dementia, to the casual constant references to mass shootings throughout episode 5 (titled ‘Thoughts and Prayers). A season-long plot line, one that continues from exactly where we left off, that absolutely must be praised is Todd’s coming to grips with his asexuality. He goes from rejecting this label to embracing it, and along the way learns about his sexuality in an honest, genuine, subtle way. Asexuality is a frequently misunderstood identity, so to have Todd be this naive protagonist in the story of his own sexual identity educates the viewers while not insulting them.
There are a few season-long plots, but Bojack’s revolves primarily around the sudden appearance of a previously unknown daughter, Hollyhock. The search for Hollyhock’s biological mother is the impetus for the majority of the events of the season, including the beautifully depressing treatment of Bojack’s mother’s dementia. Ultimately, though it arguably caused Bojack the most harm over the course of the season, it finally gave us a season finale that ended on a high note. You will spend a lot of the time under the covers or drying your eyes, reaching for the remote to click ‘play next episode’. Despite its overall melancholic subject matter, Bojack is the most enthralling piece of entertainment in memory. Time’s arrow marches forward, and with it hopefully comes more Bojack.