By Kai Ruwende | November 13th, 2019
On October 25th, Netflix released half of the sixth season of its original show, Bojack Horseman, an animated fictional portrayal of the tumultuous and oftentimes lonely life of a middle-aged actor past his heyday which deals with many mature themes. The sixth season chronicles Bojack’s difficult journey to sobriety and an overall healthier lifestyle, something he has struggled to attain for the past five seasons. Admittedly, the plot can appear to be slightly convoluted at times, especially considering how much the show has evolved and the levels of complexity that come with each character. That said, each episode’s earnest display of human life has remained prominent throughout all seasons.
From a viewer’s perspective, what makes the show so very compelling is the way that it can analyze dark themes such as substance abuse, childhood trauma, suicide ideation, and more under the pretenses of anthropormorphized animals living casually among humans in a satirical parody of Hollywood. Bojack Horseman strategically lends its audience a somewhat false sense of security with its bright and fluffy backdrop. Once viewers have been lured in, the show forces them to question their own actions and the subsequent consequences, detailing the gritty internal strife that occurs with each character. However, these elements of existential philosophy don’t make the show inaccessible. Comedy is employed in order to disarm the heavy topics enough that the viewer is left at just the right amount of discomfort.
In addition, Bojack Horseman presents its audience with complex, flawed, but ultimately likeable characters. I find that when watching the show, I am never left feeling unconvinced about the reality of each character. They all are multifaceted, a truthful blend of the ugly parts of humanity and the beauty in it. I find myself relating to the unrelenting passion of Princess Carolyn, a manager who struggles to find the balance between her personal and professional goals; to Sarah Lynn, an ex-child-star coming to terms with her own self-destructive nature; and to Todd, a character whose main trait is that he has no clue what he wants to do or how he should know this.
Essentially, if you like the existentialism of Rick and Morty, the comedic elements of cartoons like Bob’s Burgers, or the multidimensional characters of Peppa Pig, you might be interested in Bojack Horseman. The first season starts off a little bit slowly and sometimes aloofly, but it is all intentional. If you find yourself perusing the endless sea of Netflix’s options, I’d highly recommend it. Once you get drawn into its compelling universe, it’s hard to stop watching.