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7 Worst Things BoJack Horseman Has Ever Done –

 

 

Bojack, in his own words, is a stupid piece of s**t. He’s done so many awful things, there’s almost too many to count. Almost.

A master of self-destruction, this list takes a look specifically at the damage he’s wrought in other people’s lives. His life seems to be filled with disasters for himself and those he associates with, and the common denominator is always BoJack Horseman. There’s no cure for that.

Though we frequently hear in the show from the likes of BoJack himself and his mother Beatrice that he was ‘born broken’, he does occasionally try and do the right thing. Because of this, incidents like getting Kelsey fired from Secretariat are not included. It did end disastrously, but BoJack’s intentions in helping her make the gritty movie she wanted were pure.

The road to hell is famously paved with good intentions, but considering all the terrible things BoJack has done on purpose, he should have no issues walking there on his own.

7. Stealing Diane’s Therapist

Netflix

BoJack taking himself to therapy is a great thing. He clearly has some issues, not least with his various addictions, and needs the help. However, when he finds out Diane is seeing a therapist, he takes a very different (very BoJack) approach.

He instead goes behind Diane’s back to see her, convincing himself that his sessions are just ‘friendship time’ with the therapist. This would be nowhere near as bad if Diane hadn’t begged him not to, or if he had actually kept going to the therapist long-term to heal.

Instead, he ditches the therapist almost immediately. Not until after the therapist says she can no longer see Diane if BoJack being a client upsets her, of course. It’s his justification for doing so which truly makes this terrible though. The therapist advises Diane that after years of working through her issues, she may well be healed enough that therapy is no longer required.

BoJack, seeing himself and Diane as equally broken people, decides it mustn’t be for him either. This is not only indicative of his selfishness and ego. Considering all the pent-up self-loathing he has inside, it shows how little he thinks of Diane too.

6. Sabotaging Todd’s Rock Opera

Netflix

Way back in episode four, this moment marked BoJack’s first real low; a bar he would continually lower season on season. Because it gives us our first glimpse at BoJack’s true nature and is motivated by pure selifishness, this moment is even worse than when he slept with Todd’s friend Emily.

While he’s a jerk about it, the audience is kind of on BoJack’s side when he dismisses Todd’s rock opera. After all, so far in the show Todd has demonstrated no discernible skills or ambition. Not to mention, it just seems like a stupid idea. But when he accuses BoJack of not paying attention, only for the horse to fire back with stacks of constructive criticism, we start to root for them.

It’s clear that this show has what it takes to succeed too. But then BoJack realises he can’t have that. Success for Todd would mean Todd moving out, leaving him alone. So he plants a video game Todd is addicted to by a cash register, knowing Todd will buy it and stay up all night before his audition.

We at least get our introduction to character actress Margo Martindale, so it’s not all bad.

5. Kissing Diane

Netflix

Taking advantage of vulnerable women certainly seems to be BoJack’s thing.

After leaving Herb’s house without the forgiveness he sought, BoJack is dejected. Diane, no doubt remembering how BoJack (eventually) consoled her after her father’s passing two episodes ago, offers some solace, telling him with genuine warmth that he was brave to confront his past. It’s a touching moment, showing the depth of connection and friendship these two are capable of when the stars align. Then BoJack ruins it.

He lurches into a kiss, with Diane shoving him off and returning to the car in silence. He spoils himself as a viable friend for Diane here, when they’re both lonely people in desperate need of one. There were no signals to misread and BoJack had already screwed things up with his misguided affections when he stole the Hollywood ‘D’ for her. Plainly put, he should know better by now.

What’s worst is jealousy over Mr Peanutbutter in general appears to be a factor, meaning the kiss was hardly about Diane at all. Though seeming to be spur of the moment rather than calculated, the idea of complicating Diane’s marriage to Mr Peanutbutter was certainly on his mind.

4. Throwing The Doll Off The Railing

Netflix

In and of itself, this barely scratches the surface of BoJack’s misdeeds. Throwing a plastic doll off his balcony hardly compares to the emotional trauma he’s wrought on his friends, after all. But this act is symbolic of so much more.

After Bea’s dementia leads to a breakdown in her nursing home (caused by BoJack’s instance at performing Horsin’ Around live), she’s evicted into BoJack’s care. Living with BoJack and Hollyhock, Bea regains a little bit of her old self. Her mind is severely dulled though, so her incisive meanness is thankfully lacking.

The only thing that keeps her content is caring for a tiny horse doll. BoJack, jealous that she was never even half as caring with him, taunts her as he throws the doll over the railing outside his house.

Bea was an awful mother, but her Alzheimer’s had left her severely deteriorated. In her mind, she saw a man (well, horse) throw a live baby off the balcony then laugh about it.

He’s remorseful, but that counts for very little when Bea, her carer, and the adorable Hollyhock all begged him not to.

3. Choking Gina

Netflix

Yes, BoJack’s history is so scattered with wrongs that this brutal assault only takes the bronze medal. The meta-themes of Season 5 all collided as a painkiller-addicted BoJack struggles to separate his detective TV show from reality.

With his drug-addled brain constructing a conspiracy around himself, BoJack confuses shooting a scene with confronting his attacker. He begins choking Gina’s character, Sassy, as scripted, but continues to strangle her even as she splutters for help, tears streaming. In the end, the assault only stops when Mr Peanutbutter forces him off.

This time, BoJack’s remorse has merit. He offers to take full responsibility and confess to everything. However, Gina angrily tells him there’s no way that can happen. In a blistering assessment of why assaulted celebrities often don’t come forward, Gina knows that any confession will tarnish her career just as it’s starting to blossom. She’ll forever be ‘the girl that BoJack choked’.

Because of this, we again see BoJack pay almost no price for his actions. It does lead him towards rehab, which will hopefully be of a long-term benefit to those around him. But on a legal level at least, he appears to have gotten away with it.

2. Getting Sarah Lynn Killed

Netflix

Sarah Lynn was a tragic soul. Epitomising the ‘too much, too young’ child star model that’s seen Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears go off the rails, in many ways she seemed doomed from the start.

Sarah Lynn had gotten clean though, and had been living sober until BoJack calls. She jumps at the chance to relapse, revealing that she’d always had drugs and alcohol hidden around her house. BoJack was undeniably the catalyst though, setting her spiralling all over again.

As well as revisiting scenes from BoJack’s own past, throughout the bender we see Sarah Lynn open up and be vulnerable, losing her ‘over it’ veneer. She admits to having no identity, only dressing and acting the way she does because she craves the attention it brings.

Possibly the worst thing here is that BoJack never realises how much he’s hurting her. He even takes her to the planetarium, her favourite building. He gives a speech he probably thinks is hopeful, about how all life is meaningless in the scope of the universe. But it’s too late. Sarah Lynn has already passed on, with the haunting last words ‘I wanna be an architect’.

1. Being In Bed With Penny

Netflix

We’d struggle to think of how dark the show would have to go to get worse than this. This is the moment that has haunted BoJack ever since it happened, but like when he threw the doll away, his remorse counts for little.

Defenders of BoJack point to three main pieces of evidence: Penny was of legal age, Penny consented enthusiastically, and nothing actually happened.

While all those are true, the context of the situation offers a different perspective. BoJack spent the night getting Penny’s friends so drunk one of them was hospitalised, and had just been rejected by Penny’s mother, Charlotte.

Even without those factors though, BoJack is extremely predatory. They didn’t do anything only because Charlotte walked in and caught them. BoJack has never been good with temptation, especially when he’s hurting. It’s unlikely to imagine that BoJack would have stopped if not interrupted.

While BoJack’s age is never revealed, his 90s sitcom suggests he’s in his late forties, early fifties. The same age as Hugh Jackman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt. Would people honestly be concerned with context if they were caught in bed with a 17-year-old?

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