I never thought I could relate so deeply with a show about an alcoholic horse and his pursuit of happiness. In this dark tale about the downward spiral of BoJack Horseman–a washed up, self-obsessed TV star with a penchant for hard drugs and bad decisions–you see how deep down, not every bad apple has a rotten core (the apple being BoJack and the core being the average horse’s 14 pound heart).
BoJack Horseman is a former sitcom star with a drinking problem, a lot of money, and a lot to lose. He is a hopeless, depressive narcissist who lives in a wacky anthropomorphic version of Hollywood where humans and talking animals live together in harmony. Hollywood is shown as a glittering black hole that can suck out your soul if you give in to the temptations of fame and celebrity.
Bojack is miserable because his purpose in life is questionable: he pursues big leading roles and Oscars, but neither give him any satisfaction, and he frequently spirals into meaningless sex and hard drinking. The show follows his very slow path towards redemption, supported by his friends but hindered by his enemies (usually former friends). This Netflix series is for everyone and anyone who has ever been very drunk and very sad.
BoJack’s struggle to find himself behind all the bright lights of Hollywood examines the heartbreaking effect success can have on you. This whimsical show is filled with crude jokes and cursing, but those aren’t the difficult parts to watch. The moments where you see the Bojack break down, where you see BoJack lose hope, where the results of his horrible life choices are brought to light; those are tough moments, especially for an animated sitcom. He nearly sleeps with his ex-girlfriend’s teenage daughter, and draws a former co-star into a bender that eventually kills her. This is not always an easy show to watch.
Whenever I watch BoJack struggle with his fears, relationships and his miserable life, I relate to BoJack’s urge to be happy in life. Because we all want to be happy. He constantly chases his dreams, yet always seems to end up unhappy. So it makes you think: is all the effort we put into following our dreams worth it? Will a degree make you happy? A well paying job? Were your dreams worth it if all you are left with are lost years filled with regret and a hangover that lasts all day?
This show may not provide the answer, but it surely opens the door for a discussion on life and what our purpose is. I highly recommend it to anyone struggling to find out who they are and what kind of person they want to be.
PHOTO CREDIT: Netflix