Behind the Comedy: The Genius Writing in “BoJack Horseman”

Behind the Comedy: The Genius Writing in “BoJack Horseman”


“BoJack Horseman” is not your average animated comedy. Far from it. Though it begins as a satirical take on Hollywood and celebrity culture, the show evolves into a deeply introspective examination of life’s messiest facets—depression, addiction, and existential dread, to name a few. In this article, we’re delving into the masterful writing that makes the show more than just a comedy.

The Layers of BoJack

BoJack is a complex character who straddles the line between sympathy and disdain. The writing effectively captures his downward spiral, forcing the audience to grapple with the flawed hero’s complexity.

  • Self-Sabotage: Episodes like “Stupid Piece of Sh*t” take us inside BoJack’s mind, revealing the self-destructive thoughts that fuel his actions.

The Side Characters: More Than Comic Relief

While BoJack is the star, the side characters are far from one-dimensional. Whether it’s Princess Carolyn’s never-ending hustle or Todd’s lovable quirkiness, each character offers a deep dive into different aspects of the human (or animal) condition.

  • Feminism and Princess Carolyn: Her character breaks stereotypes by balancing her demanding career with her personal life, often struggling but never giving up. Vox goes into detail on how the character defies norms.

The Anthropomorphic Angle

It might seem absurd to have talking animals, but this creative decision serves a purpose. The animal characteristics often highlight or contrast with the characters’ personalities, adding an additional layer to the story.

  • Mr. Peanutbutter’s Optimism: His Golden Retriever traits amplify his ceaseless optimism, offering a contrast to BoJack’s cynical worldview. Collider explains how animals add depth to the narrative.

Emotional Punch in BoJack Horseman

“BoJack Horseman” is notorious for episodes that leave you emotionally drained. The writing dares to explore themes that are often considered taboo.

  • “Time’s Arrow”: This episode about BoJack’s mother’s dementia is both heart-wrenching and educational. The Atlantic delves into the episode’s impact.

The Format: Breaking Boundaries

One of the most innovative aspects of “BoJack Horseman” is its format. The show plays with storytelling structures, like the silent underwater episode or the one-shot monologue in “Free Churro.”

  • Innovative Storytelling: These episodes are risky but pay off by providing a unique viewer experience. Vulture ranks some of these groundbreaking episodes.


“BoJack Horseman” transcends the confines of its animated format and comedy genre to offer insightful, deeply emotional storytelling. Its genius lies not just in its wit or visual gags, but in its ability to dig deep into the human psyche, making us laugh, cry, and think—often all at once.

So next time you find yourself laughing at one of BoJack’s quips or Todd’s misadventures, remember: there’s a lot more going on under the hood. This is comedy with substance, and it’s nothing short of genius.

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