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Is an animated horse TV's next great antihero? (It's not as strange as you think.)

Netflix's BoJack Horseman argues in new promo art that its hero is in the proud tradition of Tony Soprano and Don Draper.

Netflix’s BoJack Horseman — which premieres its third season on July 22 — is one of the hardest shows on television to describe.

It’s an animated comedy, but it often tackles extraordinarily dark themes. It’s about the depravity of Hollywood, but it takes place in a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals live, work, and sleep together. It’s about a bitter, alcoholic horse who spends most of his days whining about his life from inside an enormous mansion, but somehow the show makes his (incredibly) privileged problems feel intimate, devastating, and sometimes even horrifyingly relatable.

One of the most crucial attributes a show like this needs to work is self-awareness, and luckily BoJack has it in spades. The first look at season three poked fun at the fact that critical response has largely referred to the show as an unflinching look at the dangers of depression, only to cut to BoJack trashing critics as boring has-beens.

And now Vox can offer this exclusive look at the new art for season three, which leans into the idea of the cantankerous BoJack as a conflicted male antihero character on the level of Tony Soprano, Netflix’s own Frank Underwood from House of Cards, and Mad Men’s Don Draper:



It's a comparison that at least my colleague Todd VanDerWerff finds particularly apt:

This might sound ridiculous, but I promise it's not ... [BoJack Horseman]'s a strange, sad trip through the dark underbelly of fame, mixed with some of the most brilliant, caustic social commentary out there. And did I mention it's funny? Sometimes bitterly so, with jokes that leave you tearing up as much as laughing.

All of those characteristics should bring to mind AMC's esteemed advertising drama. But BoJack and Mad Men have something else in common, too: At their core, both shows are about the impossibility of happiness.

All 12 episodes of BoJack Horseman’s third season hit on Netflix on July 22. Its two previous seasons — and a bonus Christmas special! — are currently available to stream.