When I asked you guys on Instagram which show I should watch next, the answer was almost unanimous- 

Bojack Horseman

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Honestly I am not a big fan of animated shows or movies, but it felt like this was something I shouldn’t miss, and two weeks ago I decided to check it out. 

Ever since then I have had a rollercoaster of emotions and epiphanies with one causal factor – Bojack Horseman.

Let’s get into the review

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Bojack Horseman – Netflix Series Review

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Netflix’s Bojack Horseman is a show about an anti-hero, a washed out actor from a hit 90s sitcom called (hold your snorts), ‘Horsin Around.’  The 90s sitcom and Bojack Horseman’s character on the show seemed eerily similar to Bob Saget’s character Danny Tanner from Full House. Maybe that is where they got their inspiration from.  

He spends his days drinking and his nights partying or hooking up with his girlfriend / agent Princess Carolyn. 

Now before we go any further into this review we need to clarify a few things: 

-Horseman is Bojack’s last name and his species i.e. he is horse from the top to the middle and man from the bottom down. He walks on two legs. He is the only character on the show who has his species as their last name. 

-Princess Carolyn is a cat-woman. So yes, this show does portray animal-human sexual relationships and inter-animal sexual relationships. But it is set in a world where that is considered to be the norm, so I guess it’s fine… I really don’t want to get into that discussion. 

This confusing aspect is honestly the only problem I had with the show. In a nutshell, all you need to know is, the show uses anthropomorphic animals who exist in harmony with humans. 

bojack horseman review

In the first season the show is about Bojack’s race to relevance. As a has-been who wants to be prioritized instead of being just a punchline, he attempts to write a memoir about his life. 

But as he has severe addiction issues and constantly engages in self- sabotaging behaviours, he barely gets past Chapter 1. That’s when he is introduced to Diane Nguyen, who agrees to be his ghostwriter. She also happened to have written the biography of Bojack’s idol, Secretariat.  

Although the show begins as a story of a flaky Hollywood star clinging on to his once had fame, it progresses to hold a mirror to a lot of culturally relevant issues such as mental health, abuse of power, depression, codependency, narcissism and narcissistic abuse, cancel culture and the grim face of patriarchy. 

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Behind the veil of a grim animated series, Bojack Horseman has eloquently tackled serious issues, with humanity and humour. 

Bojack Horseman, the character voiced by Will Arnett was one of the first characters that I have ever seen to show the true nature of narcissism. Often people believe it is born out of confidence and superiority complex but actually it is born out of deep insecurity. 

Horseman is constantly searching for validation and someone to tell him he is good enough, because of his sad past. The only time he ever felt validated was when he acted, which is why he is constantly chasing that high. 

The show also realistically portrays depression, and the side effects to antidepressants. It shows how when you are depressed you never feel like anything you do is going to be worth it and you often miss good things in your life, even when it’s staring at you in the face. 

A truly vibrant character was the sturdy, vivacious and ferocious feline femme fatale Princess Carolyn, who often spoke in tongue twisters interlaced with alliteration and rhymes all in the hopes of convincing people to sign her clients or projects. Her codependent nature of wanting to take care of everyone else at the cost of losing herself, was truly heartbreaking to watch.  Princess Carolyn was a testimony to the amount of pressure society puts of women and how she has work twice as hard to get anything she wants.

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The show’s nuanced portrayal of celebrity culture and how quick people are to forgive truly despicable human beings despite being the scum of scums and saying absolutely disrespectful things, is in direct correlation to the world we live in today. 

One of the pivotal scenes for me and I must say SPOILER ALERT, was when Diane wrote an article about how having a gun made her feel powerful and safe. In the aftermath of the article hitting the interweb, women all over America, rushed to the stores to buy themselves a firearm. This led to outrage and cries from men who started to feel unsafe just because more women had guns now too. It was this outrage that finally made California pass the law to ban all possession of firearms by citizens. 

This moment honestly felt like I won the Superbowl and got punched in the stomach at the same time because it honestly seems like something that could happen in today’s world, It reminded me of Dave Chapelle’s joke encouraging all black people of legal age to buy firearms because that was the only way they could get the government to change the law. 

It just goes to show that the only thing that can cause change is the possibility of people of colour, women and people of different sexual orientations having more power than the people who are currently in power. 

I remember hearing a Priest talk and I can’t remember his name, but he said that the reason the rich or the privileged establish laws that keep minorities in check is because they are afraid the minorities will do to them what has been done to them. 

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Bojack Horseman also tackles the trope of redemption. And even though Bojack is a sociopathic narcissist, you can’t help but hope that he gets the help he needs. You hope he gets better, you hope he finds love, you hope he sees what he has and doesn’t hurt the people around him anymore. 

Another great attention to detail that the show’s creators have made is when Bojack is reminiscing about his past. To recreate his memories of his earliest memories of having a drink they show these black spots that come and cover up the memories that he has. Anyone who has ever been blackout drunk will know that this is exactly how memories from nights when you are drunk mess look like in your mind. I just thought that was an impeccable detail that I am not sure if it could even be portrayed on non-animated media. 

Finally, a unique factor about Bojack Horseman was how it finally talked about asexuality, which I have never in my life seen talked about on a show. I don’t want to tell you which character is asexual, but I will admit he was my favourite on the show.

In a short run of six seasons, the show was able to open up so many issues that exist in society, yet it fell short of closing the issues. Bojack Horseman’s felt like the mysterious bruises that turn up on your body often on your legs (for me at least). 

You know the damage is done, and that one day it will heal, but you really don’t know how long it’s gonna take, or whether it will ever completely vanish and if things will ever go back to the way it was. 

But I guess leaving it open-ended was the only way to do it because that’s the way life is. In the words of Bojack Horseman himself, 

“Life Is Just A Series Of Unrelated Wacky Adventures.”

Fin. 

With that we come to the end of my Bojack Horseman review. If you have read so far, thank you so much. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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DON'T MISS A THING!

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