BOJACK HORSEMAN - SEASON 2 / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: WILL ARNETT, AMY SEDARIS, ALISON BRIE / RELEASE DATE: 2ND DECEMBER
Season one ended on a rare upbeat note with our hero being offered his dream role as the title character in Secretariat, and season two of BoJack Horseman picks up right where we left off - Will Arnett’s BoJack is on set, filming the biopic. Unfortunately, everything else is also pretty much where we left off, and the various casualties of BoJack’s self-destructive chaos are still feeling the effects of their friendship with the actor.
This is, of course, what makes the show unique and, if you’ve stayed with it long enough to hit season two, you’re along for the rest of the ride. Season two takes BoJack into his past, with unresolved friendships and love affairs coming back to haunt the star; in typical BoJack style, he manages to both resolve and make things worse in just about every situation. When it comes to making things worse, the events of episode eleven take some beating, and they have ramifications for the rest of the series.
Princess Caroline has a new boyfriend – who may or may not be three small children wearing a big coat – and Todd opens his own branch of Disneyland, built with the help of some worker bees. This surreality, natural for a world where humans live side by side with the creations of Dr Moreau, is as integral to the show as the trigger warnings for depression, and where some shows may use it as a wacky “what will they think of next?” BoJack Horseman employs it to hilarious yet somehow measured effect.
The ensemble cast all get their stories furthered, with Diane and Mr Peanutbutter’s marriage hitting a rocky patch, and the voice acting is once more a treat; again, Amy Sedaris shines as Princess Caroline, but is given a run for her money by Aaron Paul’s Todd and Paul F Tompkins as Mr Peanutbutter, while Lisa Kudrow, Patton Oswalt, and especially Cedric Yarbrough (as Officer Meow-Meow) guest-star with aplomb.
The Manga Entertainment Blu-ray comes with little in the way of extras; just an animatic for the first episode, some character and background art galleries, and a short clip of the theme song being played live on a canal in Amsterdam. This is in stark contrast to the US release from Shout! Factory which - over the course of a 4-disc season one and two collection – comes with 25 audio commentaries from cast and crew.
With BoJack’s final season currently half-over on Netflix, going back to the show’s earlier episodes is a bittersweet journey. This is an A-grade show, and one that probably wouldn’t have survived its first season on network, or even cable, TV. Raphael Bob-Waksberg already has his first post-BoJack hit with Undone for Amazon, but the six seasons of his first show, with season two high in the list of best seasons, will always be tough to top. Make sure you always have the luxury of being able to look back, even if half the time you’re peeking out between your fingers through awkward horror.