RAPHAEL BOB-WAKSBERG, WELCOME TO EXISTENTIAL ANIMATION

First came BoJack Horseman. Now it’s Undone. Raphael Bob-Waksberg is proof that you can make a different kind of TV through planting shows in our screens that are the true seed of vital existentialism. In other words: the shows that we deserve here and now.

Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory. That is the name of the book of short stories that Raphael Bob-Waksberg released in the past month of June. In fact, that is how the artistic vision that this man has provided the world of contemporary culture could be named: a type of story that is about a silent invasion that arrived to us through the same place that all silent invasions do lately. Through TV shows, in general. And Netflix, specifica

And it was this online platform through which BoJack Horseman landed in the year 2014 and where, slowly but surely, its recognition has grown from both an audience that is passionate about adult animation as a critique in which low and high brow culture can meet and can be a cause for celebration. This meeting between the two, that almost results in a high-speed crash, is what this animated series that couldn’t have more of a surreal starting point proposes: BoJack Horseman is an actor that found success in a ’90s sitcom and who now lives off its royalties, as he hasn’t starred in anything relevant ever again. He is surrounded by a group of characters that offer one of the most caricaturesque and bizarre mirrors that anyone has dared put in front of Hollywood and its ecosystem. Some people may say that what’s surreal here is that Bojack is a horse. But no. What’s surreal is that a depressed horse that leads the series into usual places in which he has to face such opaque themes like death, the impossibility of emotional relationships in the adult world and the debauchery that comes with ageing.

Be it as it many, this Netflix show has made the Bob-Waksberg surname the talk of the town. And that’s a hard feat with such a complicated surname. And still, when the show runner managed to jump from Netflix to Amazon Prime Video, nobody was surprised by the fact that his new show, Undone, also had a point of view that was surreal… and existentialist. This show of otoscopic animation starts with a girl who discovers that she can travel in time after being in a car accident. She can also see her dead father, who will urge her to solve the mystery surrounding his death. A sci-fi excuse that, again, helps the show runner deal with themes such as family traumas and the need to look for better worlds than the one we’re living in, even though that could lead us to total (clinical) madness.

Two shows and a book of short stories. That is the cover letter of Bob-Waskberg, the new master of a type of animation that marries to perfection that vital existentialism that has led us to a socioeconomic and moral crisis that we’re currently living. He likes to stick his finger in the sore… But it doesn’t matter. For once, this is giving us more pleasure than pain.