Raphael Bob-Waksberg Interview: ‘Bojack Horseman’ creator
With the finale now behind him, Raphael Bob-Waksberg is most proud that “BoJack Horseman” has helped a number of its fans to be able to discuss and articulate their feelings. “The show has encouraged them to get help for their problems to feel less alone, to give them a language to articulate the feelings that they’ve had, maybe they thought only they had,” reveals the co-creator in our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above). For a show that is known for being as dark as “BoJack” is, it’s comforting that he can find such a positive take away. “That’s what really makes me happy is when I meet fans and they say, ‘Thank you. Your show gave me a way to talk about something that I was going through that I didn’t know how to talk about.’”
“BoJack Horseman,” which recently concluded its run on Netflix, centered on the titular washed-up sitcom actor (Will Arnett) as he tries to find happiness in both his professional and personal life while also being haunted by the demons of his past. After years of snubs, the show finally managed to break into the Emmy race for Best Animated Program race last year. The show has also won the Critics’ Choice Award for Animated Series four times (2015-16, 2018-19) and won the same prize four times at the Gold Derby TV Awards (2016-19) as well as being named Best Animated Series of the Decade.
Going into the writing of Season 6, Bob-Waksberg knew that this would be the show’s final season. At first he thought he might be able to entice Netflix into an additional season by coming up with more story ideas that could be used down the road, but as the season came into focus, that idea was quickly cast aside. “As we were talking about the story, more and more it felt like six was the natural place to leave things. We couldn’t think of another huge event that we wanted to add that would prolong it for another season.” What ended up being a big challenge for the show’s staff was splitting the season into two parts with eight episodes each. “The idea of doing four more episodes this season and then splitting it up into two groups of eight was a fun challenge and a new way to structure a season.”
When it comes to unexplored areas of various characters, Bob-Waksberg is content with where he took these characters over the years. There were several side characters that he wished he could have done a little more with including the enigmatic executive assistant, Judah (Diedrich Bader), and studio mogul, Lenny Turtletaub (J.K. Simmons). The only hitch with those was that they never felt like relevant plot points in relation to the bigger story that was being told. But even with storylines that he wasn’t able to get to, Bob-Waksberg is still pleased with how everything ended up. “Generally, I’m pretty happy that we got to do all the things we wanted to do and I like that there are avenues that we didn’t explore. I like that it doesn’t feel like we exhausted everything.”