The dark comedy series BoJack Horseman recently reached its final episode. Looking back, fans came to the realization that the series was a lot more than cartoon-talking animals and funny word puns. BoJack Horseman tackled some seriously deep topics and controversial social issues.
Time after time, BoJack Horseman went there. The series refused to shy away from the most difficult of subjects. It reminded fans of things that they wanted to forget in a powerful and moving way and made thought-provoking points about these controversial topics.
When Diane discovers she is pregnant, she makes the decision to have an abortion. The privacy of her real-life abortion is contrasted with pop star Sextina Aquafina’s public decision to have an abortion and her endorsement of the procedure (although she is not really pregnant).
The most important scene comes at the end of the episode when Diane discusses her feelings about going through with the abortion with Princess Carolyn. Diane is not regretful, though she does feel the need to defend her actions and her choice not to have children. Princess Carolyn then interrupts her to say, “Diane, you don’t need to explain anything to anyone.”
Polyamory is rarely discussed or portrayed in the media, and even rarer still is it depicted as normal and positive. However, in BoJack Horseman, BoJack’s half-sister Hollyhock was adopted by eight men in a polyamorous gay relationship.
These men raised Hollyhock in a loving household. She makes it clear that her dads were the perfect parents and gave her a wonderful childhood.
8 Gun Control
The episode “Thoughts and Prayers” offers a multifaceted take on the issue of gun control in America. It starts off with the painful reality of rampant mass shootings throughout the country. Then the narrative changes a bit when Diane, a staunch anti-gun, is harrassed with Courtney Portnoy outside of a restaurant. Courtney whips out a handgun and the assailant goes running.
Diane then has a revelation and writes a thought-provoking article about the constant harassment and fear that women face in their daily lives, a fear that has finally been alleviated for her now that she owns a gun. The popularization of owning weapons among women results in the government banning guns altogether. The episode doesn’t necessarily dive deep into the intricacies of being pro or anti-gun, but rather the hypocrisy of the pro-gun type people that are only pro-gun when the weapons are in their hands rather than in the hands of people they disagree with.
7 Sexual Harassment In Hollywood
In recent years many women have come forward with accusations of sexual harassment in Hollywood. This is portrayed in the episode “Hank After Dark,” when accusations of sexual assault begin to crop up against TV show host Hank Hippopopolus.
Throughout the episode, Diane struggles to call Hank out and bring about some consequences for his actions. Unfortunately, as is all too common in reality, the issue is eventually dropped and forgotten.
6 Adoption & Single Parenthood
Not only does BoJack Horseman cover adoption by a polyamorous couple, but it also discusses adoption as a single parent. Throughout the series, Princess Carolyn has made it clear that she wants a baby, but despite her best efforts, she is unable to have one the traditional way.
She then decides to pursue adoption. The series does a great job of showing the long and difficult road she must walk before she is finally able to adopt Ruthie. It also accurately portrays the difficulties of a single working mother to find an adequate home and work-life balance.
Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter get married in the first season of BoJack Horseman. Though they enjoy a sweet and loving relationship for a time, it eventually ends in divorce. However, the series doesn’t make Diane or Mr. Peanutbutter the villain. Rather it slowly reveals throughout the series that the two just aren’t that compatible.
Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter are sad about the divorce, yet they both understand that the decision was for the best. By the final season, they have both completely moved on. Diane is married and Mr. Peanutbutter is finally happily exploring singlehood. Still, they take a moment to share a phone call and express gratitude for the time that they spent together.
Hydraulic fracking is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock. Fracking poses many environmental concerns, which Mr. Peanutbutter knows nothing about when he runs for office as the pro-fracking candidate.
When Diane writes an article stating that if politicians “knew how dangerous it [fracking] was, they wouldn’t allow it in their own backyards,” Mr. Peanutbutter doubles down and literally allows fracking outside his house.
3 Women’s Safety On Ride-Sharing Apps
An alarming number of sexual assaults have been reported by both drivers and riders on ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. The majority of these victims are women.
In the episode “Stop the Presses” Todd and his friend Emily attempt to rectify this problem by creating Cabracadabra, a ride-sharing app for only female drivers and passengers. The idea is actually kind of genius until Todd makes the safe space for women “also available to men.”
2 Antidepressants & Their Side Effects
If mental health issues are rarely talked about, then medication for these issues is talked about even less. There is a stigma around antidepressants, but BoJack Horseman doesn’t shy away from them. In fact, the series portrays them as the important and sometimes life-saving medications that they are.
Diane begins taking the medication her psychiatrist prescribed for her in season 6, though she has understandable concerns about it. She has taken antidepressants before and they caused side effects such as breakouts and weight gain. However, her supportive boyfriend Guy encourages her to try them. In the end, Diane does gain some weight, but this is small news in comparison to the fact that the antidepressants have finally helped her to become healthy and happy.
1 Recognition Of Asexuality
Asexuality is not so much controversial as it is simply ignored. BoJack Horseman is probably the only series where a main character is openly asexual and this aspect of his life is adequately explored. Todd proudly states his sexual orientation.
The specifics of it are explained, such as the fact that he is asexual but not aromantic, and then Todd’s romantic relationships continue to be explored. His love interests are given as much scope as the other characters on the show. The only difference is that he doesn’t have sex.
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