The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

“BoJack Horseman” and Why Animation Can Be Just as Poignant as Live Action

Image+courtesy+of+Netflix
Netflix
Image courtesy of Netflix

“BoJack Horseman” was an adult animated dramedy that aired for 6 seasons from 2014-2020 on Netflix. I finally got around to watching it all over the past few months and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

“Rehab was supposed to be a fresh start. But no matter how many starts I get, there’s always the same ending. Everything falls apart, and I end up alone.”

From just glancing at this quote, you may think this guy was in some sort of suspenseful crime drama or a gritty action perhaps. Well, what if I told you, it was an animated comedy? And the guy wasn’t even a human at all, but rather a washed-up celebrity horse.

It got me thinking about adult animation and just animation as a whole and how human it can really be. Pixar might be the biggest example but that’s still more-or-less for kids. And when it comes to “Adult Animation” most might think of the cruder comedies like “South Park” or “Family Guy.” Sure, “BoJack” has its fair share of that too, but once you get deep enough into the first season, you realize this horse is about to teach you more about being human than any actual human ever could.

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Back in the 90s, BoJack Horseman was in a very famous TV show called “Horsin’ Around.” This show would end up making Horseman a household name and millions of dollars in the process. But since the show ended, Horseman hasn’t been able to escape the shadow “Horsin’ Around” cast over him all those years ago. We follow Horseman, now in his 50s, as he tries to regain relevance with the help of his agent Princess Carolyn, roommate Todd, rival Mr. PeanutButter, and new acquaintance and ghostwriter of his memoir Diane. The show is full of twists and turns and keeps you guessing through the entirety of its 6-season run. At one moment you’ll be laughing your ass off, then crying uncontrollably the next. I’m still astounded by the range of this show, how many risks they took and how many they’re able to pull off.

While the centerpiece of the show is in fact BoJack (Horseman, obviously), it’s really his dysfunctional relationships and behavior that begin to shift the focus and drive the story forward. He’s truly the catalyst for everything bad that happens throughout the series. It’s hard to root for him at times, but you also can’t help but feel bad for the guy, who is a truly complex character in every sense, though he’s not the only one. Each character is just as developed and fleshed-out as BoJack. All 4 of the other main characters are just as essential, if not more so, in the show’s storytelling as they all have had multiple character centric episodes respectively. I would even go as far as to compare this show to a “Breaking Bad” or “Game of Thrones” with just how developed the characters are and how they drive the narrative forward. And on top of it all being an animated, comedic and just rather silly show, it’s something I never would’ve expected but welcome with open arms.

“BoJack Horseman” is a one-of-a-kind, unique and special show that I could see going down as one of my favorites ever. It has a little something for everyone. From countless pop culture references, thought-provoking storytelling, an emotional edge and an endless slew of animal puns, you’re guaranteed to find something to love about it.

“Laura! Clear out the rest of my day!”

 

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About the Contributor
Eli Bland, Arts Editor

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