Cartoons can be bleak. As adults, we still chase that same joyful escape from the real world with the familiarity of cartoons. In an age where cartoons have taken a turn from being imaginative to more realistic, we strive to make even the darkest realities funny as a way to cope. Bojack Horseman brings something else to that dark reality: emotional struggle. The struggle we all dismiss when engaging in fantasy such as watching cartoons or lying to co-workers at the bar that, “everything is going great,” even when it’s not. The story about a washed-up, '90s sitcom star pulled at our heartstrings in season one, which aired on Netflix in 2014.
One year later, we return to find Bojack in seasons 2 going through the familiar motions of trying to date, reviving his dead career, pushing away his friends, regretting life decisions and finally being taken seriously enough to land his dream role of playing Secretariat. The tagline for season two, “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way,” symbolizes Bojack’s constant struggle to feel happiness.
It seems too far and few in-between that we find cartoon characters who have realistic lives like the rest of us; they fell in love with someone who didn’t love them back or they felt betrayed as as a child by their neglectful parents just as Bojack did. The rawness of Bojack Horseman, a alcoholic, narcissistic horse-child with a bad attitude, has it better than most people as a former TV star and especially so as an upcoming dramatic actor with a best-selling novel. Yet, like the gleaming stars we know to envy, their lives are like any other behind the scenes: somewhat depressing. It’s the lighthearted quips in the darkness of season two of Bojack Horseman that should bring audiences to laugh and maybe cry as the helm of characters navigate through Bojack’s actions once again.
Read the full interview on Ruby Hornet.