Loneliness is a feeling of unwantedness that uncovers your inability to connect with your surroundings and people. It’s a scary place to be.
I have a lot of admiration for the Netflix series BoJack Horseman for how it deals with mental health (that includes personal interconnectivity, loneliness and depression) through its characters’ amusing but natural actions. Today, I am going to analyze one of its episodes – The Dogs Days Are Over (S05E02) to talk about loneliness and find a solution.
If you haven’t watched the series or just this episode, do not fret; I will give a gist of the series and characters that are involved in this particular episode.
BoJack Horseman revolves around the washed-up Hollywood celebrity – once a 90s famous tv star – who is too afraid to face the reality and in complete ignorance. The story has more to it as it unveils BoJack’s backstory.
This particular episode is about a character named Diane Nguyen who is a 35-yrs writer with the conflicting dreams in the world full of pretentious people (yes, including BoJack). She is a good friend of BoJack and the wife of another always-cheerful character Mr. Peanut Butter. That’s all you need to know. Let’s start then.
As the episode begins, we already knew that Diane’s divorce with Mr. Peanut Butter is finalized. She begins crying and rushed to book the ticket to Vietnam just to get away from Los Angeles. When she reaches to Vietnam, her manager gives her a job to write a listical blog. She turns it into a perfect way to discover herself by jotting down 10 reasons to go to Vietnam.
This episode is almost like a monologue of Diane’s history and present status. After listing a few points and elaborating it, she finds out:
She can’t find a connection to a land which is supposed to be her ancestral root.
She was completely ignored as a child and later disowned by her family.
Even though, there were so many people around her in LA – nobody actually cares to listen to her.
Her two closest friends are Mr. Peanut Butter and BoJack Horseman – She pushed them away.
Sometimes we choose to ignore people who actually care about us. We move our way, the time flies and once we realize, it’s too late. There are several reasons why we do that but the prime reason is either we overlook that special relationship or we feel undeserved of that relationship.
The latter was the exact circumstance under which Diane and Mr. Peanut Butter took the divorce. Despite his million efforts to make her feel valuable and special, she often felt overwhelmed and guilty of hurting the sentiments of Mr. Peanut Butter over and over just as she was really unsure of what to expect. Thus, she decided to end the relationship after she gave many numbers of tries.
It’s hard to give up someone who is so close to you and care so much about you. But she realizes that the beginning of her relationship with Mr. Peanut Butter is her obsession with the idea of finding happiness which was a wrong way to start. She later understood that there is no such thing called happiness. She can never happy if she keeps looking for it everywhere else.
This brings to the show’s protagonist BoJack Horseman. BoJack Horseman is a self-obsessed celebrity who never wants to come out of his 90s stardom era. It was his happy place. Since then, he has been looking for happiness in everything he does. Diane became first his love interest, then the best friend as well as a personal counsellor. He almost admits all his truths in front of her. While listening to him and writing about BoJack Horseman’s autobiography, their friendship grew.
In the whole world, BoJack understands Diane the best despite his egotistic nature. While she is struggling with her divorce, BoJack comforts her as a friend she keeps making the situation weird by throwing the unnecessary idea of they dating together or don’t-comfort-me-I-am-fine situation. That’s how she pushed him away.
In a bad situation, we do that a lot, don’t we? We unintentionally kick our closed ones out just because we do not want to admit that we are sad. We do not talk about ourselves, we do not listen and we do not ask for help.
At the end of the episode, she realizes that the real reason she wanted to go to Vietnam: Mr. Peanut Butter is dating someone and now, she can never have him. In her words:
“And it breaks your heart… again… after your heart is so broken that you thought it could never get any broken. You thought it was safe but it still, somehow, finds a new way to break. Because, even though you are the one who has asked for this, now that you’ve got it, you are completely adrift with no compass or map or sense of where to go or what to do. So, you go to Vietnam.”
“You think you might find a community, a connection to something bigger but you don’t. In fact, you feel even more alone than you were before you left. But, you survive. You learn that you can survive, being alone.”
She accepts that she is lonely and learns that she can survive this.
So when such a lonely time comes, we must not fight back with our ignorance but accept it. And we take a mental note that it will pass and we shall survive.
This is my first analysis of any series episode. So, please let me know your views! If you have any thoughts about how to deal with loneliness, please share it in the comment section.
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