Ford On Film

Chronicles of a silver screen addict

5 Best Bojack Horseman Episodes

It’s been a few weeks since the release of the third season of Bojack Horseman, and for those who still haven’t caught up , you’re missing one of 2016’s television highlights. For three seasons, Bojack Horseman has been mixing brilliant visuals and sharp jokes with some of the bleakest, most challenging material ever found in an animated series. Tackling drugs, depression, and loneliness, Bojack Horseman can make you laugh and weep in the same episode. In just three seasons, the series has gifted us many great episodes and lines. In order of release date, here are my picks for the five best episodes of Bojack Horseman so far:

*WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

1. Downer Ending (Season 1, Episode 11)

After a few subpar episodes that painted it as Family Guy-lite, Bojack Horseman really  came into its own in the second half of season one. As Bojack went from self-absorbed asshole to depressed, self-hating wreck, the tone of the series got darker and darker, culminating in the trippy penultimate episode, Downer Ending.

Attempting to re-write his unflattering memoir, Bojack consumes high amounts of drugs and goes through an intense trip into his past, present and future. The animation style is dazzling and Bojack’s vision of a happy life he’ll never have are quietly moving. The episode’s ending (“Tell me I’m good”) was one of the first signs of the emotional rollercoaster Bojack Horseman would go on to become.

Bojack 1

2.Let’s Find Out (Season 2, Episode 8)

Perhaps the funniest episode of Bojack Horseman yet. From the episode’s story (Bojack guests on a quiz show devised by the recently-rediscovered J.D. Sallinger and hosted by rival Mr. Peanutbutter) to the quiz show name (Hollywoo Stars And Celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things? Let’s Find Out!), to the hilarious interjections from Bojack’s girlfriend Wanda (“People are losing their tits. Oh wait, I’ve clicked onto a cancer support forum”) and guest star Daniel Radcliffe (“Hello Chadwick Boseman”), Let’s Find Out is a wall-to-wall joke machine. The fact that the episode also features an emotional heart-to-heart with two of its main characters is testament to the excellent writing.

Bojack 2

3.Escape From L.A. (Season 2, Episode 11)

Throughout the series, Bojack repeatedly causes his own downfall. In the first season, he sabotages best friend Todd’s rock opera and fires ghost writer Diane, while the second sees him getting his director fired and ditching  his big Hollywoo break Secretariat to hide at an old flame’s house.

Most of Escape From L.A. sees Bojack as happy as he’s ever been, hanging around in New Mexico helping old friend Charlotte and escorting her daughter Penny to the prom. Bojack can never maintain happiness for very long, however, and the episode ends in bleak fashion as Charlotte catches Bojack attempting to sleep with Penny. The final line (“If you contact me or my family again, I will fucking kill you”) may be the harshest yet.

Bojack 3

4.Fish Out Of Water (Season 3, Episode 4)

Already hailed by critics and fans alike as the most inventive, original episode yet, Fish Out Of Water is almost entirely silent as it follows Bojack’s strange adventures at an underwater film festival. Playing as a bizarre Lost In Translation homage, the episode features stunning animation detail and gorgeous sound design. Bojack’s quest to return a baby sea horse to its father is a rare sweet moment in an otherwise difficult show.

Bojack 4

5.That’s Too Much Man (Season 3, Episode 11)

The darkest half hour in the show’s history. Season 3 is a downward spiral for Bojack. He sleeps with his best friend’s ex, fires his longtime agent Princess Carolyn, and fails to get Oscar-nominated. Deciding to throw the bender to end all benders, Bojack reunites with fan favourite-trainwreck-former child star Sara Lynn and starts drinking, waking up in increasingly despairing situations.

Sara Lynn (sober for nine months beforehand) expresses increasingly sad and regretful thoughts as her and Bojack’s drug trip lasts for weeks. Finally returning to the planetarium she’d always wanted to visit when she was a child, That’s Too Much Man ends on a devastating note as Sara Lynn dies in Bojack’s arms. An absolute tearjerker.

Bojack 5

By Harry J. Ford

 

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