Reviewing BoJack Horseman


Sarah Watson, Reporter

 BoJack Horseman is a show that aired on Netflix August 22, 2014. It follows a former sitcom star struggling with depression and addiction as he tries to dull the pain of his previous bad behavior with something worse. BoJack Horseman is not only a show that scratches the surface of these grave topics, but it shows you the harsh reality and that is why I recommend this show to you.

BoJack Horseman is a dark-comedy about a horse living in Hollywood with a pot-head who crashed on his couch for five years named Todd Chavez. After starring in popular 70s sitcom “Horsin’ Around”, BoJack had fallen into the hole of drugs, alcohol, and self-loathing. 

More characters like Princess Carolyn, BoJacks agent, Diane Nguyen, BoJack’s ghost writer and friend, Mr. Peanutbutter, BoJack’s enemy/friend, and Sarah Lynn, BoJack’s co-star on “Horsin’ Around”, have an important role in Bojack’s life and he makes bonds and breaks them throughout the series. 

BoJack isn’t like the traumatized main characters you are used to seeing. He will make you hate him, he will give you hope, and then will leave you in the darkness alone just like he did to so many people before. Throughout the six seasons of the show you will meet new characters, re-meet old characters, and you will see the life of BoJack and how he became this way.

I talked a lot about BoJack, but what about the other characters? 

There are too many characters in the show to talk about in one article, however I will go over the basics of each main character starting with Diane Nguyen. Depression is evident in this character and you can see her struggle with it throughout the series. Work has always been a top priority for her as she makes a name for herself throughout the series. One of the deepest lines she gives us in this series is, “If I don’t [write the memoir] that means that all the damage I got isn’t good damage. It’s just damage. I got nothing out of it and all those years I was miserable was for nothing”.

 Next is Todd Chavez, in the earlier seasons he is known for his wacky projects and business ventures but later on wants to be known more than just a lazy nobody and wants to be taken seriously. 

Princess Carolyn is dependable and helpful to her friends. She is a busy agent who struggles to balance her life and work. She gets roped into Bojack’s messy life too many times and often walks away hurt. 

Lastly is Mr. Peanutbutter who is the opposite of Bojack. He is an optimistic character who, like Todd, has these crazy business ideas but has the money to see the idea through. All of these characters help develop the story in unexpected and interesting ways.

BoJack Horseman is great at balancing comedy and dark themes. Some themes include depression and addiction. 

Although depression isn’t the show’s most prominent theme, BoJack was born to depict it. On a scale comparing characters with depression in this show BoJack takes first place. BoJack’s continuous effort to better his mental state, and eventual failure, slowly leads into BoJack’s most prominent trait, self-hatred.

 Diane also has mental issues and becomes properly depressed later on in the season. She struggles with her self-image and becomes insecure of her ethics. As she becomes more insecure, she compromises with her principles. 

Next you can see Princess Caroline handling her own personal issues as she tries to be a good employee but also wants to settle down, have a boyfriend, and eventually a kid.  For her it’s hard to balance work and personal life so she compensates her loneliness with her headstrong attitude, and therefore suffers less than Bojack and Diane.

Todd seems to cope well with his varied issues. Most of his problems in the earlier series are the feeling of failure and not occupying a job. 

Lastly, there is Mr. Peanutbutter who is rarely sad and when he is it gets resolved within minutes. 

The second theme, addiction, is often demonstrated throughout the show. As BoJack takes first place again, he struggles mostly with alcohol but also does other various drugs. At one point Bojack tries to stay clean but ends up in the sabotage of his own rehabilitation. Alcoholism could be seen as the root of many problems in BoJack’s life.

Surprisingly, Mr. Peanutbutter takes second place. He doesn’t suffer from a physical kind of addiction but is more addicted to validation. Most of his actions are influenced by his need for validation and later on in the series faces the problem of his own narcissism and comes to a realization. 

Princess Caroline is walking on a line between being passionate about her work and being a workaholic. She can be seen trying to balance her work and life time and time again only to end up focusing on her work as a distraction. While BoJack uses alcohol to escape, Princess Caroline uses work.

BoJack Horseman has been nominated and even won many awards. Some include winning one AIAFF Award (Annecy International Animation Film Festival), Artios Award, and a Golden Trailer Award. The show also won two Critics’ Choice Super Awards, followed by three Annie Awards and Writers Guild of America Awards. Finally, BoJack Horseman won four Critics’ Choice television Awards.

That is a total of 15 awards and if that doesn’t convince you to watch the show, there is a new season that’s expected to be released on August 11th 2023.

Senior Emily Betwinek states, “The fact that it’s animated and shows real world issues and eases you into them works on a much better level than shows that throw everything in  your face. It’s able to portray how people aren’t just good or bad and instead choose how to live their lives whether that includes more good or bad actions individually.“

Sophomore Lily Kovac says, “It’s funny while also going into depressing and emotional hardships.” 

This doesn’t even cover half of the tiny intricate details that make the show BoJack Horseman and I don’t plan to write about them. There is an absurd amount of content relating to the details of BoJack Horseman and you can always go watch or read that. 

This article is long enough so I’m just going to say, watch the show. It’s worth your time.