25 August 2014 | wsheit
Weak Pilot, But Stick Around...
I want more.
See, the pilot is incredibly mediocre and, as others have pointed out, leverages the joke format of other tried and true animated shows. But this is business as usual, really. Animated pilots are typically sub- par. I LOVE Bob's Burgers, but man, that show's pilot was a mess.
What's important is that Bojack does find itself as the season progresses, and there's something really new and interesting here. I think the writers started out thinking they were writing a comedy with dramatic elements. Somewhere along the way, they realized it was the reverse. The majority of the scripts are dedicated to pursuing the internal foibles of the characters, and if a joke wanders in at the edge of the screen, all the better for a bit of levity amidst the existential darkness.
And then there's the Netflix money. Now, sequestering a bunch of celebrities in one place does not guarantee success (something I wish Stallone would figure out). However, there's a pretty rich voice cast here, and once the show hits its stride, Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul, Paul F. Tompkins, Kristen Schaal, and others give the material it's due. Arnett, in particular, as Bojack manages to take on equine form and make me forget Arrested Development's Gob almost entirely; no mean feat.
By the end of season 1, the five principal characters are pretty well- drawn and acted- fully fleshed beings. What's more, the world finally lives up to the glorious surrealism of the opening sequence, throwing some very human failings in stark relief with a world bizarrely populated by anthropomorphic animals. Give Bojack some space, and you'll find one of the freshest shows of the year. Here's hoping for season 2, because I'm fairly certain the best of Bojack is yet to come.