Tv Show Bojack Horseman Review –– Life Lessons That I’ve Learned
A few months ago, I finished watching Bojack Horseman, and have finally gathered enough of my wits to write a review as well as the life lessons that I’ve learned from Bojack Horseman.
The tv show Bojack Horseman tells the story of a humanoid horse, BoJack Horseman––lost in a sea of self-loathing and booze––decides it’s time for a comeback. Once the star of a ’90s sitcom, in which he was the adoptive father of three orphaned kids (two girls and a boy). The show was the hottest thing around, then suddenly, was canceled. Now 18 years later, BoJack wants to regain his dignity. With the aid of a human sidekick and a feline ex-girlfriend who is his agent, he sets out to make it happen. But Hollywood is vastly different from those days, and getting used to stuff like Twitter may take some time.
A Sneak Peek Into Bojack Horseman
The tv show is set in an alternate world where humans and animals live side by side, taking place mostly in Hollywoo.
Our main character Bojack Horseman is first introduced to the viewers as a washed-up star of the 1990s sitcom Horsin’ Around, which told the story of a young bachelor horse trying to raise three human children who had been orphaned. Horsin’ Around, a show where one did not expect to be as successful as it did, blew up and propelled Bojack into the kind of stardom that no one has ever imagined before.
A few decades later now, living in relative obscurity in his Hollywood Hills mansion, Bojack is planning a big comeback to a celebrity relevance with a tell-all autobiography. At first, he was dead set on writing it all on his own, refusing any help whatsoever from his agents despite him barely able to put words onto paper at all. After months of pestering and begging and asking Bojack for the rough draft to his book to point where his agent is hanging on the brink of bankruptcy, he finally agreed to having a ghost writer named Diane Nguyen.
At first, Bojack wasn’t exactly sure just what exactly would this Nguyen girl bring up to the table. He was very skeptical of her and her ability. That is, until she showed up at his door one morning and after spending some time with her, Bojack was surprised at the level of ease that she managed to invoke in him. Despite them barely knowing each other, he opened up to her like he never did with anyone else. Not even his agent or closest friend(s). As much as this new feeling bothered him, Bojack also liked it.
As much as he liked to act nonchalant as if he never really needed anyone or anything in his life, Bojack has been secretly yearning for someone who could understand him. And Diane, a woman who he had no idea existed until recently, was able to walk into his life with this sense of eternal calm and openness that Bojack found himself drawn to. He was able to open up to her, and unlike the people he’d met in Hollywood who only did things as a means to an end, Diane could not care less for the fame or money. Deep down, that only made Bojack respect her even more.
From then on, Diane Nguyen seamlessly became a part of Bojack’s life. Going where he goes, staying up late at night for rooftop talks about anything that comes to Bojack’s mind in an attempt to write a book that depict him most. She was there as Bojack dealt with his addiction to drugs, alcohol and she was also there to see Bojack be reckless with his freeloading roommate Todd Chavez.
Diane was there through Bojack’s whirlwind on-again-off-again romance with his agent Princess Carolyn. Always there for an open hear whenever Bojack wanted to vent about how much Mr. Peanutbutter––his former rival––and his optimism bothered him. Diane was there, occasionally offering advices while listening and taking in all the craziness that is Bojack Horseman’s life to ensure that she would write the best biography ever on this star who used to be in a very famous tv show.
Before Bojack knows it, he had not only became dependent on Diane and her presence, but he was also starting to care for her. Care for her in a sense where he wanted to date her and be in a relationship with her. However, things between them seems to be going fine as it was…should Bojack chase for that something more with the risk of ruining the friendship that they already had?
Bojack and Life Lessons
For those of you who have watched this series, then you already know that this show is not exactly for the weak hearted. While there are a lot of life lesson to be taken from the show Bojack Horseman, I have also heard that this show is depressing as fuck––and I can attest to it. The further you go into the series, the darker it gets. Not that I’m complaining, as I believe the underlying darkness that Bojack Horseman has is what makes it so unique and different from the other shows out there.
I was thinking of writing this post as soon as finished watching it, but eventually decided against it to let myself take the time to process better before putting words on paper. Also additionally, after bingeing Bojack Horseman in under a week, your girl is real fucking depressed about all the things that happened in this show. And now, a few months after finishing Bojack Horseman, I am finally ready to talk about all the things that this wonderful yet melancholic show has taught me.
1. “Every day it gets a little easier… But you gotta do it every day — that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.”
Ah. When I saw this scene in the second season, it surprised me. I don’t know why, but it did.
There is a part of me, up until that moment, that still kind of see Bojack as a show that is weird yet something that I cannot take my attention off of. I didn’t take the show very seriously––just something that I watch to fill time––until I heard that sentence being spoken by a running baboon at the end of season 2 when Bojack was lying breathless on the ground after his first time at attempting running.
And now, re-reading that quote again after what I have recently been through in my personal life, it hits even harder. I think, the quote above is something that we all know. We all know that it will eventually get easier, as long as we keep pushing. However, despite that logical part of us that knows better, at the end of the day we are all just humans after all and humans––despite what we like to think about ourselves––really aren’t that strong. Physically or emotionally.
At times, despite us already knowing that as long as we keep putting in effort, no matter how little, things will slowly but surely get better in the end, it is still really reassuring to hear it being spoken out loud.
2. Nobody’s purely good and nobody’s purely evil
A lot of the lessons that I learned in Bojack Horseman are the things that I think I already inherently know, but the show just helped nailed it home. Just like this saying of, “nobody’s purely good and nobody’s purely evil” is so obvious when spoken aloud. As much as we’d like to say that we don’t judge people so strictly as black and white, we do. Well at least I do.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the saying that goes, “we judge others based on their actions and ourselves based on our intentions.” Sometimes, with how short our attention span and busy our lives are, it is simpler and easier to just paint someone in a bad light just over something that they do. Because we simply do not have the patience, energy and time to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, it is at times so much easier to just assume that someone is not a good person based on their one time mis-action and move on with our lives.
As much as I’m preaching about giving people the benefit of the doubt and such right now, make no mistake that painting someone fully in black and white just by first impression alone is something that I am guilty of many a times. However, this is also something that I’m consciously making an effort to change. Just like what the first life lesson said, as long as I put in the effort and keep trying, eventually it will get easier to not be so judgmental over time. I hope.
3. If you can’t stand yourself, change.
This is powerful. A lot of times in life, we make up excuses as to why we cannot do certain things.
Oh, I’m miserable because of my job, I want to quit. But I also need to put food on the table and I’m kind of already used to this job. So I guess I’ll stay even though I’m going to constantly complain about how much I hate it.
Oh, I don’t really love my significant other anymore, but we’ve been together for so long and what if when we break up I cannot find someone better? So I guess I’ll stay.
Fuck, I hate being so fat. I look at those skinny hot people and it makes me so jealous. I’ve tried dieting but I always fail. Ah, what’s the point, nobody’s going to love me anyways.
Not trying to be offensive, but I am sure that we have all had thoughts like this or similar to this some point in our lives. We like to think that there is some higher power or beings that controls our lives, so that we don’t have to take full accountability to our failures and screw ups. Sometimes, just sometimes, it makes me wonder if we’re so terrified of the fact that we have all this power over our lives that we made up all this theory of higher beings. Not only for the sake of comfort in hard times, but also for the fact that the idea of something stronger and better than us existing somewhere out there means that they might be having control over us humans somehow. Meaning that we don’t have to fight and work as hard to be the best versions of ourselves because with beings so much stronger than us existing, we never could be.
4. Forgive people not for them but for yourself
Spoilers alert! If you haven’t seen the show, please skip to the next life lesson.
Bojack resented his mother and father for so long that it effects how he was as a person. It made him hate himself all the more, which leads to him doing all the twisted and fucked-up things that he did. Despite him knowing that he’s not a horrible person, there is just something in him that either encourages that destruction or self sabotage. Playing the victim also only causes him more pain in the end, and I believe it all comes from his inability to forgive, learn and move on from it.
I understand that what happened with his parents are something that haunt him even until adulthood, however, rather than trying to work through all those negative feelings, Bojack chose to clutch on tight to it. Either to punish himself, or out of hatred and spite. There are times in life where we need to do what’s best for ourself and our mental health. Times where we need to admit that what’s done is done. Forgive, learn from it and move on.
5. Everyone has a story
The human condition unifies us and we as individuals all have a story. We are all pursuing the same goal: happiness and meaning to find and define ourselves in the grand scheme of things. While we’re all universally broken, we all universally also have the chance to change this chapter in our story. And no matter how much we change–– negatively or positively––life waits for no one. It will keep on trudging forward.
As long as we are breathing and alive, our show will continue. So maybe there are no happy endings, but an ending that wraps up our lives and our legacy. The better question is however, how much that legacy really matters, and how will our stories really be defined by others as time goes on?
6. Give yourself a break
I think in this day of social media and constantly comparing our lives to others, it’s very easy to be caught up in things and continuously strive to have more. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, because it’s in human nature to continuously strive to be better, which is the reason why we are where we are right now.
However, sometimes it’s also important to remember that you are human. Not machines, not robots. As much as chasing after that next promotion, or higher salary, or better physical looks might be exhilarating, it’s also important to stop, take in your surroundings and give yourself a break. It is okay to not hold yourself to such insane expectations. Always strive to be a better person, but remember that you are human.
Let me just start off with: Bojack Horseman is one hell of a show. Despite its sad and depressing times here and there, there are so many things that the show has taught me. While I would not have said that every single moment of Bojack Horseman has been enjoyable––because there were scenes that just makes me feel very anxious––it was all precious and valuable.
Every scene in the show is linked to one another, and they did it so seamlessly that the viewers barely put two and two together before they realized that there were bread crumbs of hints to be big reveal all along. While this is not exactly the show that I would recommend for everyone––it might be too mentally exhausting for some, god knows I was ready for something light right after––if you have the mental capacity to handle a show that is a tad bit more depressing than your normal shows, definitely go for it.
Bojack Horseman is a lot of things, and unforgettable is one of them. It opened my eyes to so many things in life, so many different personalities. In a sense, sometimes watching Bojack makes me feel like watching older me in the future. It’s as if watching Bojack makes me feel like, “ah, this is definitely not someone I want to be in the future.” and that fueled me to really work on myself.
I will be forever grateful that I have stumbled upon this show and binged it in the span of one week. While I am sad to say goodbye, as the saying goes, all good things must eventually come to an end. And unfortunately, this is the end to Bojack Horseman’s story. Thank you for all the people who made Bojack possible, it was truly really fun while it lasted.
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