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TV review: Netflix’s ‘Bojack Horseman’ leaves no pun unturned

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We wouldn’t bet on this horse: Netflix’s Bojack Horseman.

Two stars

Bojack Horseman Season 1 streaming on Netflix starting August 22.

Unlike its dramas, Netflix’s comedy series have generally relied on familiar brands (Arrested Development, Ricky Gervais) rather than staking out new territory. So it’s a little disappointing that the streaming service’s first wholly original comedy, the animated BoJack Horseman, feels so, well, unoriginal. BoJack never rises above the level of a second-rate Comedy Central or Adult Swim show, with repetitive jokes, tired showbiz satire and a heavy reliance on sexually explicit and gross-out humor. BoJack (voiced by Will Arnett) is a washed-up sitcom star who also happens to be a horse, and he lives in a world filled with both humans and anthropomorphic animals. Mostly the setting is an excuse for weak puns (the Navy SEAL is an actual seal!), although there are occasional funny moments. Voice actors Arnett and Aaron Paul are executive producers, and their clout attracts plenty of celebrity guest stars, but it might have been put to better use coming up with stronger jokes and a more clever premise.

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  • The brisk pacing is the sole improvement over the meandering, overlong original.

  • Nicole Kidman stars as the titular American actress-turned-princess in the flick, which airs on Lifetime this week.

  • The flick is more interested in telling the audience about the importance of fun than in actually having any.

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