Netflix’s BOJACK HORSEMAN vs. Hulu’s THE AWESOMESOctober 01, 2014



Netflix and Hulu have both drastically stepped up their original programming in the past few years. Netflix received a combined 17 nominations for the 2014 Emmys. Hulu offers 39 original series, with every single episode of those available to binge-watch.

And people are binge-watching. Viewers are able to rifle through a series in an immersive and captivating way to engage an audience. Audiences don’t want to make a weekly commitment to a series for six months, when they can knock out a season in a weekend.

The two preeminent streaming video services are targeting young with their original programming. At the risk of losing viewership, Netflix and Hulu have turned to animated comedies.

The animated comedy series has a come a long way. There’s the big three; “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” “South Park.” Then there’s everything from “Spongebob Squarepants” to “Futurama” to “Beavis and Butt-head” and “King of the Hill.”

“The Simpsons” just began its twenty-sixth season. “South Park” is already at season 18 “Family Guy” is up to season 13. The millennial audience enjoys these show so much because of how easy they are to watch and how little they ask of the viewer. They’re pure entertainment. This is a concept that Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim has been able to capitalize on since 2005.

“The Awesomes” and “BoJack Horseman” try to capture the magic those shows did.

Hulu’s “The Awesomes” boasts an incredible cast. Seth Meyers stars, backed up by Ike Barinholtz, Taran Killam, Bobby Lee, Kenan Thompson, Rashida Jones, Bobby Moynihan and Josh Meyers. Bill Hader, Rachel Dratch, Cecily Strong, Steve Higgins, Will Forte, Amy Poehler, Colin Quinn and Maya Rudolph all have arcs on the series.


“The Awesomes” (Hulu)

As Prock, Meyers voices the son of the greatest superhero of all time, Mr. Awesome, voiced by Higgins. After Mr. Awesome retires at the age of 90, his super superhero team, the Awesomes, disbands when Prock volunteers himself to lead the team. Prock then has to put together a rag-tag group that has to earn respect. Prock is nothing like his father. The only thing he can do is pause time, but people don’t know he can do that because they can’t see him doing it.

Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman” also has an all-star cast. Will Arnett leads the main cast that’s rounded out by Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins and Aaron Paul. Patton Oswalt, Stanley Tucci, JK Simmons, Cedric Yarbrough, Wendie Malick, Olivia Wilde, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, Jon Daly, Judy Greer, Anjelica Huston, Chris Parnell, Kristin Chenoweth, Horatio Sanz, Stephen Colbert, John Krasinski, Aisha Tyler, Melissa Leo, Wallace Shawn and Naomi Watts have guest roles.


“BoJack Horseman (Netflix)

Arnett’s BoJack is a washed up TV star that deals with

public relations nightmares, relationship problems and a drinking problem. He’s also a horse. 


Meyers’ show, which he co-created with Mike Shoemaker, makes good use of animation.


The superpowers that his team uses would be ridiculous

if they weren’t cartoons.


Bobby Lee’s character, Sumo, transforms from a quiet kid to a giant Sumo wrestler with the ability to destroy anything in his path. Taran Killam’s Frantic is the fastest person on the earth. During his running scenes, the screen turns orange, matching the color of Frantic’s hair and outfit. 

On “BoJack Horseman,” humans exist in the same world as anthropomorphic animal-people. The cartoon looks like “King of the Hill.” The humans are drawn to scale and besides the animal-people wearing clothes, they look realistic. Amy Sedaris plays Princess Carolyn, a cat that dated BoJack and is also his agent. She wears dresses and necklaces and is always on the phone. Paul F. Tompkins’s Mr. Peanutbutter plays a dog in a v-neck shirt.

The only thing these shows have in common is that they’re animated. The leading men are completely different, which makes the shows completely different. Meyers’ Prock is an upbeat, young man who’s trying really hard to defeat evil and make friends in the process. His team is easy to root for. The writers poke just enough fun at the superhero genre to let us know not to take them seriously. They pepper in their legitimate jokes, too.



Arnett’s BoJack is impossible to connect to. We’re constantly being reminded he’s an anti-hero. In one episode, he’s goes from berating his TV daughter (Kristen Schaal) in the 90s, to having sex with her in the 2000s. He says he hates the troops in another episode. He’s always got a drink in his hand. He tells Aaron Paul’s character Todd “It’s the responsibility of little guys like you to look out for big guys like me.” He’s all about BoJack. It’s a credit to Arnett’s acting to make me hope everything in BoJack’s life falls apart, but it’s not fun to watch.

Both seasons of “The Awesomes” are available on Hulu. Netflix recently ordered another season of “BoJack Horseman.” No release date has been announced.

Give “The Awesomes” a try. Meyers as a leading man will surprise you. “BoJack Horseman” is a depressing and weird comedy. Trying to identify the plethora of guest stars might be worth your time if you can sit through lots of self-loathing. 


"The Awesomes"



"BoJack Horseman"



Max Resetar


Max Resetar is a new contributor to On Demand Weekly. He is currently a junior at Eugene Lang College from Queens, New York. He has written for SLAM Magazine. 



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