Bojack Horseman, from the Netflix original series of the same name, is one of my problematic spirit animals, as conflicted as I am to admit it.
The fact that a 21-year-old girl can relate to a middle-aged fictional horse is saddening for more reasons than are already obvious from the first part of this sentence. If you've seen the show, you know Bojack has done a lot of awful things. And he continually self-sabotages by knowingly hurting himself and others. The fact that he's aware of his sometimes cruel actions almost makes it worse because it's authentic—it happens, and we don't like to admit it.
Villainous characters like Loki from Marvel's "Thor" and the Joker are beloved by many despite their murderous and manipulative behaviors. What's different with Bojack?
It gets real. Watching the show, identifying with a fictional horse from some parallel universe where humans and other animals interact as equals as part of the norm becomes more real than you ever thought possible.
And being able to relate to Bojack feels problematic. The Netflix comedy sometimes gets very deep very fast. But is it really a comedy show, or a cynical drama with a dark sense of humor?
Below are some instances in which Bojack is way too relatable for the common cynic:
1. Bojack's specialty of self-deprecation.
2. And the depressing insight he has comparing his own outlook on life to others'.
3. Because he's already got a bad rep, he goes ahead and says the things everyone else is thinking but won't say out loud.
4. When you're talking to someone who just won't listen.
5. Then there's the burden of any and every responsibility.
6. Going between the extremes of not caring to caring too much.
7. If only we had the luxury.
8. When you get vocal with that depressing inner contemplation.
9. When things need to be done.
10. Wasting time in the weirdest yet highly entertaining ways.
And, I mean, when it comes to trying to redeem himself, he does try.
But is it enough? I don't know. And considering he's not a real person I need to be concerned about, I probably shouldn't spend too much time trying to figure it out.
Is an apology enough to redeem a person? No, not necessarily. And when you reach some of Bojack's most cringe-worthy and downright criminal moments, you start to doubt him. But it's his vulnerable moments that leave you conflicted, and in those moments it can be easy to think that, in some small way, you are Bojack.
Hence that "spirit animal" status.
As for the show in general, don't even get me started on one of the other star characters, Diane—a.k.a. a grown-up Daria. She's another character that's highly relatable to the cynical population, and more easily redeemable (Sorry, Bojack).