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Dark horse “BoJack Horseman” returns, tragicomic as ever; “Looking” says buh-bye

7/20/2016

 

“BoJack Horseman”

Friday, July 22 (Netflix)

Season Premiere: Recently, Netflix released promo art that placed cartoon character BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett) in the same league as troubled dramatic TV anti-heroes Tony Soprano, Don Draper and Frank Underwood. It’s no joke.

BoJack Horseman Season 3 premiering on Netflix on July 22, 2016. The series stars Will Arnett, Aaron Paul and Amy Sedaris. (Photo Netflix)

BoJack Horseman Season 3 premiering on Netflix on July 22, 2016. The series stars Will Arnett, Aaron Paul and Amy Sedaris. (Photo Netflix)

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They all struggled to find happiness within the American Dream, and so continues BoJack. He should be happy: He’s back in the public eye, doing press and Oscar campaigning for his dream starring role in “Secretariat”… but it’s all meaningless, hollow crap. More so than depression and ennui — yes, a cartoon has forced me to break out the fancy words — “BoJack Horseman” is about the aggressive shallowness of Hollywood and celebrity, and Round 3 goes even deeper and darker than before. This might be a good time to mention that the show is also funny as hell.

“Looking: The Movie”

Saturday, July 23 (HBO)

Movie: Canceled more than a year ago by HBO, “Looking” was never a flashy “Gay!” series, but a low-key and honest, if occasionally over-talky, depiction of everyday (but, admittedly, ridiculously good-looking) gay men in San Francisco — which could be why it only lasted 18 episodes. Unlike the then-groundbreaking “Queer as Folk” more than a decade ago, the characters of “Looking” have nothing to prove or reveal; they’re already out and established, just trying to get through this thing called life. “Looking: The Movie” is a 90-minute series wrap-up, and easily one of the more satisfying TV finales in recent memory.

“Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour”

Sunday, July 24 (History)

Series Debut: Ozzy Osbourne and son Jack are back on reality TV — but this time, it’s educational-ish. The 10-episode “Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour” is a travelogue history lesson (on the History Channel?) hitting such destinations as Mt. Rushmore, Stonehenge, Roswell, the Jamestown Settlement, Sun Studios, and even The Alamo, which Ozzy famously pissed on in the 1980s when he was chemically insane (as opposed to whatever strain of insane he is currently). “World Detour” has its share of funny, obviously scripted “reality” moments, but Ozzy’s indecipherable mutterings and Jack feel 10-years played-out.

“MadTV”

Tuesday, July 26 (The CW)

Series Re-Debut: The CW’s recent 20th anniversary special for “MadTV” proved that there’s little from the 1995-2009 Fox sketch-comedy series that holds up today — so it must be the perfect time to revive it as summer filler. The new “MadTV” features an unknown cast of varyingly-talented newbies who could have come up with something better if not stuck with an ancient brand-name that means nada in 2016 and forced guest-appearances by original “Mad” cast members dredging up best-forgotten characters from the past. CV

Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on TV Tan Podcast (iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and BillFrost.tv), and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.

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