EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

BoJack Horseman

Image Credit: Credit: BoJack Horseman - Netflix (screengrab)

'BoJack Horseman' character analysis: Is BoJack likeable?

BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett) has done some despicable things over the course of three seasons of the Netflix Original series of the same name, but is he entirely to blame for his behavior, or is he a victim of a terrible childhood?

Spoiler Alert: The following contains spoilers from the first three seasons of BoJack Horseman.

After 36 episodes, the viewer has seen BoJack continue to redefine rock bottom as he struggles with depression, addiction, a jaded sense of the world, and perceptions of how he’s portrayed. Maybe it’s not all his fault though, as he was shown zero love and affection from his mother and father as a child. His mother is verbally abusive and tells him he was born broken, and nothing he did was ever good enough for his father.

BoJack went through his adolescence and early adulthood desperately craving love and affection. He wanted to belong and be a part of something special. BoJack had it for a short time when Horsin’ Around was on television and he was a loveable, affable, and endearing character. The problem was that it wasn’t really him — it was a façade he put on for the cameras. Behind the camera was a character who was hollow on the inside and tried to fill that hole with sex, drugs, and alcohol, which contributed to the downward spiral he experiences after Horsin’ Around is taken off the air.

His addiction led BoJack to feelings of loneliness, angst, depression, regret, self-loathing, and a plethora of insecurities. BoJack is like the person who peaked in high school and isn’t able to move beyond their past glory and create a new and mature identity as they transition into adulthood. BoJack couldn’t come to terms with his childhood, his relationship with his parents, and what he’s done with his life at the time that Diane (Alison Brie) wrote his memoir in season 1. He’d rather drink until he can’t remember instead of coming to terms with issues.

Credit: Netflix/screengrab

Credit: Netflix/screengrab

It’s not an uncommon practice, but it’s an unhealthy one that puts a strain on his personal and professional relationships as he tries to move forward and work toward being a better person. BoJack tries to do well, but simply trying to be a better person isn’t enough. BoJack’s roommate Todd (Aaron Paul) says as much toward the end of season 3 when he tells him it’s not enough to feel bad and say sorry. You have to stop doing bad things.

BoJack kissed Diane when he was lonely and because he needed a connection — despite her relationship with his friend Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) — he tried to sabotage her wedding and was rude and demeaning when he didn’t approve of the memoir she wrote, which basically calls him a terrible person. He sabotaged Todd’s rock opera when he was insecure, and wasted years of Princess Carolyn’s life when he wouldn’t commit to her.

He’s lucky all of those people still keep him in their life, because he doesn’t have many redeeming qualities. He means well and has shown glimpses of being caring, kind, and compassionate. There are fleeting moments, but he usually does something to sabotage himself, like when he breaks up with Wanda (Lisa Kudrow) in season 2 because he’s so bitter. He could be happy if he wanted to be and allowed himself to experience those feelings, but he’s more comfortable in wallowing in self-pity than making a change.

All the motivational tapes in the world and the role of a lifetime in Secretariat weren’t enough to change BoJack. He tries to make amends with people from his past like Herb Kazzaz (Stanley Tucci) and Charlotte Moore (Olivia Wilde) but instead, he makes things worse with his own self-destructive and selfish behavior.

Credit: BoJack Horseman - Netflix (screengrab)

Credit: BoJack Horseman – Netflix (screengrab)

If nearly having sex with Charlotte’s teenage daughter Penny (Ilana Glazer) in the penultimate episode of season 2 wasn’t rock bottom for BoJack, he certainly reached a new low in season 3 after going on a drug-fueled bender with Sarah Lynn (Kristen Schaal) when she was clean and sober.

BoJack not only ruined any chances his Horsin’ Around costar had to make a happy future for herself by doing heroin together in a dingy motel — she also missed her chance to accept an Oscar that night before dying of an overdose.

The guilt poured over him like he was standing at the bottom of a waterfall, but he can’t blame anyone else for this. BoJack could have blamed his parents for creating a loveless home, but you can’t blame your parents for your own actions when you’re 52 years old.

Diane wonders if BoJack is going to kill himself and if anyone will stay in his life after he crashes his car into his pool and needs Mr. Peanutbutter to perform CPR on him. I think we’re headed for a tragic ending for BoJack. He’s the animated version of Tony Soprano from The Sopranos and Don Draper from Mad Men.

BoJack Horseman

Credit: BoJack Horseman – Netflix (screengrab)

BoJack is the main character, but he may not make it to the end of the series. He’s hit the snooze button on several wake-up calls but if the death of Sarah Lynn isn’t enough to make him change, Diane will be right: He’s going to kill himself with no one left around him.

Related from FanSided: Best Comedy TV Shows on Netflix

BoJack contemplates suicide at the end of season 3 when he takes his hands off the wheel as he hits the gas pedal. He almost looks happy. He’s ready. He’s done so many bad things that he can’t keep coming back from them. He’s so selfish he probably thinks he’s doing everyone a favor by killing himself.

He hits the brakes after hitting rock bottom.

BoJack can’t do it. He’s alive for some reason, even though he doesn’t think he has anything to offer and thinks he’ll ruin anything good that comes into his life. He is ready to escape his life, though, and sees a pack of wild horses running in the distance. He’s thinking of a life that could have been and whether it’s too late to have it.

BoJack doesn’t give the viewer many reasons to like him, but I can’t help but root for him to find happiness and true love for the first time in his life. It’s not too late to start over and give yourself the ending you’ve always wanted.

Patrick Schmidt is an editor for FanSided and Netflix Life.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like