Bojack Horseman and Depression

The Netflix Original TV Show Bojack Horseman appears to be a funny, lighthearted comedy, like Family Guy, or The Simpsons. However, it dives into extremely deep and real subject matter such as depression, addiction, and love. The main character in this show is a former Hollywood Star, and current B-List actor, who struggles with depression, resorts to substance abuse, and feels isolated. 

The obvious irony of this show is that while it appears to be set in a completely different dimension on the surface, with talking animals and humans coexisting, the emotions and struggles of the characters are the same as ones we may all face at some point in our lives. These dramatic, realistic dilemmas that we may even relate to are offset by frequent puns or jokes that may be over the top or remind you that this is taking place in a fictional world. The main dilemma of this show is not the fact that Bojack was an A-list actor and is now taking small roles, but it is how he is facing mental illness in a way that is extremely realistic and honest. It shows him at his highest and lowest points, but always reinforces that mental health is not something that is completely reliant on success, and aspects of your childhood will shape you as an adult. 

The main lesson that I think the creator wants us to take from this show is that mental health cannot be bought, or found through drugs, alcohol, or sex. Depression, especially in the case of Bojack, is a chemical imbalance in the brain and will still be present even in times of success, love, or substance induced euphoria. We can take the main characters attempts to use unhealthy outlets to cure his unhappiness as lessons that this is not a viable solution.