BoJack Horseman: Depressing, Yet Addicting

It can be difficult for a series, especially an animated one, to dig deep into the harsh realities of life, but Netflix series ‘BoJack Horseman’ nails an accurate portrayal of trying to dodge life’s obstacles.

The series premiered in 2014 and focuses on BoJack Horseman, a washed-up actor in his mid-50s, who is consumed with self-hate and an alcohol addiction.

On the outside, BoJack’s life is glamorized with him relishing in his wealth from being the main star in the late 80s/early 90s sitcom ‘Horsin’ Around.’

In the show, the horse becomes a father-like figure to three children he decides to take into his home. Despite the show receiving criticism for being considered cliché and crappy, it lasted for nine seasons.

During his acting days, BoJack appeared to have more charisma to him, but he quickly fell into a state of depression. He never lived a great life and tried to hide his childhood trauma from his ghostwriter, Diane, when she was assigned to write a book on BoJack’s life story.

Diane is one of the four main characters that appears in all current seasons of the show, and always tends to get caught up in some type of toxic relation or scheme with BoJack. The other three characters include Princess Carolyn, BoJack’s on and off agent and ex-girlfriend, Mr. Peanutbutter, Diane’s playful yet clueless husband, and Todd, an asexual who was BoJack’s former roommate.

While all these characters, including BoJack, have some good traits to them, they aren’t happy and they desperately strive to make some type of change in their lives.

It seems that every person BoJack encounters leads to him hating himself and establishing the lack of stability. One of the many significant examples is in season 2, episode 8, where BoJack and Mr. Peanutbutter clash heads.

Mr. Peanutbutter is the host of J.D. Salinger’s tasteless new show, Hollywoo Stars and Celebrities, while BoJack is one of the guest appearances. BoJack provokes Mr. Peanutbutter by making him question his security with his relationship to Diane.

Even though Mr. Peanutbutter is one of the few characters to rarely make a scene out of anger, he pauses the show’s original purpose to make things “really really really real” as quoted from Mr. Peanutbutter himself.

He starts off by saying he knows BoJack tried to kiss Diane, but the main concern is BoJack’s terrible treatment of Mr. Peanutbutter. He puts BoJack on the spot when he asks why he treats Mr. Peanutbutter like a joke, then a look of shame instantly forms on BoJack’s face as he confesses that he is jealous. Mr. Peanutbutter thinks BoJack is jealous of Diane, but when that isn’t the case, he then asks what the universe could possibly owe BoJack.

“I…want to feel good about myself, the way you do and I don’t know how. I don’t think I can.” BoJack responds.

The quote itself is considered one of the most powerful because it foreshadows how BoJack’s behavior will continue to be.

It’s ironic; the show is a cartoon yet the characters don’t live this fantasy life.

It’s not like typical cartoons, whether targeted for kids or adults, which are mostly filled with silly antics.

There’s no jokingly light-hearted lesson at the end of the episodes because most of the time one or the majority of the characters are left contemplating themselves. There are multiple scenes that contain the main cast arguing, crying, breaking down, picking up a bad habit, and never being satisfied for long.

The series is tainted with sadness and struggles but that’s what makes it soar. It does an incredible job at targeting mental health, insecurity, failing to achieve self-love, and overall being internally broken.