Very few television shows can capture how depression, an existential crisis, and dependency issues can impact a person while still being funny. The Netflix original animated series "BoJack Horseman" manages to do just that. The plot of the show follows BoJack many years after the cancellation of his TV show, "Horsin' Around." As BoJack attempts to make his comeback, his self-destructive behaviors and complete inability to take responsibility for his actions seem to thwart every opportunity he has.
While BoJack has a tendency to push away those he loves the most, he is surrounded by people that see who he is and still love him, which makes him uncomfortable at times. The supporting characters in the anthropomorphic "BoJack Horseman" universe are more than just characters designed for cheap laughs as we see in many other animated programs. Todd Chavez, BoJack's roommate that came to his house for a party and never left, is both BoJack's best friend and proverbial punching bag. BoJack's agent/ex-girlfriend Princess Carolyn, a half woman/half purple cat, is quite possibly the only person that believes in his career despite BoJack's constant self-sabotage on roles she goes out of her way to arrange. Mr. Peanutbutter, BoJack's rival who seems to have no understanding of any animosity between the two, is half Labrador Retriever/half man. Mr. Peanutbutter is perpetually happy, unlike BoJack, and wants nothing more than BoJack's friendship. Diane Nguyen, the ghostwriter of BoJack's biography, is yet another complicated relationship for BoJack due to his feelings for her and her relationship with Mr. Peanutbutter. Last but not least is BoJack's TV daughter, Sarah Lynn. Sarah Lynn is a former pop star suffering from drug addiction and perhaps looks to BoJack as the father figure she never had.
"BoJack Horseman" handles depression and the darkness surrounding the show's main character in a very honest way. BoJack struggles to identify who he is and what the purpose of his life is supposed to be. Because of these feelings, BoJack has a tendency to self-medicate and sabotage those that he loves out of fear of being pushed away. The characters that associate with BoJack often suffer due to his actions. BoJack shows little to no remorse for his wrongdoings because he is unable to be accountable for himself; instead, he blames other previous poor life choices for almost any situation he finds himself in.
Despite many heavy elements of the show and complex character relationships, "BoJack Horseman" still provides many laughs. The audience gets to experience these lighthearted jokes such as puns based on the anthropomorphic characters. This show also contains many running jokes based around the plot of specific episodes. We see this happen when BoJack steals the letter D from the Hollywood sign and from that point on in the series Hollywood is referred to as "Hollywoo." The show also gives the audience more laughs when Todd and Mr. Peanutbutter open a store called "Halloween In January" which they quickly forget about opening or filling in the pit of the store which never got flooring causing many people to fall in.
"BoJack Horseman" has elements of humor and heartbreaking sadness. Despite all of BoJack's very apparent flaws, he is still a very lovable anti-hero. This show has the right amount of dark moments mixed with humor all while tackling important issues. "BoJack Horseman" is by far Netflix's most underappreciated gem.