The show covers heavy topics like depression, substance abuse, child abuse, and grief. Last season ended with a drug-related death enabled by the main character, and a subsequent suicide attempt by said main character. I had to put on a big fuzzy bathrobe and get out my favorite crying snacks just to write that sentence. I've never thought of BoJack as a comedy. (Yes, I'm on a first-name basis with this TV show, that's how chill we are.) I don't feel uplifted at the end of an episode; that's not what I watch it for. It's more like picking at a scab that hurts but also kind of feels good. After I finish an episode, my heart hurts, but instead of not hurting myself more, I settle in and load up another one. Why?
A lot of reviews of BoJack mention its "realistic portrayal" of painful topics, which is funny because apparently the most realistic way we're seeing depression portrayed on television is via a talking horse? Maybe the only way you can get away with not sensationalizing the difficult topics BoJack discusses is by delivering them in a candy coating of animal jokes.
For every discussion about the pointlessness of life, there's a crocodile wearing crocs in the background to make me laugh. Or bird paparazzi running into a window. The fact that BoJack's abusive father was a horse named Butterscotch makes his horrible treatment of baby BoJack kind of tolerable to watch. Because when a pony verbally abuses its son, it's silly antics! Can you even imagine how depressing an all-human cast BoJack would be? I can, but I don't want to, because I like being a functional person and not a bottomless black hole of tears.
9/07/2017: Sorry, Powerpuff Girls, But There Already WAS A Fourth Member
By Katie Goldin