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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bojack Horseman Season 2 Review: Hollywoo Land.

You're broken and no one can fix you.

That is the central theme of one of the funniest show this year. It's mastery of absurdity and tragedy is unparalleled. You couldn't make this show with real people. You couldn't make it without it's goofy animal puns or it's increasingly intricate background gags or stable of bit players. It turns out when you mix Californication with Rocko's Modern Life you get the most honest cold stare at depression I've ever seen.

We open on Bojack listening to a self help audio book on his phone. He's helped publish a best selling autobiography and is about to go into work and play his dream role. He wants desperately to be happy and now has all the things he thinks he needs to pull that off. Though the book about all his life's accomplishments was called "One Trick Pony" and his dream role is a disgraced athlete who ultimately flung himself off a bridge.

This is also a show where in the forth episode the D in the Hollywood sign was stolen and everyone everywhere stopped calling it "Hollywood." I'm not sure how it keeps such a firm grasp while wrangling such opposite tones but it's marvelously successful 88% of the time. I say 88% because it does get a little too out there sometimes. 

Like when Bo's homeless couch surfing roommate reveals he's been secretly building his own homebrew Disneyland for years. I love Todd and I love how other characters shoo him away by asking him why he isn't having another "wacky" adventure. Yet the fact they needed such an obvious lampshade is part of the problem. He seems to be on a different show, a show that perfectly complements Bo's self inflicted misery, but still.

Actually, a lot of stories run parallel to Bo this year. Diane, his ex ghost writer/ex hopeless object of affection, and her husband (golden retriever Mr. Peanutbutter) have their own arc as a couple. The contrast of the cold intellectual with a vain, but fiercely loyal, air-head flows naturally from a huge fight to a shaky makeup to the most amazingly titled game show of all time:
I'll let that title be a surprise.

They have a real marriage. Their differences fester and drive them apart but ultimately make them more honest people. Yeah. Look at that gif and read that last sentence again. They have their dramedy cake and eat it too. I said before that Diane could carry the show on her own and she does for a while. Vindication is just the best, you guys.

The performances are all solid as well. This season gets bonus points for the most consecutive credit shocks ("wait... HE was in this?!!) I've ever had with a show. Liev Schreiber is in season 2 somewhere. I dare you to find him.

The 3 major arcs outside of Bojack may get sidelined for a while but they all reach a conclusion worthy of lead characters. I mean to say that this is now officially an ensemble show with 2 of the best female leads in television. If the male centric marketing turned you off, ignore it. No other show has ever explored  the fallout of sexual assault allegations this honestly (there's that word again). I'm not the only one who thinks so.

"You know what Oxpeckers do to Hippos... right?"

I want to keep gushing. I want to talk about Lisa Kudrow's amazing role as Bo's steady. How she's funny as hell while playing a character that essentially bores Bojack. She's entertaining AND boring. How? How did she do that? Holy crap. But I have to stop.

 My flirtation with the show a year back has turned into a full time love affair. I've watched the season twice already and I'm seriously considering watching it a third time. Except maybe I'll skip Escape from L.A. That ones pretty hard to watch but it also might be its greatest. Does that make sense? If it gets you to watch the show I don't care if I'm typing in tongues.

I've been having a rough go of it lately and this show helped me.  I feel its best to lay that bias on the table. Just sayin' I'm a little too close to it. But I'm also not shouting in a vacuum this year, the consensus has been deafening. This is a wonderful show that delights and horrifies. It can make the funniest "elephant in the room" gag you've ever seen and then spend the rest of the episode slowly filling you with existential dread. It looks like something that ran for one season on Fox 3 years ago but it feels like a modern classic.

Sunset Boulevard by way of The Simpsons.

Friday, July 24, 2015

You know who ELSE thinks New Vegas is the best Fallout?

I'm listening...
Why, its the Starbucks of gaming journalism. I kid. Somebody has to be at the top and somebody has to be the industry's pet. Never forget they discovered real talent in both Jessica Chobot (who they've since replaced with a blonde pod-person) and Greg Miller.  They're all right most of the time, I don't mind them as much as some.

So let's see... that's Honest Trailers, Eurogamer, myself, and now IGN.

Ya'll just banked some serious brownie points. Becaue I am just that easy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How good is Bojack season 2?

It's so good I'm willingly (hell, GLADLY) watching it all over again before finishing my review. It's no longer an unappreciated gem. It's evolved into one of the best animated shows yet produced and is still the most accurate portrayal of depression on screen. At least to me.

I've never done that before, for what it's worth.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

On binging Bojack:

It's good... really good. In the company of Archer, Bob's Burgers, and the golden age of The Simpsons good. A formal review is forthcoming.

God, they really hit the ground running this year.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

4 episodes deep and True Detective is still spinning it's wheels.

I'm sorry buddy. We can't ALL have a mcconaissance.

While still managing to be hypnotically watchable and showcasing Taylor Kitsch's best performance yet, this season's essentially a bust. We've barely covered enough intrigue to fill a feature film and the scant clues we have don't connect in any tantalizing ways.

When every suspect is a scum bag capable of anything the audience doesn't care when it's over. You're not spinning a mystery, you're playing duck, duck, goose. That shootout was pretty great, though. Too bad there's no one left to question.