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BoJack Horseman

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Introduction
You know, sometimes I think I was born with a leak, and any goodness I started with just slowly spilled out of me and now its all gone. And I'll never get it back in me. It's too late. Life is a series of closing doors, isn't it?

—BoJack Horseman, Horse Majeure


BoJack F. Horseman is the titular main character of BoJack Horseman. The show primarily follows BoJack and his life after his successful '90s sitcom, Horsin' Around.

Design

BoJack is an adult male horse weighing over 1200 weight as revealed in the pilot episode. While most of his fur is brown, he has a white streak in his fur stretching from his nose near his eyes and another from his eyes and touching the tip of his eyebrows. He also has a pink spot on his nose that Princess Carolyn calls "adorable" and pointy ears near his mane. Despite being a horse, BoJack, like other animals in the BoJack Horseman series, is designed with human feet and hands. BoJack is typically seen wearing an unbuttoned gray jacket with a blue turtleneck underneath, cyan jeans and red-and-white high tops.

Background

Born on the 2nd of January 1964, BoJack Horseman grew up in a dysfunctional family. His mother, Beatrice Horseman, was the heiress of the Sugarman fortune, while his father Butterscotch Horseman was a failed novelist from a working class background. His father was an alcoholic and regularly verbally abused BoJack while he was young. His mother, Beatrice, resented BoJack for everything he had done to her including being born. Her smoking habits, forceful will, addiction to cigarettes, and constant bickering with Butterscotch made BoJack's young years difficult.

To escape from his terrible home life, young BoJack reveled in the fame of Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner. BoJack grew fond of Secretariat and wanted to be just like him.

As BoJack became older he turned to comedy for solace after the 1973 suicide of Secretariat. While trying hole-in-the wall comedy clubs, BoJack met Herb Kazzaz and Charlotte Moore, Herb's girlfriend. The three became good friends while trying to become big stars. Herb finally lands a show called Horsin' Around and confides in BoJack that he is to be the star of the show.

During the show, BoJack slowly becomes more and more depressed. He turns to smoking and alcohol just like his parents in order to deal with the pressure and loneliness of becoming famous in Hollywood. When Herb is caught doing lewd acts in public with another man, the ABC network executive talks to BoJack about letting Herb go. Although against it at first, BoJack finally agrees to stay while Herb is fired. BoJack doesn't talk to Herb after until Herb is on his deathbed. BoJack continues the show through the rest of nine seasons until its cancellation. The finale features the death of BoJack's character, The Horse, and the doctor telling his adopted orphans that he died of a "broken heart" because they didn't love him enough.

Twenty years later, BoJack has fallen into a cynical depressed life of couch living while watching reruns of his has-been show. While staying alone he hosts a party where he meets Todd Chavez who never leaves and becomes BoJack's only friend. BoJack also begins to date his agent, Princess Carolyn, in an effort to not be alone. Reaching utter despair, BoJack is approached by Pinky Penguin of Penguin Publishing, to write his biography. Believing to be up to the task, BoJack promises to write the book himself. Unable to, they force him to hire a ghost writer, Diane Nguyen, the writer of his hero Secretariat's biography. Already hating her for her unpronounceable last name, he doesn't meet her until late into a party hosted by Todd. Attracted to her immediately, he is disappointed when she reveals that she is dating Mr. Peanutbutter, BoJack's rival.

Bojackautograph

Personality

A curmudgeon described by his ex-girlfriend as a "self-pitying masochist," BoJack Horseman is bitter, depressed, self-loathing, narcissistic, and sometimes self-destructive. BoJack is often bad tempered and irritable, with little patience for a lot of people around him (notably Mr. Peanutbutter or Todd), who although give BoJack plenty of attention, are constantly insulted and looked down upon by BoJack's very bitter nature. Although being annoyed by his surroundings, BoJack ironically has a nasty habit of driving some of his closest friends like Princess Carolyn to distraction. Most commonly through his numerous schemes to get his own way, which usually end up in a disaster. Despite these struggles and insecurities that he has, BoJack really does care about others. He does care about his friends, can even be insightful, doesn't really want to hurt anybody and has proven to be more tender-hearted than he seems to be.

BoJack is plagued by his utter self-loathing and struggle to accept himself, this depressed side to his nature often comes out when he is with Diane. However, his sentimental moods have been more common recently, even with people like Mr. Peanutbutter, most notably in season 2. In addition, BoJack finds himself haunted by his past, on a regular basis, flashbacks are often seen of BoJack remembering his corrupted relationships - especially his mother and ex-best friend. While he can seem hostile on the outside, BoJack does have a caring, and melancholic side to him, but rarely shows this side of himself to others, partly because of his insecurities to show any weakness others. Fearing that others will catch on that he dislikes himself, he feigns narcissistic behavior like having sex as he sees footage of himself and masturbating to his own image, or at least he says he does.

As a foal, he was inquisitive and keen to earn his father's trust.  As a younger horse, he was polite, cheerful, charming but also a lightweight, who consciously avoided all alcohol, in stark contrast to his current boozhound self. His attitude only soured in his forties. Added to this, he is not very mannerly - on a date with Princess Carolyn in the first episode he preoccupies himself with eating the bread (nine baskets) and later on he belches while drinking beer and watching old episodes of his show. In the third season, he belches again after raiding Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter's fridge. These episodes of gluttony can be seen as yet more failed attempts to handle his inner turmoil resulting in his appearing inconsiderate and repulsive to others.

In contrast to his perceived ineptitude at being responsible (in one context, for his own breakfast), BoJack has repeatedly demonstrated a masterful command over philosophy, political science, and history. This is ironic, considering that one of the main commentaries of the series is that Hollywood (or Hollywoo as it is known in the show) is a town of shallow, nihilistic people who would be completely incapable in any other industry or lifestyle. For example, in the episode, Let's Find Out, Bojack receives the question "To what extent was Feudalism a cause of the French Revolution?" Even though, he is distracted by Princess Carolyn to properly answer the question, what he actually wrote was quite competent. "A continent ravaged by war, coupled with the retreat of the church from secular life..." BoJack is also very principled about his perspectives, too; on one occasion, he sets off a media flame war to defend his critique of the public's automatic treatment of veterans as heroic without regard for their individual characters. On another, when Ana Spanakopita explains to BoJack that the French are still annoyed with him for what he "said about them in the press," he states he stands by his criticism of revered French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Elaborating, he states, "His philosophical arguments helped many tyrannical regimes justify overt cruelty," a reference to Sartre's idea that "humans are condemned to be free," and his stated admiration for Stalinists and Maoists.

As the series progresses, BoJack clings onto the people who even remotely comfort him and goes out of his way to keep them around so he isn't completely alone. Ultimately, most characters avoid or even completely cut ties with him for his toxic domineer.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2016 Secretariat Secretariat Digitally added

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1987-1996 Horsin' Around The Horse
2007 The BoJack Horseman Show Himself
2015 Hollywoo Stars and Celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things?? Let's Find Out! Himself Contestant
2016 Ethan Around The Horse Unknown Results

Memorable Quotes

  • "What are You doing here?"
  • "Y'know, sometimes I feel like I was born with a leak, and any goodness I started with just slowly spilled out of me, and now it's all gone and I'll never get it back in me. It's too late."
  • "Life is a series of closing doors, isn't it?"
  • "Nothing on the outside, nothing on the inside."
  • "What's great about Los Angeles is nobody cares where you're from or who you are. It's a superficial town where you can worry about stupid shit like keeping your pool clean, and what artisanal nuts to put on your salad."
  • "Shut up, Todd!"
  • "Clean up your shit, Todd!"
  • "Princess Carolyn, what are we doing?"
  • "Whaaaaaaa haha, get out of here!"
  • "Shiiiiiiiit…"
  • "WASSUP BITCHES?"
  • "I can't do this again"
  • "Do you want to meet my imaginary friend?"
  • (To a young Sarah Lynn) "The thing is, you gotta give the people what they want, even if it KILLS you. Even if it empties you out until there's nothing less to empty"
  • See, Sarah Lynn, we're not doomed. In the great grand scheme of things, we're just tiny specks that will one day be forgotten.So, it doesn't matter what we did in the past, or how we'll be remembered.The only thing that matters is right now, this moment, this one spectacular moment we are sharing together.Right, Sarah Lynn? ...Sarah Lynn?

Trivia

  • As of the setting of the series, BoJack weighs some 1,200 lbs (544 kg), and is 6'6''(198 cm) or 19.75 hands tall.
  • BoJack is very similar to the character Duckman from the early 1990s show of the same name, both are alcoholics, smoke cigarettes, self-loathe and are narcissistic, politically incorrect and sexually deviant.

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