Note: Full spoilers for Bojack Horseman and Breaking Bad follow.
Watching TV this century can be depressing due to all the antiheroes: Tony Soprano, Gregory House, Don Draper, Eric Cartman, Rick Sanchez, and so many more. A couple that stand out though are Breaking Bad’s Walter White and Bojack Horseman’s…Bojack Horseman. On the surface, these two characters and their respective shows are about as different as can be. Strangely though, both series share a similar thematic core.
Chuck Klosterman explains the main theme of Breaking Bad:
“Breaking Bad is…built on the uncomfortable premise that there’s an irrefutable difference between what’s right and what’s wrong…where the characters have real control over how they choose to live.”
However at the beginning of the series, the show presents itself as the exact opposite of this. Walter White is a good man who is forced to cook meth in order to afford his cancer treatments and provide for his family. Originally, Breaking Bad seems like a show arguing that our morality or lack thereof is based on our circumstances. Given a bad enough situation anyone can break bad.
But somewhere along the way the audience realizes that premise is wrong. Walter keeps choosing to do bad things. He lies, sells drugs, and even murders. Yet as his actions get worse, he always has some coercive reasoning behind him. However eventually, those excuses are not enough. In the final episode, he admits to Skylar, “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was alive.” Though the admission may be a revelation for Walt, the audience has realized this long ago.
This thematic twist is the most interesting aspect to Breaking Bad. People are responsible for their own actions . The consequences that stem from those actions are thus fair. In “Ozymandias”, Walt’s family life crumbles apart, and in “Felina”, his actual life is taken from him. Break bad, and you will suffer. And that suffering will be justified.
And this is the exact same theme as Bojack Horseman.Continue reading “Actions & Consequences: An Analysis of Bojack Horseman Season 6″