Bojack Horseman and Rick and Morty: The Hardest Nihilistic Show to watch and the easiest Nihilistic Show to watch
Bojack Horseman is such a weird show for me.
It’s like I need to set a time weeks, or years in advance to sit down and watch it. I’ve only watched the show once but it is so philosophical and life changing and depressing and deep, it’s like I have to set out emotional time out of my day to pick a moment to watch it.
I’ve only watched it once and once was enough to change my entire outlook on life and look at my life from a new angle.
Where as Rick and Morty is a Nihilistic show too, there are way more laugh out loud moments and tends to make fun of Nihilism. The characters can be deep, while being shallow at the same time. They can be very aware they are in a show. Saying things like: “Was he doing a bit?” things I don’t hear in modern english unless I’m hanging with the theater kids.
A thing that Rick and Morty achieves perfectly with it’s humor is the art of Schadenfreude. Or “Taking pleasure/enjoyment/humor from the suffering of others.” Every single deep moment in Rick and Morty is usually accompanied with a sad or intense song, that you can take in as Horribly deep and depressing, while being hilarious at the exact same time.
I will take an example from Season One.
Kind of a spoiler, but this happens very early in season one. It’s like the halfway point of season one, just to establish this show doesn’t fuck around.
The jist of it, is that Rick and Morty ruined the world so badly, that they went to a different universe. A different reality where they died around this time. Accompanied by sad music is Morty coming to grips that everything around him isn’t real and it’s an entirely new reality. Leaving behind a damaged and broken world. And he has to bury his own corpse. So every event in the previous episodes are reconnected or might of not happened in this reality.
What makes this a very emotional intense scene and an extremely funny one is how juxtaposed Morty is to this compared to everyone else around him. Morty is having an existential crisis about everyone he left behind, meanwhile Reality doesn’t care. Rick grabs a drink, Summer Texts on her phone, his mom and dad argue on the cusp of divorce. Nothing changed. Life goes on.
I remember the first time I saw this scene when it aired on TV, it blew my mind, while also making me laugh at the same time.
That’s because the show makes it clear Reality doesn’t care about Morty’s extensional crisis. You can take pleasure in his suffering while making it tragic and realistic but funny at the same time.
And a majority of every emotional scene in Rick and Morty is like this.
There is a moment in season 2 where one character attempts suicide, and while it’s framed in a serious manner, it is also hilarious. It’s not that the show makes fun of suicidal people. (like a tasteless joke in some other adult shows) The inner turmoil is shown and portrayed very seriously. What makes the scene funny, is while the character lies still and alone all night after his failed suicide attempt, the Pathetic Father character Jerry, comes into the foreground, with his weed wacker. A trivial thing he was complaining about the whole episode. Without noticing the character’s pain. “Life goes on. Nobody cares.” Which is seriously sad and funny at the same time.
As I said Schadenfreude. “Nobody cares. Might as well laugh about it”
Bojack Horseman has it’s share of funny moments too, it’s writing style in similar format to the Simpsons and typical satire.
But the comedic moments are usually far away from it’s serious moments.
They have their moments of Schadenfreude as well. Such as small #relatable moments that make me laughing my ass off due to the delivery. Cause I’m sure many can relate to procrastinating and being lazy as hell on a project or having friends kick your pathetic ass to actually do something.
But when the show wants to get deep, the humor stays far away from the realism.
There are also suicide attempts in this show as well. And while Rick and Morty can take a look in the mirror and laugh at itself. Like “Nobody cares, might as well laugh about it” This show seems to say: “Life is horrible, we are horrible people, if we don’t take power within ourselves to change. nobody cares. Deal with it.”
Which it a heartbreaking but raw realistic message.
Which is why I only watched the show once and am postpoing watching the newest season as long as I can.
The show is raw, it doesn’t hold back and every deep emotional moment has no comic relief moment to recover.
It lets you breathe in the heavy atmosphere and deal with every screw up the main character commits.
It’s like if an adult cartoon character had real world negative consequences for his horrible behavior. Friends abandon him, forgiveness is optional, and people die because of a direct result of the main character.
A lot of the problems with myself and with my generation as a whole is that we tend to dissolve blame for things that we are directly at fault for. I know we tend to point fingers at the Baby Boomer generation or society a lot, but pointing fingers doesn’t really help things get better. If you just want to whine and not inspire change. You have to look deep inside yourself and find the will to change.
Something that both shows preach.
“The thing about repairing, maintaining and cleaning is, it’s not an adventure. There’s no way to do it so wrong you might die. It’s just…. work. And the truth of the matter is that, some of us are okay with going to work, and well, some of us rather die. Each of us gets to choose.”
I love Bojack Horseman and I love Rick and Morty. But one is way more easier to watch then the other. I know a lot of people on tumblr are comparing both shows, but to me, they are equal in greatness, just take a very different approach to the same subject mater.
I will get to watching Season 4 of Bojack Horseman some day. But not where I’m at right now.
I am glad I read a few therapy books before watching bojack horseman and rick and morty so I wasn’t too mindblown by the messages portrayed.