With BoJack Horseman Season Five being released on Netflix a week and a bit ago, I thought I’d add to the avalanche of BoJack Horseman analysis videos already on YouTube by tackling how the series critiques our relationship with the recent past.
In particular, the role of Horsin’ Around (the "very famous TV show" in which BoJack once starred) in informing the protagonist of the show’s identity has always fascinated me. And so I thought I’d explore how BoJack Horseman subverts and critiques our memory of what culture really was like "back in the 90's".
I'm particularly interested in the narrative of Bojack, Mr. Peanutbutter and Sarah Lynn's own trajectory between the 90's and today as well as the career struggles of Todd and Diane in the present. Mostly, however, I'm interested in what all of these, taken together, might tell us about 90's culture and that of today.
As is perhaps clear in the video, I was particularly inspired by Lindsay Ellis' video on Stranger Things, It and the Upside Down of Nostalgia from December of last year. However, here, I primarily draw on the work of Frederic Jameson on parody and pastiche.
So, I hope this video essay adds something new to the videos already existing which interogate the philosophy of BoJack Horseman and other angles of analysis while also adding to my own Politix series.
Chater, A. (2015) ‘From Real Housewives to The Brady Bunch: Bojack Horseman Finds Its Place’. /Kino: The Western Undergraduate Journal of Film Studies/. 6(1). Available at: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/kino/vol6/iss1/3
Ellis, L. (2017) ‘Stranger Things, IT and the Upside Down of Nostalgia’. /YouTube/. [Online] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Radg-Kn0jLs [Accessed: 19 September 2018].
Jameson, F. (1991) /Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism/. Durham: Duke University Press. p. 17.
Pappenheim, J. (2018) ‘Why “13 Reasons Why” fails at portraying mental health where “BoJack Horseman” succeeds’. /Shortlist/. [Online] https://www.shortlist.com/news/opinion/13-reasons-controversial-suicide-mental-health-depression-anxiety-bojack-horseman-netflix/358519 [Accessed: 19 September 2018].
Weinstock, J. A. (2008) ‘Simpsons Did It!’. in /Taking South Park Seriously/. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 88.
If you've enjoyed this video and would like to see more including my What The Theory? series in which I provide some snappy introductions to key theories in the humanities as well as PhD vlogs in which I talk about some of the challenges of being a PhD student then do consider subscribing.
Thanks for watching!