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Why I Find BoJack Horseman’s Diane Relatable

Why I Find BoJack Horseman’s Diane Relatable

why i find bojack horsemans diane relatable

While the tragicomedy “BoJack Horseman” is obviously not entitled after its supporting character Diane Nguyen, I undoubtedly relate the most to her. Diane, first and foremost, is of Asian heritage. She grew up in Boston and is Vietnamese-American.

In the first season of BoJack Horseman, Diane was introduced as a ghostwriter. She began seeing BoJack more as she was supposed to write his memoir. Throughout six (6) seasons, I started to see myself in her as someone who once thought that she is more than capable of changing the world as she pleases.

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Diane wanted a job that she liked. Or loved.

Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie) was half Vietnamese. And being Asian in Hollywood (the show’s damning portrayal of Hollywood) was difficult, especially for a woman. Diane, however, managed to break through the criticisms and racism. As she became linked to sitcom star Mr. Peanutbutter (voiced by Paul F. Tompkins), more and more writing opportunities came knocking on her door. Despite being offered jobs, Diane was insistent on accepting only offers that she was interested in.

But of course, in true BoJack Horseman fashion, her wish wasn’t easily granted. In the show, she became BoJack’s ghostwriter. After being a ghostwriter, Diane switched to a magazine where she wrote lists mostly focused on sex. Because the job didn’t fulfill her mission of leaving a legacy, she resigned. However, her resignation also didn’t permit her to do what she wanted. It only pushed her into a more frustrating situation: she ended up being a social media handler for celebrities despite not agreeing with their beliefs.

For me, Diane Nguyen’s fixation on doing what she loved as a job is her most relatable trait. Like her, I love writing. I like expressing my thoughts and listening to other people’s stories. And as a 20-something who is now on the brink of adulting, I would love to write for a living. Writing for a living would probably suck the misery out of my soul, enough to motivate me to continue living and learning. But just like Diane, I’m also aware that I need to come to terms with the fact that I might end up not doing what I love for a living. No matter how bleak that sounds.

In the end, all I could do right now is prepare for the future hurt. Because right now, all we could really do is choose to bounce back and go with the flow. Just like Diane did.

Diane liked helping everyone else but herself.

In the show, Diane Nguyen was everyone’s logical reliable friend who would always have something useful to say. She would always be present to advise her friends. When Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) needed a social media handler for her artists, she asked for Diane’s help. Diane, of course, obliged and put writing her book of essays on hold. I could relate to Diane in this context because I also tend to put things on hold just to help my friends with their problems. However, I think I’m self-aware enough to know that sometimes, putting my friends’ needs first is self-serving. Sometimes, my attending to my friends is self-serving because I would use their problems to avoid addressing mine. But I do know that it’s incredibly unhealthy so I aspire to stop doing that.

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Like Diane, I tend to put my needs last. Before I start my own tasks, I usually help out everyone first. It’s actually why I find it so difficult to rest. Like Diane, I sometimes think that I have to earn my rest. Like her, I sometimes believe that I have to tire myself to death first before I become deserving of the simple pleasures in life – such as binge-watching shows.

Diane put a lot of effort into her writing – even if it sometimes cost her well-being.

In Season 6, Diane was seen slowly falling into the depths of depression as she began writing her book of essays. While writing, she began reliving the trauma of growing up with a toxic family. While I honestly admire Diane for her efforts, I don’t think that that was a healthy thing to do. The reliving of her trauma was definitely a setback in her journey toward healing. I do get why she wanted to do that, though. Diane herself said that she wanted to write a book that would be able to comfort little girls who grew up in abusive households. Her intention was good but I simply don’t think that that was worth destroying her body and mind. Although, it might be hypocritical of me to say that because I, too, am very unkind towards myself.

Like Diane, I have this voice in my head that tells me that the love I have for writing is worth destroying my body. The word “destroy” might be hyperbolic but I stand by my decision of using it. In the series, Diane became frustrated and even more depressed when she forced herself to write. I’m determined to prevent that from happening so I have been taking some time off. I have been assessing myself, careful not to push my mental and physical health to the limit.

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Diane struggled with explaining her emotions despite being a writer.

Despite being a writer, Diane found it difficult to explain herself through words. In Season 3, Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter met a therapist. The therapist asked Diane to articulate her emotions and Diane admitted finding it hard. The therapist, in return, replied with a question.

Being a writer, I relate to this on a spiritual level. I struggle a lot with feeling my own emotions as much as I struggle with expressing them. To be honest, I sometimes deliberately avoid feeling my feelings at all costs. I tend to shut them out by working extensively. I distract myself by starting projects. Simply put, I sometimes keep myself busy just so I wouldn’t have to confront them. I know this is unhealthy because feelings are what make us human. And not feeling them. . . well, I think that’s a lot like cheating in life. And that’s not really a proper way to live.

In Diane’s case, on the other hand, she found it hard to express her own feelings because she was used to writing for other people. She used to be BoJack’s ghostwriter. After being a ghostwriter, she became a social media handler who posted for other people. And finally, she became a writer in a magazine wherein expressing too much of her beliefs was discouraged.

Overall, Diane Nguyen may be a 2-dimensional character but the epiphanies and reflections she left me couldn’t be more real. Besides the lessons, I also observed her tumbles in life; not to avoid them but to take note of the lessons she gathered afterward. Despite being an animated human being in a cartoon full of celebrity animals, I am definitely sure that Diane’s mistakes and the lessons she learned from them will stay with me for years.

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