With the end of the year right around the corner, chances are you’ll be seeing numerous lists of the best television episodes of 2016, and chances are high that included on said lists will be “Fish Out Of Water” from “BoJack Horseman” Season 3.
Told almost entirely without dialogue, the episode finds BoJack attending a film festival underwater and trying to get a baby sea horse back to his family (he’s unclear on how his oxygen helmet actually works, which is why he can’t communicate with anyone).
The episode is as much a reflection of BoJack’s self-sabatoging ego as it is a celebration of silent film storytelling (the thrills of Buster Keaton and the pathos of Charlie Chaplin are all flooded into the episode’s DNA), and while the episode is now considered one of the year’s best, it took some effort for creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg to convince Netflix to let him do it.
“Sometimes when you want to do something new and challenging some people in charge might need some convincing,” he wrote on Twitter last night. “In my experience, it is always worth taking the time to convince those people.”
He attached the letter he wrote Netflix executives in which he passionately argues for doing a near-silent episode of “BoJack Horseman.” Bob-Waksberg wisely turned to history to make his case, noting the critical acclaim that met “Shaun the Sheep,” the “Hush” episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and Disney’s “Fantasia,” all of which are mostly silent works without ant dialogue. Read the letter in its entirety below.
In my experience, it is always worth taking the time to convince those people. pic.twitter.com/Iq3j0XKb9a
— Raphael Bob-Waksberg (@RaphaelBW) December 1, 2016