5 'Bojack Horseman' Binge-Watchers Share Why They Keep Watching the Dark Comedy


Bojack Horseman is a show revolving around self-loathing, existentialism, drunken mistakes, and every other dark thing life brings up masked under the presumptive light-heartedness of animation and sarcastic humor. In the past three years, the Netflix dramedy has gained a reputable following despite circling around such dark themes.

PHOTO: Netflix

PHOTO: Netflix

Last Friday, September 14th, Bojack Horseman released its fifth season. After binge-watchers and critics came forward about the severity of how somber the new season gets, Blended wanted to peek into the minds of fans to see what keeps them coming back. Here were their responses:

Bojack Horseman is the Black Mirror for the reality of your heart. When you start watching this show it seems like a simple comedy that will be an easy binge. You’ll soon realize that the show is like the part of life we hate talking about: the “real stuff.” In this realization, you’ll slowly see parts of yourself in the characters. We all have some of the purity Mr. Peanut Butter holds or made some mistakes like Bojack and you’ll keep going through the seasons and the show will get darker and darker. Eventually, you’ll notice that this show wasn’t made to make you feel better or hopeful, just like your life — it just is. But every time I go back to watch it, I’m like Bojack, I want to feel like I can be happy and even if I never am, I just need to feel like me and him can be better.
— Flip, 21
I have always been a fan of shows that are deeper than they seem on the outside. With Bojack Horseman’s themes of existentialism, I was able to view a story of someone questioning what life REALLY means. Sure, I’m not a Bojack, but I can stem some of my thoughts of “what is the purpose of life?” and “why am I here?” through a show with well-written characters and an entertaining story. Even so, Bojack Horseman is one of the first domino’s that caused me to get a more positive and active head in life.
— Martin, 20
Bojack Horseman certainly is a dark show at times, although those who have never seen the show seem to think it’s just a comedy. It is not. It is much more than that. Bojack is a character stuck in a never-ending cycle of mainly self-inflicted sadness, but yet his peers and career keep hope alive in his broken world. I keep watching for two reasons: the first is to see if he ever actually makes progress toward real happiness, if that even exists. The bigger reason I watch is because Bojack’s story helps me come to grips, in some ways, with the feeling of never being fully fulfilled. The writers of this show are brilliant in how they parallel talking animals and a fictional
’Hollywoo’ society to the real world, and everyone who watches Bojack connects in some way to his longing for happiness. For those who are unhappy, this show makes you feel less alone. For those who are unreasonably optimistic, this show dampens you with a taste of the reality that the search for eternal joy is impossible. Perhaps this show will lose its charm if Bojack’s problems become repetitive, but for now, I am watching in effort to see if I can gain a greater understanding of his life, as well as mine.
— Gus, 20
The darkness within BoJack Horseman may deter some watchers, but that’s the exact thing that keeps me watching. It’s the only animation I’ve ever seen that addresses such deep emotions and pain and it does so with comedy! I think in today’s day and age there’s a lot of pain surfacing and people don’t know how to cope with it. BoJack exhibits the same pain and struggling that most of us have daily so a lot of people really connect with the show in that way. It’s not your typical dumbed-down comedy. It’s dark, controversial, and unpredictable and that’s what’s keeps me watching. It also talks about a lot of political controversies and addresses them in a comedic way that most shows don’t do well.
— Marden, 20
I keep watching Bojack because I thoroughly enjoy it and all the aspects of dark comedy. Even with the dark scenarios, they add to the show’s depth and make it more serious than a simple comedy. All the ridiculous scenes and jokes are a nice touch to step away from the parts that get a little too dark. Also, Bojack’s character in general is relatable for his overall humanness and imperfections. The fact that he and all the other characters are actually cartoon animals, though, really push the show to its comedic best. They are able to use the animalistic features and make the struggling characters funny even while some are depressed on some level. Not a lot of shows these days can be successful in something like that.
— Nick, 20

Lead Image Credit: Netflix