Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Here's an ode to Diane Nguyen, the soul of BoJack Horseman

More than being a show about Hollywood or talking animals, BoJack Horseman is a show about how difficult it can be to be a good person. While it’s true that BoJack himself spends the majority of the show falling into cycles of self-destruction while simultaneously insisting he’s trying to be better, nobody exemplifies this struggle for goodness like Diane Nguyen. A new video from ScreenPrism argues that Diane is, in fact, the soul of the show, reflecting the audience’s liberal ideals while also showing how difficult it can be to stick to them.


Over the course of the past five seasons, Diane (Alison Brie) has repeatedly reinvented herself. She’s taken on new jobs, new humanitarian causes, and new philosophical outlooks on life. Rather than signally some sort of inconsistency of character, these constant transformations reflect a complexity that’s realistically human. Like many of us, Diane will have a passionate, steadfast belief that something is right, and yet will falter when that belief butts up against a personal conflict.

But perhaps the greatest contribution Diane’s character has made to the show is her unfiltered commentary on BoJack himself. There’s a fairly meta moment in season five when Diane tries to show BoJack as a true villain on his show-within-a-show, only to have audience’s fawn over her anti-hero portrayal. As Screenprism notes, this plotline reflects the BoJack writer’s own struggle with audiences’ love of the self-absorbed, emotionally abusive, titular horse.

Without Diane, BoJack Horseman would be missing something. It would be missing that nuanced voice of reason, the perspective of the show itself, and a reminder that we can always try to be better.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Pay me to write for you, you coward.