Something I always take note of in television shows is the music. A fantastic soundtrack really makes a show stand out more in a good way (see: The OC for a not-as great show that’s made better by a phenomenal soundtrack; also, Friday Night Lights has a beautifully fitting score [exhibit A: Tony Lucca’s cover of “Devil Town”]l and, more recently, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for a 90s throwback soundtrack and for the magnificent “Peeno Noir.”) . A bad soundtrack can make a show unwatchable. I have no examples for that because I wouldn’t want to subject you to that.
BoJack Horseman has some incredible music, so I figured I’d compose a short playlist of important songs from season one, and couple of my own choice, for you all to enjoy.
Ironically, we’re going to start with the end credits. Grouplove performs an untitled, thought commonly called “Back in the 90s,” song, from which this blog actually gets its title (“I’m more horse than a man, or I’m more man than a horse. BoJack!”). It’s catchy and fantastic, and its lyrics are a perfect introduction to the show.
Wild Horses from The Rolling Stones is the next “big” track from the show. It plays near the end of the show’s first season run. It’s a huge pun on BoJack being a horse, which makes me roll my eyes slightly, but then again, it’s a fantastic song, and it really fits BoJack’s character. I wonder if Bob-Waksberg chose to make BoJack a horse because of the song?
Tegan and Sara’s hit song Closer is the closing tune to season one, and I think that’s a really interesting choice to end the season on. It’s all about getting closer to something,and I think that’s an important beat to the season’s narrative arc: getting closer. However, there is a really romantic quality to the song that makes me think of the relationship between BoJack and Diane. I’m not rooting for them to get together by any means, but it makes you wonder what’s in store for season two if the show ended on a love-y song.
The Way We Get By by Spoon is a song I associate with Showtime’s Shameless, but I think it fits the bill here, too. It may be crass, and it may not be appropriate, but a huge amount of BoJack’s time is spent getting high or drunk and just going with the flow of emotions and horrible life choices that come with such things, and the song covers that on a superficial level. But beyond that, the song’s about surviving, even when you might hate yourself and situation. The way you get by is a state; it’s a fight if living’s a war. That’s one of the most BoJack things I’ve ever seen.
Finally, I want to link you to Pillar Point’s Black Hole. Black Hole doesn’t fit in as well as the other songs; it’s mostly an aesthetic. There’s something in the singer’s voice and the slightly harsh beat that gets me in a mellow mood. Not too mellow though, more like a mellow conducive to passive aggressive judgment. Basically, this song is like the aesthetic BoJack and Diane laud so highly, but that traps them so badly.
And what’s a list without an Honorable Mention? (TVLine always has one, so we can too. I decided that just now all by myself. Be proud.)
Our honorable mention is Lyla’s Impossible, the only time the ending song was different from Grouplove’s piece. It really fits with the show’s theme, and deserves a shout out for being really smooth and breaking from the show’s usual.