Motifs in the Mundane

The idiom, “diamond in the rough” is a ubiquitous term that nearly every person has heard of at some point in their life. Being an idiom it is not to be taken literally, it is a figure of speech that means to find something of value or worth in an area that said object is rare. For example; finding a pleasant person in a rough area, or finding a critically acclaimed movie in the bargain bin in the nearest video store. Generally speaking, adult comedy shows such as Family Guy or American Dad! are solely meant for entertainment purposes and only that. Netflix’s original series Bojack Horseman is no exception, it is a show, much like the aforementioned titles, that utilizes crude and immature jokes to entertain its audience. However, the motifs behind some of the characters featured in the show, are diamonds in the rough. The main character of the show Bojack Horseman, the show is named after him, is a cynical, depressed, and narcissistic alcoholic who is considered to be a has been at entertainment television. The show features him living his day to day life and on the superficial level, it is just another show that uses crude and adult humor to entertain. However, if one were to delve deeper into Bojack’s character and background, one would see an intensely strong connection to child abuse and its long term effects. During flashbacks in the show, Bojack’s parents are abusive both verbally and physically towards him with his mother at some point even telling him “…I was beautiful before I was pregnant…” meanwhile Bojack was only 7 years old. With this treatment as a child, he fell deeply into depression, turning to drinking, smoking, and drugs to cope with his feelings. His parents actions in his childhood caused him all this pain that would later lead him into destructive habits that have a severely detrimental effect on his later life. This motif of child abuse is rather shocking as it may be shrugged off in this mundane of a show, it is a diamond in the rough.

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