Kelsey Jannings (voiced by Maria Bamford) is the first director of BoJack's comeback film Secretariat. She first appears in final episode of Season 1 and is a recurring character in Season 2. She also appears in Season 3, in a minor role.
Kelsey claims the only reason she took the job as director of Secretariat was so that she could provide for her daughter, Irving. Prior to the big studio film, she had completed a number of critically acclaimed independent dramas, including Women Who Love Women Who Love Recycling, The Kids Are Just Okay, Dianne Feinstein on the Beach, as well as sports drama Billie Jean King Is Not My Lover.
Kelsey is fairly similar to BoJack, in the sense of being very hard to please when on set or anywhere around Hollywoo. BoJack tried in Season 2 on numerous occasions to get her to like him, but to no avail. Mainly because he made his idea overly obvious and once again irritating her. Kelsey comes across as rather hostile towards people in public and greets them somewhat coldly. Yet she manages to have a lot of patience on set when shooting takes. This was exemplified when it came to the first day of shooting "Secretariat". Unfortunately BoJack was struggling to perform his lines correctly and took hours upon hours to get the one good take. Originally seen with Lenny Turtletaub, throughout Season 1 and the first half of Season 2, she would always be constantly working on the film and always approaching BoJack about his performance.
Whilst appearing very cold, Kelsey does come across as rather sentimental and worrying when it comes down to her daughter; Irving. In Season 2 she worried about losing the custody of her daughter when she lost Irving and thought she was a terrible mother. She was fortunately comforted by BoJack who told her she was not a bad mother. Again this links back to her persona being like BoJack's because she very rarely shows her caring side or want anyone to see it. She also shows an eccentric enjoyment from Todd's face, referring to it as cute and in need of a cookie. In The Shot BoJack talked to her and Lenny Turtletaub about the direction the film was heading in, going from dark and gritty to a family friendly film. They both brushed it off, but she confessed to BoJack she didn't want the film to be family friendly. They went to shoot a very important scene about Richard Nixon and how he corrupted Secretariat, which was cut from the film for being too dark, in the Nixon Museum. They got away with it, and with Kelsey's help, BoJack gave the best performance of his life, and caused him to bawl his eyes out in private. However, when Lenny found out about this, he wasn't as happy as they thought he would be, and he fired Kelsey, and she was replaced.
She returned briefly in Season 3, in Fish Out Of Water, which featured BoJack attempting to speak to her underwater at the Pacific Ocean Film Festival. He was unsuccessful, due to being underwater and having no way of communicating. She also appeared in Old Acquaintance, where she reconnected with BoJack, to star in a film she is directing about a girl who wanted some jelly beans, but due to the arguing between Princess Carolyn's agency and the agency of Rutabaga Rabbitowitz and Vanessa Gekko, he was unable to get the part, and was called out by Kelsey over the phone. BoJack fired Princess Carolyn in the next episode due to this.
- Irving Jannings: Daughter
- Marla: Ex-Wife
- "If I blow it, I'm back to making small critically acclaimed movies about lesbians learning how to recycle."
- "I don't make mistakes, BoJack. I do the crossword in sharpie and I never learned the shortcut for undo."
- Kelsey bears a strong resemblance to indie director Kathryn Bigelow, director of Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker, and other independent films.
- She is a lesbian, and directed pornography before moving to work on Secretariat (film) to provide for Irving Jannings, her daughter.