silence is golden

BoJack Horseman Creator Shares the Email He Sent to Netflix to Sell Them on the Silent Episode

BoJack Horseman in “Fish Out of Water” Photo: Image Courtesy Netflix

BoJack Horseman fans are particularly fond of the season-three episode “Fish Out of Water.” In it, our hero finds himself at an underwater film festival where, importantly, he cannot communicate via speech. The entire episode plays out silently, reliant upon the emotional weight and comedy found in non-verbal moments. “Fish Out of Water” was a “must-watch” per Vulture’s own Jesse David Fox, who wrote an essay that encouraged fans and non-fans alike to check it out. “Structurally, tonally, and thematically, the episode is most reminiscent of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation,” Fox wrote, adding that reading his essay wouldn’t spoil the experience of watching because “Words cannot spoil an episode that has almost none.”

Well, today, BoJack creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg revisited the episode on Twitter by posting, in its entirety, the email he sent Netflix execs last year to convince them of the silent episode’s artistic and critical merit. In making his case, Bob-Waksberg evokes praise levied at other silent efforts, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s classic mostly silent episode “Hush”; Roger Ebert’s approval of silent-film throwback The Artist; and — yes — Bob-Wakzberg even evokes BoJack’s “friends at Vulture” in our review of the silent stop-motion film Shaun the Sheep. Not only is the email very kind to us (thanks, Raphael!), but it is also a useful primer for anyone looking to convince their bosses that an off-kilter effort can pay off — provided that you do your research, show your work, and are already sitting on top of a great product. The tweet itself, which was posted in response to Time magazine’s assertion that “Fish Out of Water” was the best episode of television in 2016, can be seen in full below.

BoJack Creator: How I Sold Silent Ep to Netflix