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Why BoJack Horseman & Sin City Fans Will Love Chicken Police


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Titles like The Saboteur already proved Sin City’s art style is perfect for gaming, and Chicken Police adds a much-needed ingredient – animal puns.

The Wild Gentlemen’s Chicken Police: Paint It Red tells a detective story baked in Raymond Chandler references, depicted in a black and white (with hints of color) art style reminiscent of Frank Miller’s Sin City, and with all of the animal puns viewers of shows like BoJack Horseman have come to adore. Although BoJack Horseman’s final season already aired on Netflix, and Sin City’s film sequel A Dame To Kill For wasn’t quite popular enough to warrant more live-action interpretations, at least not immediately, fans of both will find a lot to love about Chicken Police.

Chicken Police follows the story of Sonny Featherland and his former partner Marty McChicken as they investigate a case which could have been easily ripped from one of Chandler’s novels. Indeed, many characters, titles, and locations are subtle (and, often, not so subtle) nods to popular works of Chandler’s fiction like The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye, and Farewell, My Lovely. Sonny and Marty are as well-written as any detective duo in recent memory, and even though they have a sordid past and a long history of getting on each other’s nerves (one of them once shot the other) the two partners still respect each other.

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It isn’t just Chicken Police’s focus on detective noir tropes that makes it feel like it could easily be a Sin City-interpretation filtered though a fowl’s point of view. Sin City is filled with broken characters, many of them alcoholics, addicts, violent criminals, or oppressive politicians. Sin City is just that – a city filled with sin and sinners, and the city Chicken Police is set in, Clawville, is very similar. Just as Sin City is divided between Basin City proper and the slums of Old Town, Clawville is broken up into the parts of the city where animals (not insects) can roam freely, and The Hive, where only insects and bugs live.

Chicken Police Is Frank Miller’s BoJack Horseman

Chicken Police Sonny Office

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Netflix’s BoJack Horseman series, in addition to being a near-perfect representation of how it feels to suffer with depression, is also filled with flawed and sinful characters. BoJack Horseman, the washed-up actor, drinks and smokes just as much as any one of Chandler’s protagonists, and although he never ended up fully becoming a Big Sleep-esque trope outright, one season of the show did have him embodying a spiraling detective named Philbert, an experience which left its mark on BoJack’s psyche.

Throughout the run of BoJack Horseman, the show’s writers make constant references to past exploits and television appearances BoJack made during his “worst days” as an abusive, alcoholic celebrity. Many of these jokes are simply throwaway lines or quick Family Guy-style cutaway gags, but they not only help to inform the viewer about BoJack’s character (and the horrible decision cycle he traps himself in) but also help to build and flesh out the world around him. In a very similar way, Chicken Police: Paint It Red continually references Sonny and Marty’s past cases throughout its story, acting not only as humorous asides but also showing that these two birds have been through a lot together.

BoJack Horseman’s Animal Puns Are All Over Chicken Police

Chicken Police screenshot showing Sonny's office.

Not many television shows are willing to be as ridiculous with their wordplay as BoJack Horseman was, and Chicken Police may very well be the next best thing. As evidenced in the video below (which is itself only a small, small portion of the actual amount of animal puns on display) Chicken Police is constantly making animal-based “jokes” and allusions, many of which are used not just for humor, but for social satire.

Comic books (and movies) like Sin City are remembered for their dark, gritty settings and a stark, contrasting art style. Shows like BoJack Horseman are remembered for their in-depth character studies and animal-based wordplay. Somehow, Chicken Police: Paint It Red manages to combine the best of both IPs together to create something entirely new, and anyone who enjoys Raymond Chandler novels, Sin City, or BoJack Horseman should clucking check it out.

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Updated: November 11, 2020 — 12:35 am

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