The theme of Bojack Horseman is dealing with emotional problems. Here are the 10 real-life concerns that the show addressed.
BoJack Horseman made its debut in 2014 with a cast that included Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, Aaron Paul, and Amy Sedaris. The programme was as gloomy as it was energising, frequently offering hard subjects like mental illness, addiction, friendships, love, death, and more from diverse perspectives. The show frequently left a bitter aftertaste of hopelessness and a rejection of a happy conclusion, even if it nevertheless retained its humorous edge. BoJack frequently causes trouble at the season’s end while the people he cares about suffer harm.
The show’s appeal was in part due to how successfully it rendered real-world problems in an animated format. It’s crucial to consider the problems the show addresses and, more importantly, how it addresses them when it’s as humorous and complicated as BoJack Horseman.
The first episode of season six, “A Horse Walks Into Rehab,” finally addresses BoJack’s addiction issues. His use of drugs and alcohol puts him in danger throughout the entire series. While some of his drunken escapades make for amusing anecdotes, it ultimately leads to Sara Lynn’s (Kristen Schaal) drug overdose death.
The first half of season 6 depicts BoJack’s stint in recovery and his efforts to maintain sobriety. BoJack is forced to confront his previous traumas, but he also learns to relate to those in the present because of Jameson H., a teenage addict on the show (Kiersey Clemons). BoJack observes how Jameson’s current has harmed her and realises how his own history has impacted his drug use.
BoJack Horseman has a strong focus on mental health, which is also shown in his friendship with Diane, who first introduces herself to him at a party when she confesses to having anxiety.
BoJack’s anxiety frequently coexists with Diane’s despair. They are plagued by spiralling negative thoughts that, among other things, keep telling them they are worthless, unattractive, obese, and a failure. The consequences of these beliefs weigh on the characters, leading to breakdowns from both Diane and BoJack at various points throughout the episode. In addition to their breakdowns, they all seek solace after feeling anxious. Both BoJack and Diane use binge eating and drinking and smoking as a coping mechanism for their anxieties.
BoJack Horseman frequently features death. Employees at Penguin Publishing have attempted suicide on many occasions, sometimes for comedic effect. Sometimes it’s tragic and protracted, like with Sara Lynn’s passing. Yet, the burial for BoJack’s mother in Season 5 Episode 6, “Free Churro,” is one of the best episodes that deals with death. The entire show is a eulogy delivered by BoJack that details his terrible upbringing, his father’s passing, and his television career.
While BoJack addresses us directly throughout the programme, we the viewers take on the role of the bereaved. The audience is encouraged to recall deaths that they have experienced while he remembers his mother. BoJack specifically demonstrates how death impacts us in life, including its emptiness, ambivalence, and occasionally comedic effects. Once BoJack realises he delivered a 20-minute eulogy at the wrong funeral, the writers are forced to end the piece on a humorous note.
Season 3 of BoJack Horseman had some experimental episodes where the story would occasionally be replaced by animation. This contained the strange undersea adventure episode “Fish Out of Water,” among others. These experimental episodes serve to depict various themes and problems throughout the programme.
Diane’s sadness is one illustration. Her self-destructive thoughts spin out of control after she stops taking her medication, as shown in the show. Her persona transforms into an unpolished, erratic pencil painting that demonstrates her volatility. It’s a strong illustration of how depressed symptoms feel.
BoJack’s remorse over his friend Herb Kazzaz (Stanely Tucci), who laid the way for his fame, is one of his greatest faults and a constant source of torment for him throughout the series. Herb attempted to write, and BoJack attempted to act, as they both grew up performing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles. Herb gave BoJack the starring role when he sold the musical Horsin’ About.
Herb was essentially dismissed by the network when they learned he was gay. BoJack claimed he stayed to defend his followers, not to follow his pal in a show of support. He is haunted by his lack of bravery for not aiding Herb till the very end of the show.
The separation of Mr. Peanutbutter and Diane provides a useful window into intimacy and relationships. Although they appear to be an odd couple at the start of the episode, they have a beautiful and fruitful relationship: Mr. Peanutbutter’s blithe demeanour counterbalances Diane’s caustic intellect.
Yet, as the show goes on, they are unable to make it work. The way the show handles divorce is by giving viewers a place to see how the two try to make it work. As Diane is in Chicago and Mr. Peanutbutter is in “Hollywoo,” they enjoy a tender moment in the final season before their final divorce in season 5. They acknowledge how much they have changed, consider getting back together, and underline how their divorce has helped them become better people. The purpose of the show is to demonstrate that not all divorces are contentious.
In BoJack, loneliness is a recurring subject that impacts the majority of the characters. BoJack is the most notable, but it also has an impact on Todd, Diane, Princess Carolyn, and other others. To give loneliness a varied representation, the show approaches loneliness in various ways in each of these people. Princess Carolyn discovers that she is lonely as a result of her workaholism, and Diane discovers that she is frequently misunderstood by her husband Mr. Peanutbutter, Princess Carolyn, and eventually herself, leading to a subsequent diagnosis of anxiety and melancholy.
In some aspects, BoJack’s loneliness serves as the show’s main motivator because of his inability to sustain good relationships and general victim mentality, which always leave him by himself and reflect on his bad behaviour. BoJack’s loneliness is reflected in the way the show is framed. The plot revolves around a faded actor who has everything but still is unable to find happiness or friends.
BoJack starts dating Gina Cazador (Stephanie Beatriz) in season 5 after they work on a series called Philbert together. Boijack viciously chokes her in front of the entire set while high on narcotics. The programme places a lot of emphasis on how violence can reappear and how it impacts daily life. Gina doesn’t want to be known in the public eye as the “female who got choked by BoJack Horseman.” Gina’s worry embodies the genuine anxiety about one’s profession, reputation, and safety when sharing violent crime stories in public.
Meanwhile, the show illustrates how inner working connections degrade and the potential harm to victims when BoJack’s attack resurfaces and influences her behaviour. When filmmakers Justin Kenyon and Kelsey Jannings debate Gina’s feasibility, her actions on a recent film have led some to believe that she would be “crazy” to work with.
BoJack Horseman is one of the first shows—certainly one of the first animated shows—to go fully into showing asexual characters, aside from Herb being fired for being gay. Todd declares his asexuality in full in episode 3 of season 4. He battles with his emotions as his character matures, dates several women, and eventually finds a companion in Maude (Echo Gillette).
Their appreciation of one another shows that they are not preoccupied with the absence of sex in their relationship. Todd phones Maude to inquire whether he should take the marshmallow right away or wait the 15 minutes in an episode where he and Ruthie accidentally run into a Marshmallow Test. Their willingness to steal the marshmallow demonstrates their strong chemistry.
The tension between caring for her new baby Ruthie and working full-time is explored in Princess Carolyn’s own episode of Season 6 called “The New Client.” The storyline of the show is based on her appearance in a Hollywoo(d) article on ladies who “can do it all.”
The episode demonstrates how challenging it is to manage everything. Several Princess Carolyns working in her office in sombre purples and blues demonstrate just how much labour it takes to “have it all” while portraying the true challenge of working single parents.
“SOMETIMES LIFE’S A BITCH, AND THEN YOU KEEP LIVING.”
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