BoJack Horseman

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
BoJack Horseman TV Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Talking animals too crass for the kids it might attract.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 30 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 35 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

This is a story about the travails of a miserable has-been animal actor who drowns his sorrows in drink, drugs, and casual sex, so positive messages are few and far between.
 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters on the show are consistently rude to each other. They are sexually unfaithful, they say terrible things to each other, and treat each other with disdain. All that said, there are glimmers of kindness, particularly between Horseman and roommate Todd.

Violence

There are occasional animated scuffles as well as buffoonish violence such as BoJack vomiting in the face of a man who offends him.

Sex

Sex is depicted with moaning and utterances such as "I'm almost there!" There are references to group sex and masturbation, and Horseman has frequent no-strings sex with women he treats poorly the next day.

Language

Some four-letter words: "Linus carried around a blanket, and no one gave him s--t for it." There's also vulgar languages such as references to characters sitting around on their posteriors.

Consumerism

Real celebrities are mentioned and real brands parodied, such as when Lululemon becomes Lululemming.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many references to drugs, as when a man is roughed up for "selling E on the cartel's turf." BoJack also drinks frequently and drives drunk. Scenes take place in bars. Characters smoke cigarettes on-screen.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that BoJack Horseman is a mature animated series about an animal actor who's down on his luck. Because many of the main characters are talking animals, young children may be attracted to this show; however, though this series isn't as crude as animated shows such as Family Guy or South Park, it's really not for kids. Main characters drink to excess, have casual sex, and make jokes about drugs, sex, religion, morality, and other potentially sensitive topics. Sex is graphically depicted on-screen (no body parts are seen, but there is moaning and thrusting), and characters drink themselves into stupors, vomit, and make poor choices.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byガアク たなー February 1, 2017

Another poor main review

The main review for this series is incredibly lacking. Bojack Horseman is not primarily a comedy. The show is a wonderful look at crippling depression that int... Continue reading
Adult Written byBrandon Espinoza July 29, 2015

Why Bojack Horseman is a show worth binge watching

What can I truly say about Bojack Horseman? It is one of the best adult animated sitcoms in the Netflix library, if not, if the most mature show out there. Wh... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMarekg373 August 23, 2016

Bojack Horseman is an Intense, Emotional Rollercoaster You Can't Get Off

Bojack Horseman is an amazing show, and I enjoyed watching every episode with complete attentiveness. It perfectly displays the dark truth of living every day a... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 15, 2015

Meh as a comedy, Excels at Drama and Mature Themes

Bojack Horseman is about a horseoid who was an actor at a 90's TV series, but now washed up. It's not your typical adult cartoon that uses shock humor... Continue reading

What's the story?

The eponymous star of BOJACK HORSEMAN is a down-on-his-luck animal actor (Will Arnett) who's nursing the last of his fame left over from his starring in a Full House-like hit sitcom, Horsin' Around. BoJack hasn't had a lot of acting roles since then and spends most of his time moping around his Hollywood home with perma-houseguest/mini-entourage Todd (Aaron Paul), in between throwing parties and drinking himself into a stupor. His agent, talking cat Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), is convinced that BoJack can climb back on top by writing his tell-all memoirs with the help of ghostwriter Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie). BoJack isn't so sure. But he's sure, he's going to stumble back into fame, or at least infamy, somehow, and soon.

Is it any good?

BoJack Horseman certainly has the trappings of hilarity: Great comic actors (Will Arnett and Amy Sedaris? An embarrassment of riches!) in situations rich with absurd potential. A horse writing a book? And shopping at an animal grocery store, the shelves lined with asparagus and carrots? A talking cat as the agent of a talking horse who plays "Jellicle Cats" as her phone system's hold music? The writing's not bad, either, getting off some good lines such as when BoJack affirms that he's great with commitment: "I commit to things all the time! It's just following through on that commitment I don't do." Snort.

But somehow, things don't gel into actual thigh-slapping. Mild chuckles are the most you can expect and the pleasant passing of 25 minutes. And maybe that's enough. BoJack is profane and goofy enough to keep adults more or less amused yet not so offensive as to cause parents to dash for the remote lest teens catch some of the action. You probably wouldn't want to watch with tweens -- the goings-on are too blue for that -- but teens may enjoy watching, with or without mom and dad.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why animated series aimed at adults have become popular. What other animated series for adults can you name? How are they like or unlike BoJack Horseman?

  • Do you recognize any of the voices in BoJack Horseman from other shows? How does it affect the way you feel about this show?

  • Netflix used to be a site that only distributed movies and TV shows made by other companies. Now it's making its own shows. Why?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Themes & Topics

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