The TV series BoJack Horseman, created by Raphael Matthew Bob-Waksberg, dives deep into the human psyche, revealing unspoken truths regarding our mental health. Here are 5 ways that the show, while being hilarious, suspenseful, and innovative, manages to be so psychologically brilliant.
1. The characters are as diverse as the human population
Are you on the autism spectrum? A divorcee? Living in a tiny apartment because it’s all you can afford? Are you asexual? A woman in her 40s trying to have a baby? An open-minded person with a horribly racist family? An adopted daughter? A person with a substance use disorder? A racial or ethnic minority? Do you have TMJ and sleep with a night guard?
Regardless of whether you answered yes to any of these questions, this show is going to teach you things about yourself or others that you never knew.
2. It understands that trauma can cross through generations
Did your mom get bullied when she was little? Did your dad grow up living in poverty? Do you ever wonder how your parent’s hardships are affecting them? How their hardships are affecting you? How, just maybe, your anxiety is fueled by more than just your nature? That somewhere along the line, your upbringing threw a wrench in your current mental state?
If you weren’t already asking yourself these questions, this show will get your gears turning, leading to newfound insights about you and your family.
3. Its social commentary game is on point
Does something seem somewhat un-empowering about corporate feminism? Does the news seem a little bit like people saying whatever bullshit just to get views? Have you ever thought police officers, case workers, and/or mental health professionals needed to be held to a higher standard (because the ones that you have come across did not have your best interest in mind)?
The list goes on. The show is made through a critical eye. Don’t fear reading into the episodes more than seems natural, as it is obvious that the creator put a lot of thought into his work.
4. It reminds us that we are all animals
Have you ever had a strong sexual urge towards someone that was totally inappropriate, like your boss or coworker? Have you ever eaten way too much in one sitting? Have you ever said or done something totally irrational? And wondered, What am I doing?
Diving into a book about evolutionary psychology may be a good place to seek some of your answers. Or you could just watch this show! The characters are literally animals, reminding us that we are all, essentially, animals. An oversimplified look at evolutionary psychology says that we are essentially cavemen living in the modern era. We have urges and yearnings that are left unfulfilled because civilized society restricts us from doing what our primal, animalistic mind really wants. Yikes!
5. The characters ebb and flow
Are you the exact same person you were a year ago? Do you see the same three people every single day of your life without ever spending some time apart? Have you always had the exact same job? The exact same house? The exact same life?
For some, yes. However, for many people, the answer is no. We do not. We break up. We distance ourselves from certain people sometimes. We move. We quit our jobs. We regret these decisions. We go back to them only to find ourselves wanting to leave and try something new. The characters on this show are as complex as their relationships with one another, reminding us that our lives are constantly changing and evolving.
And as the anxiety-provoking yet reassuring saying goes, In life, the only thing constant is oneself.
Just one episode and you will find that this is a pill that is easier to swallow for some more than others, and for BoJack, not so much at all.