another (with no explanation as to how or why this world exists).
The narrative follows the titular character BoJack Horseman (Will
Arnett), a washed-up, has-been actor (predictably, a horse) who
starred in the popular ‘90s sitcom Horsin’ Around, a shallow and
clichéd domestic sitcom in the vein of Full House, Family Matters,
and Step by Step. BoJack desires to make a career comeback and be
a well-loved star nationwide once more, but he struggles with
alcoholism, substance abuse, and an intense self-loathing that
makes human (and animal) connection difficult. Most of the show
takes the form of a character study following a (horse) man who
struggles to be happy but simply cannot find happiness. As one
television critic observes, “it’s one of the most unflinching, brutal,
and empathetic looks at serious depression that pop culture has
ever produced” (Thurm).
The series begins with BoJack hiring ghostwriter Diane
Nguyen (Alison Brie) to author his memoir. BoJack’s many
insecurities are revealed as he starts to open up more and more in
their sessions together. He eventually develops feelings for Diane,
whom he sees as the only person who understands him.
Unfortunately for BoJack, Diane is in a relationship with his career
rival Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins), a golden retriever who
starred in the ‘90s sitcom Mr. Peanutbutter’s House, a blatant rip off
of BoJack’s own Horsin’ Around. Mr. Peanutbutter is nothing but
warm and friendly (standard for a dog), but BoJack resents him
deeply. At first it appears this resentment is not much more than
rivalry, but it is eventually revealed that the hard feelings stem from
Mr. Peanutbutter’s ability to be happy and to like himself,
something BoJack can’t figure out.
BoJack takes out his resentment and self-loathing on those
around him, be they random strangers on the street or close friends
he’s known for years. The one who receives the bulk of his abuse
is his roommate Todd (Aaron Paul), a jobless, homeless slacker