The Origin Story of the Depressingly Good “BoJack Horseman


The trailer for the first season of “BoJack Horseman” is adorned with one of those savant-like Internet comments: “This trailer tricked us into thinking it’s just a dumb funny show when in actuality it’s dark and depressing.” While Netflix technically classifies the show as a comedy, the episodes make you laugh and cry in equal measure, using humor to disarm you before punching you in the gut with tragedy. The show delights with animal puns, absurdist humor, and show-biz jokes—all threaded together by an otherworldly visual style, created by the cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt. It also ventures unflinchingly into those dark and depressing places, with no easy happy endings in sight—a multi-season meditation on what mental illness is, and what it does. Twelve new episodes, already hailed as ever more distressing and meta, arrive on Friday.

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