stereotype suggests a simple and easy solution to depression, which
problematizes understandings of how it really works.
In contrast, BoJack Horseman offers no easy solutions for
depression. As BoJack’s on-again off-again girlfriend and agent,
Princess Carolyn (a pink tabby cat) tells him in the series premiere,
“I don’t know how you can expect anyone else to love you when
you so clearly hate yourself.” Later on, in an episode from the next
season, she notes that whenever people (and animals) try to love
BoJack, he shoves them away. This theme carries through much of
BoJack Horseman as he repeatedly tries to establish meaningful
romantic relationships. Not only do these attempts typically result
in failure, but these relationships do not eliminate his depression
even when BoJack is successful in his romantic life.
During the second season, BoJack meets Wanda, a
network executive (and owl) who has just awoken from a 30-year
coma. BoJack has been in the public eye for about as long and is
known mostly for a minor television show (of which he is
embarrassed) and for a number of scandals. Wanda has no
knowledge of any of that, however, and meeting her represents an
opportunity for BoJack to start fresh with someone who has no
preconceptions about who he is or what he’s like. This is a clean
slate situation for the horse. They begin dating, and BoJack realizes
he really enjoys spending time with Wanda and wants to continue
seeing her, which is unlike his feelings about the vast majority of
people he’s dated over the years. They eventually move in together
and fall in love, yet despite being in a satisfying, long-term
relationship, BoJack cannot shake himself of the depression he
persistently feels, a condition that causes him to lash out at those
close to him. Eventually, friction arises in the relationship, BoJack
and Wanda get into arguments, and everything erupts when BoJack
lets his insecurities take over, telling Wanda, “You didn’t know me.
Then you fell in love with me. And now you know me.” The clean
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