Springfield. South Park. Arlen. Quahog. Most cartoons are set in fictional cities, or real cities’ highly fictionalized equivalents. But as "BoJack Horseman" creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg says on the eve of its conclusion — the series’ final eight episodes are now streaming on Netflix — the animated series’ anthropomorphized “Hollywoo” is “not Toontown from ‘[Who Framed] Roger Rabbit.’ It’s Los Angeles.”
We agree: Los Angeles is all over our Field Guide to BoJack Horseman’s Hollywoo. So read on.
“I'm responsible for my own happiness? I can't even be responsible for my own breakfast!”
“This is all part of my writing process.”
Creator's note: “I always loved ‘The Critic’ and how specifically ‘New York’ it was,” Bob-Waksberg says of his inspiration, referring to the animated program about a film critic voiced by Jon Lovitz. “I wanted to capture something similar about L.A.”
“Put the corpse on ice, I'm on my way.”
Creator's note: As Bob-Waksberg recalls, “BoJack Horseman” originated with a strong sense of place. He first developed the title character, a washed-up actor voiced by Will Arnett, after crashing at a friend of a friend’s “isolating” Laurel Canyon home: “Who would live in this house?” Similarly, he says BoJack’s agent, a high-strung cat named Princess Carolyn (voiced by Amy Sedaris), can be explained by her monster commute from Silver Lake to Santa Monica in the early seasons: “That would drive any person to madness.”
"I've finally realized: I'm good at people liking me."
Creator's note: Bob-Waksberg credits supervising director Mike Hollingsworth with setting the tone for the series’ sharp, loving satire of the city in his animation of the pilot presentation, in which BoJack goes to a grocery store called J’Vons — a very L.A. mash-up of JONS and Vons. As Bob-Waksberg explains, it showed that “you can be silly and goofy and still have it feel like the real Los Angeles.”
"I never know if I can handle anything. That's what makes my life so exciting."
Iris Lee produced this story