THIS special must have come about because of a large number fans requesting a full Horsin’ Around episode, and I’m not sure why. The whole point of Bojack’s sitcom is that it was the standard run-out-of-the-mill sitcom, complete with the family dynamic with one major change routine we’ve all seen a hundred times before.
I was quite pleased with the first season of Bojack Horseman. While not an instant classic it was funny and incisive enough to make for an enjoyable experience that I hope will continue again in the future. This was not, however, the result I was hoping for. The Christmas special resolves around Bojack and Todd watching the Christmas special of Horsin’ Around (Specialception) in which Bojack celebrates his adopted kids’ first Christmas.
The special, like the series, pokes fun at the tropes of 90s sitcoms: Catchphrases, stale acting, obvious fan favorites, etc. The satirical nature of the special generated a few laughs; I particularly enjoyed the slow build-up of an audience member yelling, yet I found the whole message to be, “Oh, ain’t specials cheesy, but we’re being cheesy…ironically.” A concept that doesn’t land well. Bojack is cynical in nature, and while it juxtaposes this with the 90s sitcom theme and the added extra Christmas tropes piled on top, the joke quickly passes but is continually repeated over and over. Yes, I get it, the fact that it’s repeated is the joke itself, but that doesn’t automatically make it funny.
I can understand why they’d want to separate this from the main season. I did enjoy having something new from Bojack again, even if it was slightly disappointing. As Todd says, however: “Specials don’t become tradition because they’re good; they’re good because they’re traditional.”