BoJack Horseman may be a show about a self-centered, depressed horse, but it is extremely relatable to us all.
Let’s get one thing straight; “BoJack Horseman” is a weird show, there, I said it. The Netflix original takes place in Hollywood, or Hollywoo, as it is later referred to in the show. In this world, humans and animals are one and the same, with animals and humans co-existing as equal members of society. That being said, “BoJack Horseman” is still one of the best shows out right now.
It’s easy to assume that this is just another adult cartoon, but it’s far from that. “BoJack” is a smart, clever comedy that can get dark at times, bringing attention to a number of struggles faced by BoJack and other characters, struggles we can all relate to in some way. The show puts a spotlight on problems in society, politics and the celebrity world, but also dives deep into the internal struggles with addiction, sexuality, self-confidence, and mental illnesses.
For those who aren’t familiar, the show revolves around a washed-up, middle-aged actor (BoJack Horseman). BoJack (voiced by Wil Arnett) is a horse, or a man, whatever you choose to call him, who hit his big break starring in a popular 90’s sitcom, “Horsin’ Around.” Since then, BoJack has done very little work as an actor, coasting off his past success living in a mansion in the Hills of Hollywoo. BoJack is an alcoholic and drug addict has a bad relationship with his mother and tends to push others away.
BoJack doesn’t have many real friends, nor does he seem to want any. His best friend, even though he doesn’t always show it, is Todd. Todd is a 20-something-year-old bum who lives on BoJack’s couch. It’s unclear why BoJack let Todd stay there originally, but the two developed a good friendship over the years.
BoJack’s agent is Princess Carolyn, a cat with a feisty attitude who is always working too hard and is eager to make a name for herself. She and BoJack have a history of dating on-and-off again for years.
BoJack has a feud turned somewhat friendship with Mr. Peanutbutter, who starred in a rip-off of “Horsin’ Around” in the 90’s and had a more successful career than BoJack. Mr. Peanutbutter, being a yellow lab, is very upbeat and excitable, friendly to everybody but the mailman, for obvious reasons. Mr. Peanutbutter is married to Diane Ngyuyen, BoJack’s ghostwriter for an autobiography before becoming very good friends with one another. Diane is who BoJack goes to when he needs a serious talk or advice of some sort.
The show features a number of celebrity cameos, from Wiz Khalifa and Daniel Radcliff to recurring characters such as Margot Martindale and Jessica Biel.
In season four, the show gets more serious, but still remains its irony and cynical comedy. We find out more about BoJack’s toxic relationship with his mother, Beatrice, as well as her troubled childhood, Mr. Peanutbutter runs for mayor, and Todd is now in the celebrity circle, himself. BoJack also discovers that he may have a daughter, Hollyhock, who tracks him down.
Princess Carolyn is crushed after her failed efforts to get pregnant destroy her relationship, and Diane and Mr. Peanut Butter’s relationship is left on a note of uncertainty.
The show touches on body insecurity when Hollyhock stays at BoJack’s house for a while. Hollyhock is kind of chubby and is made to feel like she is not as good as other girls when BoJack and his mother point this out to her, even though BoJack regrets this. This is just another example of how this show can relate to a wide variety of people.
BoJack and Todd’s friendship comes back into the picture, but it isn’t the same. Todd has moved on and is living on his own now, as BoJack is left alone, once again, without Todd or Hollyhock there.
Throughout the show, there have been hints that Todd is uncomfortable with his sexuality. We assume he might be gay, until he says, “I might be nothing” at the end of season three when asked if he is. In the fourth season, Todd finally comes out of his shell and is openly proud to be asexual.
BoJack learns a lot and seems to no longer be so self-centered, but this has happened before, so we will see what’s in store for season five. “BoJack” is a show to look out for, it’s clever and funny but also relatable and touches on a number of issues. Consider this show next time you are bored searching on Netflix.