6 Things BoJack Horseman Taught Me.
6 takeaways from the magnum opus show.
In recent years, only a few shows have come close to correctly depicting mental health and depression. The newest addition being the 2014-released, alternate reality animated show, BoJack Horseman. At first, the show might seem conformist but it is far from being so. It is one of the very few shows that reflect upon our deeply engraved attitude towards others and life in general. Here are 6 life lessons from BoJack Horseman.
Warning: Serious spoilers ahead.
No one wins it all
Every character in BoJack Horseman has their struggles. The eternal battle with self is the true portrayal of life. In the seventh episode of the first season, Princess Carolyn tells herself that falling in love was a mistake and she needs to get her sh*t together. Isn’t this what we tell ourselves at our lows? A similar situation occurs with Todd when his orchestra fails. Being the guy who keeps failing his way to success, it was a low for Todd. However, in the show’s finale, Todd says to BoJack, “You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around — that’s what it’s all about!”.
You are a coward, more often than you realize
The character of BoJack goes around in cycles. He tries to tackle alcoholism and depression but fails. His cowardice gets the best of him. In the eighth episode of season one, Charlotte downheartedly points out that BoJack is a coward. In that same episode, again, Herb points out the same. He gives a final brutal blow to BoJack by telling him that his self-image of being a good guy is a sham and that he might sleep better if he admitted for once what a “goddamn selfish coward” he is. Another prime example is towards the end when BoJack leaves Sarah Lynn to die. Later on, BoJack accepts what he is and tries to make a change, acceptance.
Often there is beauty in sadness
No other episode could showcase this better than “Brand new couch”. BoJack tries to be lively but in reality, is acting out his days. While acting out a dark locker scene, he finds himself unable to tap into the deep miserable part inside him until Beatrice confronts him over a call. Hearing the insolent words from his mother, BoJack is thrown to the ground as his falsely projected image is in shambles. Broken inside out, BoJack flawlessly delivers the scene.
Let go of seeking validation
There is nothing more BoJack wanted than to feel good about himself. He wants someone he can always fall back on. He builds incestuous relationships while being so unsure of himself that he sees Diane as his saving grace. Realizing the fact that Diane does not belong with him, he infatuates Charlotte not because he likes her but because he wants to build a relationship with someone who could have gotten to know him.
Efforts are futile sometimes
Princess Carolyn never quits. Being BoJack’s agent was a hill climb for her. She always tries her best to make things work for BoJack but fails. The episode “Ruthie” was her lowest. She breaks her necklace, loses a major client, learns she miscarried her child, fires Judah, breaks up with her boyfriend Ralph, and finds out her necklace was just cheap costume jewelry. Bearing a heart of iron, she heroically rises from her lowest. She famously says to Todd, “Keep failing upwards!”.
Forgiving is not a duty
You are never obliged to forgive anyone. In the episode “The Telescope”, BoJack tries to make amends with Herb, the friend he betrayed in the early days. Herb, however, retaliates and makes BoJack realize he is never going to forgive him and that BoJack disgusts him. Herb wants BoJack to live with this regret as he sees no sincerity in him. Herb’s denial makes BoJack reflect on his true nature.