How is it that a cartoon about a talking horse is able to be the most realistic in its portrayal of depression, anxiety and the human condition in general? Its even more impressive when said horse is a washed up Hollywood superstar, which isn’t exactly relatable for most people. Its a strange one, but in one of the boldest and most original shows to ever come out of Netflix, Rafael Bob-Waksburg’s anthropomorphic comedy hits in all the right ways and its the tragedy that stays with you afterwards, not the comedy. That isn’t to say of course, that BoJack Horseman isn’t funny. BJ is a comedy first, a unflinching look at the gamit of human emotion second. Watching the first few episodes of the first season, you would rightly be asking “what the fuck is Lines In Wax talking about?”, but like any TV series worth its salt, BoJack needs to set up the pieces before knocking them down. But don’t just take my word for it. I write about death metal, grindcore and weird electronic music. I don’t have the verbal capacity to adequately convey this show’s themes. All I’ll say is, that for a cartoon, BoJack Horseman is astoundingly well written, and absolutely gut-wrenching as much as it is funny. If you’ve ever watched a loved one succumb to dementia then you’re going to be in for a hard time during season 4. TLDR: BoJack remains one of my favourite TV series of all time, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Let me write to you about The Deuce. It has finished its compact run of three seasons in as many years and I can now commit it to the site (TV shows need to have completed their run to warrant inclusion on LIW – Ed). Everything about The Deuce has bells on. It starts as a 1970s period piece, where downtown New York is painstakingly recreated on the dime of big budget backers HBO. The series is created by David Simon, one of the visionary minds of modern television (he did The Wire), in collaboration with esteemed crime author and The Wire writer George Pelecanos. Big name movie stars such as James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal signed on, delivering, arguably, career defining performances alongside a stunning ensemble cast. So why, prey tell, is NOBODY talking about The Deuce? I don’t know if something has been lost in translation over on this side of the pond, but it is almost insulting that this unflinching goosey at the rise of the porn industry from the seedy underworld of crime and prostitution into your cinemas and living rooms has gone mostly under the radar. If you loved The Wire, then this is a no brainer, but The Deuce also packs a bit of class and swagger; maybe it’s the costume design, but The Deuce feels much more like a TV show than The Wire did, the latter having an almost documentary feel to it. Twin Peaks’ return aside (as I don’t suppose that counts as a “new” show?), The Deuce is hands down the best TV show to have been made in the last five years, if not longer. Massively underrated stuff
Hi all – to celebrate hitting over 1000 posts, I’m going to further mix things up by also introducing TV show posts to Lines In Wax. The only criteria is that the show has finished its run and can be spoken about as a whole. Enjoy! The first I heard of Tuca & Bertie was that it had been cancelled by Netflix, to much criticism. I read that maybe the creators went “too niche” with the target audience, but since watching this, I can absolutely say that is total horse shit. Tuca & Bertie, like the first season of Bojack Horseman, takes a few “procedural” episodes to build up steam, before getting a little meatier later on. It touches on mental health, most notably anxiety and trauma caused by sexual assault, but this does not surprise me considering the creators. I don’t feel like I can dive too much into that as it is written and told as a woman’s perspective, so it wouldn’t be my place to decide if this was done well or not, but I will say that I found Tuca & Bertie fresh, interesting, funny, moving, and honestly, inspiring, as far as animation goes. It truly is a shame that it has already been shitcanned by Netflix, for whatever reason. This really was a nice change of pace for me and I highly recommend it. RIP, gone too soon!