Netflix released the fifth season of BoJack Horseman today, filling the internet with the now periodic bursts of reflection, depression, and appreciation for funny talking animals and very stupid sign gags. Series creator Rapheal Bob-Waksberg has been doing a fair amount of press for the series this week, discussing his regrets about the “original sin” of its all-white starring cast, and revealing the emotional origins of the BoJack universe: Living alone in an extremely fancy, isolated closet.
Not a metaphorical closet, to be clear: Talking to THR, Bob-Waksberg discussed his early days in Hollywoo, and how they contributed to the show’s tone of opulent misery:
When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was staying with a friend of a friend of a friend up in the Hollywood Hills. I was in this tiny little closest paying $400 a month in this beautiful house. I stayed in the house a lot and I didn’t go out and I felt so isolated and alienated and that dichotomy of being simultaneously on top of the world, and also never more alone, was really the beginning of thinking about this character of BoJack.
Given those origins, it’s interesting that the show’s clearest parallel to Bob-Waksberg’s living situation at the time—frequent couch-surfer Todd—is the one who often comes closest to achieving some kind of happiness or joy in life. Still, aren’t we all, in our own way, a former sitcom-starring horse attempting to identify and escape the failures bound inextricably to his soul, and which have their origins in his human creator’s formerly bad life in a very fancy closet?