With its third season, Netflix’s BoJack Horseman has gone from being a low-profile oddity to a… well, high-profile oddity, a show as acclaimed and respected as any of the streaming giant’s prestige fare. The massive response to the new season is owed in large part to the fourth episode, “Fish Out Of Water,” a beautifully rendered adventure in an underwater city in which the sad-sack equine thespian feels even more disconnected from his surroundings than usual. The A.V. Club’s Les Chappell called the episode a “tour de force,” and he’s not the only critic with effusive praise for it.
The success of “Fish Out Of Water” is no fluke, and pulling it off took a carpload of work. Get it? Fluke? Carpload? Because they’re fish? Fine whatever, but know that BoJack creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and his creative team put a lot more thought into their underwater puns, as well as the classically beautiful animation, which is reminiscent of Disney’s Fantasia and golden-era Looney Tunes. In a thorough post-mortem, Vox’s Caroline Framke dives deep into “Water” with Bob-Waksberg, along with production designer Lisa Hanawalt and director Mike Hollingsworth. Having never visited the incredibly detailed city, the BoJack team had to build it from the ground up, then make sure every frame lined up with the rules they’d established for the rest of BoJack’s bizarre universe.
The episodic breakdown is a fascinating look into BoJack’s meticulous creative process, and can be read in full here.