December 5, 2016

The Courageous Email that Saved 'BoJack Horseman' Episode of the Year Candidate

If you've got a good idea, stand up for it.

TIME released their end of the year list for the Top 10 TV Episodes of 2016 last week, and their pick for #1 should be no surprise to any fan of the Netflix show BoJack Horseman. "Fish Out of Water" finds the titular horse/man stuck underwater for the premiere of his new film Secretariat. Like so many other episodes of the dark comedy, this one focuses on how BoJack manages to royally screw himself over, but it stands out from the rest of Season 3 in that it is almost completely free of dialog.

"The year’s best episode of television was a stand-alone escape from harsh reality that proved reality always finds its way to catch you," says TIME television critic Daniel D'Addario. "Underwater, his inability to communicate with anyone is made literal—the episode, thanks to his restricting diving helmet, is practically a silent film—and attempts at forming a nonverbal connection with abandoned seahorse babies he rescues is only a temporary distraction. This episode is dazzlingly beautiful and among the most creative single episodes of TV in memory; it’s also a perceptive and painful look at being forced to confront one’s regrets."

It seems, however, that Netflix wasn't keen to waste an episode of one of their most popular animated comedies on an artsy silent film experiment. Co-creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg took to Twitter after a congratulatory tweet from one of the show's designers to prove that some battles are certainly worth fighting. And sometimes all it takes is courage, a little research and a tactful email to the higher-ups. Check out the email Bob-Waksberg wrote to some un-named executives after he received some pushback on his radical concept for the episode.

Courtesy of Raphael Bob-Waksberg - @RaphaelBW.

“Sometimes when you want to do something new and challenging some people in charge might need some convincing,” Bob-Waksberg tweeted. “In my experience, it is always worth taking the time to convince those people.” I'm sure many of us could use this advice every once in a while. Thanks, Raphael.       

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3 Comments

I remember watching this episode. I was up late the night before dping a Toyota spot. Nervous as always I had gone through the set ups numerous times. I sat in bed not able to sleep and saw this episode. As soon as he couldn't talk I realized it was special. Completely entranced I carried it over to the shoot the next day, thinking back to what the hell this was about. It made me change my final shot that I thought gave it a more personal edge and it worked. Thanks Raphael.

December 6, 2016 at 5:11PM

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