Bojack Horseman, Mental Health, and Working on Yourself

Today, Netflix released the trailer for the second installment of the final season of Bojack Horseman.

This makes me immensely sad, as Bojack Horseman has a special place in my heart and is among my personal pantheon of great television shows. A few years ago, if you had told me that one of my favorite shows involved an animated show about a half horse, half man who struggles with anxiety and self-image, I would have called you a lunatic. But this was a show that was different. It came along at the perfect time, as mental health was just beginning to be de-stigmatized in the cultural zeitgeist.

For the better part of a decade, I have struggled with mental health issues, specifically depression. I was turned onto this show during the midst of one of the darkest periods of my life, a time when I felt alone, unsure of myself, and scared. One reason for mental health issues going unaddressed is that people who suffer from them often feel afraid to speak out about them, partly because of a fear of ridicule, and partly because we feel alone in our battle. And, when we ultimately gather the courage to talk about it with others, it is so hard to verbalize exactly what we are going through. How do you describe the feeling of being depressed to somebody who doesn’t know what it’s like to have a shadow hulking over you every day, all the time, weighing you down? It’s almost like the idea of running with a parachute on your back – you might be pushing as hard as you can, but everything is slogged down and slow – as if you’re immersed in quicksand. This was what I felt during the worst stretch of my life.

Then, I was introduced to this show. The way that they elegantly described exactly how I felt was shocking to me, and such an enormous relief. To log on and see millions of people who felt the same as I did and how they related to the show was unimaginably touching and comforting. Yes, I have my support system, I have wonderful parents, two incredible sisters, and a bunch of friends who would and have supported me the whole way. Yet this was something I had never seen, a group of people who got me and what I was going through. For the first time in years, despite the rash of people around me who love me, I didn’t feel alone. In fact, I had felt the exact feeling that I had dreaded for so many years: I felt seen.

In season 4, there’s an episode called “Stupid Piece of Sh*t” that features Bojack’s inner monologue throughout the course of his days. It’s essentially 30 minutes of him berating himself, saying he won’t do a stupid thing, doing stupid things, then berating himself for them, and the cycle begins anew. This is the most picture perfect projection of how people with depression often go about their days. Saying they’re screwing everything up, yelling at themselves, and ultimately falling deeper into their hole because of it, which leads to more self-hatred as the hole gets deeper. Basically, spending every day calling themselves a…well…Stupid Piece of Sh*t. I’ve never related to any piece of tv, media, movie, etc. more than this. It was hard to watch, knowing that this is how I lived my life every day. it’s an exhausting watch, and that’s exactly how it felt to live this day after day–exhausting.


There’s a wonderful Bo Burnham song (he’s my favorite comedian, I really have an existential dread and irony problem) where he rips on people for finding motivation in listening to songs like “Roar” by Katie Perry (naturally the song is called “Kill Yourself”). It’s wonderful.

And, in the first installment of this final season, Bojack alluded to this same idea in a bit of a third-wall breaking moment. While I agree with that sentiment to a degree, I did not seek help because of Bojack (as per Bo’s instructions), rather I took away some lessons from this show that I hadn’t been comfortable with confronting up to that point.

Bojack is endlessly trying to be better, and for the vast majority of the show, he seems to be doing it in earnest. He wants to be a better man (horse?) but every time he tries, he seems to get in his own way. Three steps forward, four steps back. Oh, how we all know that feeling. There is no perfect version of you, there is always an improvement to be made, and at the end of the day that honest effort is the best you can do sometimes. Even the bad things that we do can come from a good place. The world keeps spinning, and you are not the end-all-be-all of existence. Depressing thought, sure, but also a good reminder that this is never the end and you can bounce back.

After I had hit rock bottom, I saw a therapist, made an appointment with a psychiatrist, got medicated and talked my way out of my funk. It’s taken a lot of hard work and perseverance, and while I understand that I may never be fully “normal” and am likely to go through these depressive spells for the rest of my life, I also know that it’s gotten better. I am miles ahead of where I once was, and for that I am eternally proud of myself. Nobody will ever take that away from me. For years now, every day has gotten just a little bit better. The weight is slowly being lifted, if not pound-by-pound then ounce-by-ounce. I can breathe freely again. I still have my slip-ups and bad days, but they are far and few between at this point in my life, and if that’s as good as it’s going to get, I’m damn happy with that.

Happiness is not a myth, but perfection is. It is human nature to never be truly happy. We always strive for more, for better, and rarely is it enough. Being happy does not mean being perfect, it is accepting who you are and that you ARE enough, even though you might not see it that way. It’s taken me years to see that, and it’s taken some people longer. We see people splattered over media who are seemingly perfect, and with Bojack, we finally have an imperfect character who can relate to us. He’s the perfect anti-hero, because he’s the anti-hero of his own story and his own life. And this is how people who suffer from mental illness often feel.

I’m far from saying this silly show saved my life. But it has provided me such immeasurable comfort in knowing my struggle is not alone. That I am not the only one who had to wake up and hate themselves, or the only one who puts on a mask to prevent the world from seeing what’s really there–or at least, my perception of it. This show has been a beautiful reminder of that. You are not alone. If you need help, get it. It has taken Bojack Horseman 6 seasons to finally begin to accept himself for who he is, it has taken me almost 7 years to accept myself and to love myself. It is the most freeing, beautiful feeling in the world to do so. I was scared to work on myself, to look in the mirror and confront my demons. It took years of therapy and work to get to where I am now, but I can say in all honesty it has worked, and been the most rewarding feeling of my life.

As the Horsin’ Around theme song says, “We were lost, and now we’re found, and we’re…Horsin’ Around”. I was lost, scared, and isolated. I had no idea who I was and couldn’t have listed anything I liked about myself. After all these years, I found myself. So goodbye, Bojack, and thank you. From the bottom of my heart, you’ve been with me for years and I owe you for the lessons you taught me. It feels fitting to close with this quote from Season 2, where a baboon comes across an exhausted Bojack, who has just tried to take up running. “It gets easier. Every day, it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day – that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.”

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Bojack forever.

New Stranger Things Season 3 Clip Teases Summer In Hawkins

Now that Game of Thrones is out of my life, I need something to fill that void. Thankfully, Stranger Things 3 premieres on Netflix in July. I truly have no idea as to where this season is going to go in terms of storyline. There are only so many times the kids can face the Upside Down and win. At some point, they need to lose. However, I want to take this time to express my displeasure with the release date of Stranger Things 3, July 4.

Why?

July 4 falls on a Thursday this July, which means it will be a four-day weekend for most people. Unless the weather is dogshit, I will be outside on July 4 at a BBQ or the beach. When am I going to have time to watch an episode? Then, you have to factor in that I might be away for the holiday weekend so I could potentially be out of commission until Sunday. So that means there’s a chance I may not be able to watch Stranger Things 3 until Sunday afternoon, which would be roughly 84 or so hours after it premieres on Netflix. How will I avoid spoilers for that long? Will I have to throw my phone into the ocean? Should I delete the Internet and Instagram from my phone? Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

See you in July when I have to make a life or death decision.

Stranger Things Season 3 Releases Trailer And It’s Spectacular

https://twitter.com/Stranger_Things/status/1108337397341802496

I could not think of a better start to a morning. First, I watched the first trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Brad Pitt. Then, I watched the spectacular trailer for Season 3 of Stranger Things.

The 80s, baby! Here’s the official synopsis for Season 3.

“By mid-1985, the era whose box office was dominated by Back to the Future, Mike and Eleven have developed a romantic relationship, as have Max and Lucas.[4][5] Our heroes and heroines are living seemingly normal lives, though one year after the defeat of the Mind Flayer, things are not all what they seem in Hawkins.[4][5] The town has a new leader, the morally corrupt Mayor Kline, whose administration supported and presided over the construction of the new Starcourt Mall.[6] With the Fourth of July approaching, strange things start to happen: Lucas’ sister Erica discovers a mysterious new threat,[1] and a lifeguard at the community pool suddenly disappears,[7][3] triggering fear in those that still have the events from the previous year fresh in their minds.”

If that doesn’t get you going, then I don’t know what will. Stranger Things is one of my favorite shows on television. It’s funny, heartfelt, weird, and thrilling. I’m expecting another terrific season full of supernatural activity, Hopper dancing, and the bromance between Steve and Dustin.

I’m usually away for July 4th weekend, but this year, I might need to make an exception.

Sex Education Review: Raunchy Premise Turns Out To Be A Sweet And Thoughtful Series

Crazy, horny, and anxious teenagers stop at nothing to understand and learn the intricacies of sexual intercourse in Netflix’s Sex Education. Somehow, that raunchy premise turned out to be the secondary plot behind a charming, sweet, and thoughtful coming-of-age story.

Sex Education stars Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn, an awkward teenage virgin who lives with his mother, Dr. Jean Milburn (Gillian Anderson), a sex therapist and author. After helping out a student with a problem, Otis teams up with bad-girl Maeve (Emma Mackey, not Margot Robbie) to run a “sex clinic” at school where Otis listens to problems regarding sex and relationships and administers advice on the matter.

Right away, in the first scene, viewers are hit with a sex scene, which sets the a vulgar tone that the viewer believes the series will be all about. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of sex scenes, some more awkward then other. Masturbation, oral sex demonstrations, and penis reveals (One of the characters shows his large “package” to the entire school) are scattered throughout the series.

However, the sex scenes are outweighed by a sweet, caring storyline about self-discovery and young love. Otis is awkward with deep-seated emotional issues, but he has a good heart and displays many “good guy” qualities. Maeve may be seen as rough around the edges, but her sheer intelligence and ability to survive on her own are admirable. Otis’s interactions with his mother show the highs and lows of being the son of a therapist and how their relationship is not your typical mother-son interaction, but that’s ok. No family is normal. That’s what makes them special and unique.

Sex Education had its fair share of funny moments, but it also tackled issues that are not only relevant, but important topics of conversation in today’s society. Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), who is Otis’s best friend, is gay, but comes from a religious African family. Eric is confident and charismatic, but still struggles to fit in. Without giving too much away, there is an episode where Eric is dressed as Hedwig from Hedwig and the Angry Inch and it will leave you in tears after Eric experiences homophobia and violence. Another episode tackles vagina-shaming that ends with a feminist protest of support. It’s issues like these that make Sex Education more than just about an awkward kid who is afraid to masturbate. The series portrays how teens experience identity crisis on a daily basis and how they need to draw on the support of their peers to overcome such obstacles.

Without spoiling anything else, there are many other characters that deserve your attention (looking at you, Aimee), but overall, the ensemble comedy will take you on a journey of adolescence and how young teenagers battle hormones, bullies, and societal norms everyday. There may be a lot of sex talk, but the message of self-love and friendships brightly in the end.

Stranger Things Season 3 Poster And Trailer Reactions

One Summer Can Change Everything. It’s time for Stranger Things Season 3.

Well, almost time I should say. Over the holiday, Netflix released a poster and date announcement for the third season of Stranger Things, which happens to be one of my favorite television shows.

Stranger things / Via Netflix

July 4, 2019. Mike, Eleven, Dustin, Caleb, Will, Lucas, Max, Steve, Nancy, Jonathan, Joyce, and Hopper (apologies if I forgot anyone) are coming back in July. Here are my instant reactions to the poster and teaser trailer.

Hate the date: Out of all the days of the year, the Duffer Brothers picked July 4 to release the new season? Don’t they know I go down to the Jersey Shore for July 4th weekend? They couldn’t pick another date where nothing is going on? July 4 is on a Thursday this year so I plan on binging the entire season on that Sunday when I’m battling a hangover and a sunburn.

Summer, Summer, Summertime: Season 1 and Season 2 revolved around the school year. Season 3 is going to take place during the Summer of 1985. The Fourth of July is going to be a huge theme. Something big will happen on that date and it will effect the gang throughout the entire summer months.

The Mind Flayer is back: In the final scene of Season 2, the Mind Flayer was still alive, watching Hawkins from the Upside Down. In the new poster, the Mind Flayer is at the bottom of the image and it appears it is ready to wreak havoc once again.

Eleven and Will sense danger: Take a look at all of the characters in the poster. Dustin, Max, and Lucas are blinded by the fireworks. Mike is infatuated with Eleven. However, Will and Eleven sense danger is on the way. The Mind Flayer controlled Will and Eleven battled it. Expect these two to team up this season.

The Starcourt Mall: The Starcourt Mall is going to be a central location for this upcoming season. Playboy Steve Harrington and Robin, a new character, will be working at an ice cream shop.

Decoding the Hidden Messages: Thank you, Reddit, for decoding the messages.

The entire post does a great job explaining each message, but the one I want to focus on is “when blue and yellow meet.” This is a clear reference to the mall and in particular, the clock. The minute and hour hands are blue and yellow. In the video, the time is approximately 6:30. Does something supernatural happen at 6:30 in the mall? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Screaming: In the date announcement video, Mike is screaming for Eleven. I, for one, is shocked! In all seriousness, every relationship (Mike and Eleven, Lucas and Max, Nancy and Jonathan) will go through their bumps in the road per usual. I also expect Steve to get into the action with Robin.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going into hibernation until the July. Carry on.

I Spent My Weekend Watching Cheesy Christmas Movies On Netflix And I Loved It

How was your Thanksgiving Weekend? Did you act like a man and watch some football? Maybe you stuffed your face with turkey and mashed potatoes like you were Joey Chestnut? Perhaps you ran to your nearest outlet store to buy a Canada Goose jacket to show that you have money.

What did I do? I watched cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix and I loved it.

Every Sunday (if the Giants play at 1) at about 4:30 pm, I usually mute NFL RedZone in frustration over a Giants loss. I plop my ass on the couch, fire up my computer, and pick a movie. This week, I watched The Meg and it was everything I wanted and more. A giant shark, over-the-top deaths, and ridiculous action sequences. It was perfect. After The Meg, I perused Netflix for another movie and in the trending section, I saw A Christmas Prince.

Rose McIver and Ben Lamb in A Christmas Prince / Via Netflix

Here’s the official synopsis: “Christmas comes early for an aspiring young journalist when she’s sent abroad to get the scoop on a dashing prince who’s poised to be king.”

A cheesy movie about finding love in a foreign country with a prince? Sure, why not. If you remember, A Christmas Prince gained attention after Netflix revealed that 53 people watched the movie for 18 straight days.

It’s a bit excessive, but to each his own. Anyways, I enjoyed the movie. It was exactly what I wanted, which was a cheesy rom-com that made you feel good about relationships even though it’s an unrealistic plot that would never happen in real life. I’m not even putting it in the “so bad it’s good” category. I liked it and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Do I care what you think? Absolutely not.

So what did I do after I watched A Christmas Prince? I went back to trending and saw the movie, Christmas Inheritance.

Eliza Taylor in Christmas Inheritance / Via Netflix

Here’s the official synopsis: “Before ambitious heiress Ellen Langford can inherit her father’s business, she must deliver a special Christmas card to her dad’s former partner in Snow Falls. When a snowstorm strands her at the town inn, she discovers the true gift of Christmas.”

It’s your basic “rich girl gets cutoff from her dad and has to learn the value of working hard.” It’s a trope that’s been repeated so many times, but guess what? I also enjoyed Christmas Inheritance.

So in conclusion. I don’t care what anyone thinks. I watch Netflix Christmas rom-coms to feel good. I want to believe in love just as much as I want the Yankees to win the World Series. I like sports. I like movies. I can do both and love it. Guilty pleasures, folks. It’s how I get by. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m preparing for the sequel to A Christmas Prince titled A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding.

Making A Murderer Season 2 Returns To Netflix On October 19

Variety – The highly-anticipated second installment of “Making a Murderer” has an official Netflix premiere date, the streaming giant announced Tuesday.

Part 2 will debut on Oct. 19. The first installment of the Emmy-winning documentary series followed the journey of Steven Avery. Avery was convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder in 1985, but was exonerated by DNA evidence after serving 18 years in prison. He and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were then convicted for the murder of Teresa Halbach just a few years after Avery’s release.

In the second installment, series creators Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos return to the Midwest to follow Avery, Dassey, their families, and the legal teams fighting on their behalf.

Huge news in the world of true crime. Making a Murderer returns to Netflix for Part 2. It’s been almost three years since the first batch of episodes premiered and a lot of things have happened regarding Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. Steven Avery continues to fight for a new trail with the help of his new attorney, Kathleen Zellner, who believes she has found new DNA evidence to overturn the conviction. However, in late 2017, Avery was refused a new trial. On the other hand, Brendan Dassey gained a little more traction towards freedom. In 2016, a federal magistrate judge ruled that Dassey was coerced into his confession and ordered him to be released. However, after a lengthy appeals process, circuit court upheld Dassey’s conviction 4-3 in December 2017. Long story short, both Avery and Dassey remain in prison.

That being said, I can’t wait to return to Manitowoc County to learn more about this case. I remember binging this show over Christmas break in 2015. I need these cast of characters back in my life.

Dean Strang and Jerome Buting aka The Bash Brothers of the Court Room.

Feed me the snake that is Ken Kratz.

Get me back into the home of Dolores and Allan Avery.

AND WILL SOMEONE GET BRENDAN DASSEY TO WRESTLEMANIA!

Stranger Things Season 3 Teaser Trailer Hints Summer 2019 Release Date

Stevie Good Looks is back in the new Stranger Things teaser trailer. First of all, yesterday, July 15, was the anniversary of the first season of Stranger Things, which is one of my favorite television seasons of all-time. Secondly, a few things to consider in this teaser. The mall commercial is so perfect. You can find commercials like this in between town hall meetings on Public Access. The big reveal was supposed to be Steve Harrington and Robin (Maya Hawke) working at the ice cream shop. That was fine and all until the very end of the trailer when a bombshell was revealed.

starcourt mall

“Coming Next Summer.”

Damn. That phrase is no coincidence. It looks like Stranger Things season three won’t happen until Summer 2019. Why put that phrase in the trailer if it doesn’t mean anything? I’d like to think the Duffer brothers are messing with us and will drop the season at the end of 2018, but that’s highly unlikely. The show is so popular that a surprise release on Netflix won’t do it any justice. I expect a trailer around Halloween with a reveal date of Summer 2019. It sucks to realize that the show won’t be in our lives until then, but that’s Netflix life. Let’s watch Eleven save Mike and Dustin to cheer us up, shall we?