For Millennials. By Millennials.
America’s adult animation universe is probably seeing its golden days. Adult animated comedy dramas like BoJack Horseman and Rick and Morty are getting more appreciation than several big budget live action series. Some of these shows even have a 97% approval rating by critics on review aggregators. These animated shows turn in a lot of eyeballs for their parent channels like Adult Swim and Netflix and have proved to be a very lucrative business. Offbeat and coarse, whacky and shameless, fresh and colorful; these shows sure do have a lot of wits that gets them so much acclaim despite the crude animations and over the top voice acting. What makes both stand out as both shows focus on anti heroes that we respect and hate at the same time.
Will Arnett lends his voice for the titular character in BoJack Horseman. The tailless Horse is a self-loathing drunkard whose career has seen a precipitous decline post his hit sitcom Horsin’ Around. Satirizing celebrities suffering from the career-over syndrome BoJack Horseman touches upon problems that are front and center in the cynical times of today, albeit in dark humor. Rick and Morty are more scientifically inclined and stars two central characters, a grandfather-grandson duo, Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith both voiced by Justin Roiland.
BoJack and Rick are essentially the anti-heroes of their respective sagas. Of course, BoJack Horseman does not go the extent of destroying universes with his psychotic misadventures. But, in his own abode, he does a lot of questionable stuff. The natures of both of these bizarre creatures substantially differ owing to the genre differences in the shows. BoJack is far more layered and has a tangible emotional clout while Rick basically has edgy aspirations.
BoJack is capable of sympathy and empathy. He shows clear traits of emotional attachment and won’t simply leech off the people he loves. And this is something we have seen with Diane in the episode ‘Hank After Dark’. He inarguably used Todd, but that is not enough justification of him being totally bad. We are not angels after all. BoJack, unlike Rick Sanchez, is less informed about the essence of existence. Oblivious to the truth, his search is till impending and he still wants to prove a lot. BoJack is a character who is self-aware. He is capable of feeling remorse and regret, he is no Lady Macbeth.
BoJack practically never takes his support systems seriously, but that is mostly out of disillusionment. He rarely ever appreciates people, and when he does things are rather surfaced. However, he did cite positivity over his relationship before the Closer. He is arrogant, he is egoistic, he beds a much younger Penny, yet still deep down inside he is human (Horse-man).
Rick Sanchez, well a sociopath nihilist, is a melancholic scientist with a despicable attitude. He is the greatest threat for the person he is closest too, his grandson Morty. While both BoJack and Rick have been seen willing to sacrifice their lives at certain instances, Rick firmly believes that it was a human flaw to feel so. Rick is selfish and abusive, but sadly there is no reason for his existence which briefly excuses his behavior.
Rick has an absurd sense of morals, if we scale down his ridiculous actions to the most genuine thing he has ever done, it would still be obnoxious. But Rick is in a largely different climate than BoJack. BoJack has limited powers yet acts vain, while Rick well…Rick is more compelling, he despite all his misgivings still cares for his family. If Rick would ever step into BoJack’s shoes Todd and Peanut Butter would still tolerate him.
To be fairly honest, the comparison is harshly unfair given the varied ionospheres around the characters. But of insisted on making a comparison, we could offer Rick sympathy. But since he has wandered out of the straits of humanity there is no hope. BoJack, when scaled up to Rick’s level of idiosyncrasies, proves to be the better person.