A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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