Bojack Horseman: A show about consequences

This past week I decided to start watching the show Bojack Horseman. I’ve heard from many people and my partner that this show is amazing. So after hearing about the show for years, I finally checked it out.  This article contains Bojack Horseman spoilers for the entire show, so if you plan to watch the show please watch it first and then come back.


One of the things I really enjoy about this show is how real the characters are. Behind the colorful colors, cartoon style, and the animal characters is a show that any adult can relate to, no matter the age. Although the main character is in show business, he still experiences real moral issues that anyone can face.  And the show does not have a classic ‘end each episode with a happy ending without consequences’ set up. If Bojack put himself in an awkward situation due to him being arrogant, it does not always get resolved. And if it does, other characters hold grudges depending on how poorly it gets resolved. Such as when he ruined Todd’s rock opera on purpose because he was afraid of Todd leaving him. Although there were not immediate repercussions, after Todd found out their friendship was hurt and it took several episodes for it to recover. And even though the end goal was to make sure Todd doesn’t move out, he still does anyways. So Bojack ruining something for his friend was all for nothing.


The show often calls back to the fact that most male actors do not have many consequences. Such as Vance Waggoner who won a Forgivie, which is given to characters who media has forgiven for whatever bad thing they’ve done.  Vance has done many horrible things, such as harassing his own daughter, sexually harassing a female police officer, and much more. And yet in the public eye he is forgiven. Even Dianne comments on this later about how men are always forgiven for the horrible things they’ve done and given more acting jobs when they don’t deserve them, trying to convince Ana Spanakopita to not be an agent for clients who have done horrible things just because she feels like she has to.


Throughout the show, Bojack does a lot of unforgivable things. He took Sarah Lynn on a month long bender after she was sober for months with ultimately led to her death and he choked out one of his co-stars on a show because he was having a mental break down, and much more. At the end of the series, Bojack ends up going to jail for breaking into his house that was sold (so technically it wasn’t his), but in everyone’s head this was also punishment for all of the past things he’s done. Does the series end on that note? No. It ends with the prospect of Bojack still having a future. He acknowledges his mistakes and is ready to move on. He still has his friends around him, but he has also lost relationships with others because of the things he has done. The consequences of losing connections with others are the most impactful to him, and I’m sure everyone can relate to that. Jail time can come and go, but how people view you is hard to change.