“Bojack Horseman” is a widely loved Netflix series created by Raphael Bob-Waksburg and illustrated by Lisa Hanawalt. The show uses colorful animation and clever wordplay to address all sorts of controversial sociopolitical issues. It is the most sickeningly twisted animated show currently on the market and also one of the best representations of depression, trauma, addiction, self-destructive behavior and the human experience as seen on recent media.
The show takes place in an animated world where anthropomorphic animals and humans live side-by-side in a town called “Hollywoo”. Bojack, a washed-up actor, is a horse who starred in a90’s show called “Horsin’ Around.” He tries to regain fame through his tell-all autobiography which he hires human ghostwriter, Diane Nguyen, to write.
“Bojack Horseman” consists on other complex character that go through many real-life struggles. Bojack Horseman (Will Arnett) is a self-loathing, pill-popping has-been who sabotages every chance he gets at being happy. Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), a pink Persian cat, plays the workaholic, on-and-off girlfriend and agent of Bojack. Todd Chavez (Aaron Paul), Bojack’s twenty-something human slacker of a roommate who ended up at BoJack’s house for a party five years before the beginning of the series and never left. Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie) is a misunderstood intellectual and idealist, striving to share her thoughts as a third-wave feminist. Bojack also has to deal with his frenemy, cheerful and energetic golden retriever, Mr. Peanut Butter (Paul F. Tomkins).
“Bojack Horseman” speaks to a lot of depressing topics such as drug abuse, the struggles of artistry in a profit drive industry and unhealthy coping mechanisms for personal issues. Bojack lives his life in one big, gloomy cycle. He’s ashamed of who he is, attempts to become creative or feel love— and then inevitably binges, betrays a loved one and runs away, realizing that it’s impossible to truly repair the damage. Then back to shame. Repetition is a main theme in this sitcom. “I think most people who argue for what you might call political correctness, are not actually arguing for censorship. They’re arguing for self-control and self-restraint. They’re arguing for people to be conscious of the power they have, right? And I believe that I have a lot of power, as someone making popular entertainment. I do think we have to be careful about the art we put out,” Raphael Bob-Waksberg said in a 2017 interview with VICE.
In the show, it shows that Bojack’s childhood is riddled with traumatic experiences caused by his abusive parents. Both of them expressing great disdain for his very existence. The show’s depiction of child abuse and how it affects a person long into adulthood forces the audience to think, and often makes them sympathize with the characters.
“Bojack Horseman” continues to provide heartbreaking humor with its newest season that aired on Sept. 14. Filled with dumb jokes and gloomy undertones, the show provides hours of binge-watching bliss.