'BoJack Horseman' animates Netflix

Thursday, 21 August 2014 09:31 AM Written by 

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Netflix enters the adult animated comedy genre with the generally unfunny "BoJack Horseman," which debuts Friday on the streaming service.

Read more after the jump. ...

Will Arnett ("Arrested Development") gives voice to BoJack, the equine star of the 1987-96 ABC sitcom "Horsin' Around" (a single horseman takes in three human children).

Now it's 18 years later and BoJack is washed up. He hangs with human sidekick/roommate Todd (Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad") and fights with his feline agent/ex-lover Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) when he's not procrastinating writing his memoir for his publisher (Patton Oswalt).

Created by writer Raphael Bob-Waksberg (NBC's "Save Me"), "BoJack Horseman" gets the particulars of late '80s sitcoms right and has a few scattershot funny moments but it's mostly not a laugh riot. Attempts at "Family Guy"-style quick-cut flashbacks don't work as well as they do on "Family Guy" and we've seen sad sack, washed-up TV stars before. "BoJack" brings little new to this characterization.

If this comedy doesn't sound up to snuff, Netflix also premiered a new British drama this week and has more in the pipeline. Here's how Netflix describes those programs: 

About "Southcliffe" (already available) - 

From writer Tony Grisoni (Red Riding) and director Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene), “Southcliffe” is a 4-part miniseries set in a small English town on the first anniversary of a devastating spree killing. David Whitehead (Rory Kinnear) is a successful journalist who reported on a spate of killings in Southcliffe. A year after the murders, he receives a message, apparently from the killer, warning him that the killing is going to start again. But the man who committed this crime, Stephen Morton (Sean Harris), shot himself at the end of his rampage. Could he still be alive? Is it a sick prank? Or has Stephen’s spirit somehow come back to haunt David?  

David returns to the scene of the tragedy and to a past he would rather forget. Because Southcliffe is also the town where he grew up and holds painful memories for him of an unhappy childhood. As David searches for answers, his story interweaves with those closest to the victims of the tragedy, revealing their lives before, during and after the killings. Each of them are looking for answers and for ways to repair their broken lives. Is tragedy somehow hard-wired into the DNA of the place? And is that why it seems to be coming back to strike again…  “Southcliffe” also stars Shirley Henderson,  Anatol Yusef, Eddie Marsan, Nichola Burley, Joe Dempsie, Kaya Scodelario, Lee Ross,  Al Weaver,  Emma Cunniffe, Geoff Bell and Maurice Roëves. The series is a Warp Films production in association with Borderline Films.

 
About "Happy Valley" (premiered Wednesday)- 
Starring BAFTA winner Sarah Lancashire (“Last Tango in Halifax”), “Happy Valley” is an original six-part drama by BAFTA winning writer Sally Wainwright (“Last Tango in Halifax,” “Scott & Bailey”). The darkly compelling series centres on Catherine (Lancashire), a hard-working, no-nonsense police sergeant  who heads up a dedicated police team in a rural British town. When a staged kidnapping quickly spirals out of control and turns into a much more extreme series of crimes, Catherine finds herself involved in something significantly bigger than her rank, but unknowingly close to home. The series also stars new talent James Norton (“Death Comes to Pemberley”), Steve Pemberton (“Whitechapel”), Siobhan Finneran (“Downton Abbey”), George Costigan (“Calendar Girls”) and Joe Armstrong (“Robin Hood”). Nicola Shindler (“Last Tango in Halifax”) and Wainwright serve as executive producers on “Happy Valley.” The series is a Red Production Company production for the BBC. It premiered on BBC One in the UK to 7.6 million viewers, winning its time slot. The series finale notched up an unprecedented 92.5 audience appreciation rating for the national broadcaster – BBC One’s highest ever AI for a drama series - and was recently nominated for a TV Choice Award for Best Drama as well as being selected for Edinburgh TV Festival’s coveted Programme Choice award.

About "Hinterland" (premieres Sept. 1)- Aberystwyth. Centuries old. A place of searing beauty. A natural crucible of colliding worlds, where history, myth and tradition come face-to-face with the modern and contemporary. But its panoramic vistas and quaint facade hide a multitude of sins - this is a place that lives according to its own rules, a place where grudges fester, where the secrets of the past are buried deep. Into this world steps DCI Tom Mathias. On the run from his past, our thirty-eight year old hero is a brilliant but troubled man. Having abandoned his life in London, he finds himself holed up in a trailer park on the outskirts of town - a place filled with secrets as dark and destructive as his own. His partner in crime is DI Mared Rhys. Thirty-three years old, Mared is intelligent and complex with demons of her own to conceal. Together, enigmatic outsider Mathias and hometown girl Mared form an engaging partnership. Mathias is at the heart of every story. He is a man we instinctively trust, a man who knows that the key to solving that ultimate anti-social crime, murder, lies not in where you look for truth, but how you look. From the windswept sand dunes of the coastline to the badlands of the hinterland and beyond, this is a detective drama with pace, poetry and scale. A series made up of four two-hour films with stories that are original and local, yet timeless and universal. Blood, soil and belonging. This is Hinterland. The series stars Richard Harrington and Mali Harries, and was written by Ed Thomas, Ed Talfan, Jeff Murphy and David Joss Buckley. 

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