5 Life Lessons ‘BoJack Horseman’ Has Taught Us In Seasons 1 & 2

I love BoJack Horseman, and it’s a darn relief to all us fans that Season 3 is being released July 22nd 2016 on Netflix. We’ve waited so patiently, so willingly, and why? Because BoJack and many other characters within the show have been actually quite helpful in making us feel better. The show is ultimately a comedy, but some moments within the series have really spoken to me and many other fans. BoJack can reach pretty deep into our everyday emotions and situations – he’s quite a relate-able horse.

The show, for all whom haven’t ventured into the complicated life of BoJack, is about the life of a washed up, alcoholic, low-life ex-celebrity. It explores a universe in which cartoon animals and humans live cohesively together, and follows protagonist BoJack (voiced by Will Arnett) and his trusting flat mate Todd (Aaron Paul) through their wacky and untamed adventures. On the surface, BoJack Horseman is a hilarious comedy which features a mixture of light-hearted wit and dark but lovable humour. However, when you find yourself unmistakably relating to a cartoon horse/man hybrid… That’s when you know the show actually teaches life lessons along the way.

Diane, Mr. Peanutbutter, BoJack, Princess Carolyn, Todd

Diane, Mr. Peanutbutter, BoJack, Princess Carolyn, Todd

1. Everyone Wastes Time

Ultimately, BoJack drinks and re-watches all the past DVDs of his younger, more famous self acting in ‘Horsing Around’ – the show which granted him fame – to pass time. He doesn’t exactly do this monotonous task because he likes it, but the post-fame life has left him with too much money and too much time on his hands. I remember seeing him ‘waste’ his life away and wondering if I’m ever the same. I mean, right now I’m sat in my room writing this… Is this the correct way to spend my time on this Earth? Time is precious right? But then it got me thinking, BoJack isn’t particularly wasting his time, he’s spending his time trying to search for something. Perhaps re-watching himself on ‘Horsing Around’ is his way of searching for inspiration of what to do next? And most people can relate to drinking a bit too much if you’re feeling a little useless (obviously not to the amount BoJack does). Perhaps we need to cut ourselves a little slack and allow ourselves to ‘waste’ time on things we currently think are unnecessary – maybe in the long run the things we do won’t seem as pointless?

2. Torn Between Two People

I haven’t personally been victim to this decision, but I am certain many have. It’s only natural to be undecided between loving two people and it’s no different in BoJack Horseman. Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie) is forced to spend copious amounts of time with BoJack, as he requested her to ghost-write his biography in order to boost his fame a little. At first, she finds herself disliking BoJack’s outer shell, however when she figures out it’s all an act to hide his inner thoughts and feelings, she warms up to him. BoJack also gains feelings for Diane and the inevitable ‘kiss’ happens. This leaves Diane confused as she’s currently with Mr. Peanutbutter (the comedic names may distract from the initial point, but stay with me on this). She sees depth in BoJack that isn’t in Mr. Peanutbutter’s personality, as he is portrayed as a shallow dog/man whom is a rising star and a snazzy game show presenter. Due to BoJack’s life experience (in contrast with Mr.P’s lack of experience) Diane is left craving more from BoJack’s deep and troubled mind. Diane realises her moral mistake and sadly tells BoJack that she’s committed to Mr.P, however it still shows the ugly side of people that most viewers may shy away from admitting. Feelings are natural, and the show perfectly hits on the complicated nature of human attraction.


3. Existentialism Is Unfortunately A Real Thing

The show often explores the meaning of life, or at least each person’s individual meaning of life. The reason why we are here is undecided; many agree with science, many practice religion, many just float around taking whatever life throws at them. But we never really sit down and think about it do we? Or at least, it’s never a topic that is openly and comfortably discussed. By making BoJack borderline depressed and by adding so much depth to Diane’s character, we are forced to actually take a second to think about how we should approach life. Should we go about all happy-go-lucky like Todd and Mr. Peanutbutter? Or should we take a more serious look at what we accomplish, like BoJack and Diane? Maybe we should be a healthy mix of all of the show’s characters – maybe that’s the idea behind the show. Either way, it’s something that affects all of us.

4. It’s Quite Alright To Hit An All Time Low

Diane ends up hitting rock bottom after finding out that the travel to the war-torn Republic of Cordovia to ‘make a difference’ isn’t the life for her, and she returns home. But instead of returning to her home, she hides out at BoJack’s after she explains to him that she can’t let Mr. Peanutbutter find out she failed. This results in a serious bout of depression, and is portrayed in a manner which doesn’t disrespect others who go through the same thing (hats off to you Raphael Bob-Waksberg). It shows Diane never changing out of her PJs, never having a bath, always eating something and never moving from the same spot in the house. To me it portrays the reality of depression and eliminates the stigma that being depressed is just being ‘sad’. It shows that depression can come in the form of what appears to others as ‘laziness’, but in actuality is just a person who can’t break the routine of staying in, wearing PJs and comfort eating – obviously depression affects individuals differently, no two people are the same. Diane is a character who isn’t glamorised, isn’t over-sexualised and is perhaps the most down to earth, patient character in the whole show – and she bounces back. Just as Diane appears to be unable to change, she figures out she’s being unhealthily inactive and takes a hold of her life.

5. No One Is 100% Perfect

Mr. Peanutbutter, Diane’s fiance, is portrayed most of the time as a happy, energetic and almost perfect dog-man hybrid. He’s supposedly has all the traits of an excitable puppy, however there was a moment in the show where Mr. Peanutbutter revealed a hint of anger, as he punched a mirror in a fit of rage. An interview with indicates that the producer wants Mr. Peanutbutter’s rage to be completely interpreted by the audience;

Last question: I’ve been worried about Mr. Peanutbutter ever since he punched that mirror. Does he have rage problems?
That also is for the audience to decide. What his problems are, I leave that up to you.

I think everyone experiences rage, just as much as they experience happiness, sadness, jealousy and every other imaginable emotion. It’s natural and we all need to embrace it.

I hope this article, or at least BoJack’s wisdom, has helped you feel a tad better about wasting 5 hours on a Sunday binge-watching your favourite program – because that’s what I’ll certainly be doing in two days. BoJack Horseman season 3 will be released 22nd July 2016 on Netflix – write it in your diaries, stick it in your iPhone notes, just make sure not to miss out one of the best Netflix series to ever exist!

Will You Be Watching Bojack Horseman On July 22nd?

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Film student, 18 y/o, writing because I bloody love films!