Why relating to BoJack doesn’t make you special

Of all the animated shows, BoJack Horseman is arguably one of the best. With one of the episodes (Free Churro) on the latest season being the 12th highest-rated television episode of all time on IMDb, it’s clear that many people enjoy BoJack’s unique brand of self-aware comedy. However, fans of the show often choose very strange reasons to like the show, and I’m going to go over some of those reasons. 

“Oh my God the way BoJack treats other people is so me”

Throughout the show, BoJack is notorious for doing and saying things that are completely self-serving. During most of these actions, he shows little to no regard for how his actions inconvenience the people around him. Sometimes he even convinces himself that he’s doing this for their benefit, to clear his conscience. For some reason, however, people decide that this is the part they want to empathise with. Many people boast of how they are incapable of maintaining relationships with friends and significant others, same as BoJack. Unfortunately for them, BoJack was never meant to be a role model. He stands as an example of some of the worst aspects of Hollywoo(d) culture, including how fickle and superficial relationships are. If that’s what you relate to, you’re not special. You’re just as messed up as BoJack is. Most people take that to be a bad thing, but you do you, I guess.

“I love it when BoJack does [insert negative habit]”

This is an extension of the previous point, but it differs in the way it is presented on the show. Unlike BoJack being bad at interpersonal relationships, where BoJack is often the butt of the joke, BoJack’s many dependencies are depicted in extremely provocative ways. Whenever BoJack gives in to his vices, the screen is set alight with a kaleidoscope of colours and patterns. The surreal visuals and accompanying musical scores make for extremely memorable television, but in this spectacle many people forget the circumstances that led to it. BoJack never does these things because he’s a person in control looking for a good time, he goes on them because he is an addict. He makes that fairly obvious with the number of life-threatening situations he gets himself into, and that is the takeaway people need to remember. If you are someone who takes BoJack’s lifestyle as something to follow, Sarah Lynn would ask you to reconsider. Addiction isn’t a personality trait, it’s an illness.

“It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters” 

Nihilism is fun. It’s great. Nothing helps deal with the things going on in the world around you like accepting that all your decisions are worthless, and everything will end up being bad regardless of what you do. More to the point, many people do suffer from depression and other conditions which lead to the self-destructive actions that make up the show. The thing is, though, BoJack has had it consistently bad. Fans of the show are well aware of how BoJack’s traumatic childhood and complete disconnect from his parents led to most, if not all of his flaws. Even though they are a part of him, and make him the person he is, BoJack repeatedly attempts to overcome them. One of the most emotional lines in the show is when BoJack admits to just wanting to be like other people, “I want to feel good about myself. The way you do. And I don’t know how. I don’t know if I can.” If someone as broken as BoJack can try to redeem himself, then you owe it to yourself to do more than just accept that you are as messed up as him. It may not have immediate effects, but you owe it to yourself to try to get better. Don’t accept your lifestyle and thoughts as constants, introspect and ask yourself if you can be better. It will be difficult. However, “It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day — that’s the hard part. But it does get easier”

Relating to BoJack is fun, and it does set you apart from others because of how unique the show is. However, you want to make sure you identify with the show for the right reasons, and not end up making the same mistakes our flawed-but-loveable hero makes. [Spoiler alert for the end of Season 5] BoJack isn’t perfect, and if he can go to therapy, the least you can do is make sure you’re choosing better reasons to love the show.


Wasique Hasan came to Bangladesh to eat mangoes and get heat-stroke, and he hasn’t found any mangoes yet. Send him information that will lead to the acquisition of mangoes at fb.com/hasique.wasan


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