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Why the Long Face? Narratives of Depression in Netflix's BoJack Horseman

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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abstract
Today’s media landscape is flooded with inaccurate and problematic portrayals of mental illness. From stereotypical character arcs on television programs to fear-mongering reporting on news stations, these depictions have created a harsh stigma that surrounds those who live with such afflictions. Walter Fisher’s narrative paradigm maintains that humans make sense of the world through stories. Unfortunately, a great majority of stories about mental illness leave many with misinformed notions. However, a number of surrealist television shows are beginning to provide more authentic and empathetic examinations of mental illness. Chief among these is Netflix’s animated series BoJack Horseman, which offers an in-depth and layered portrayal of depression, one of the most common mental illnesses in America. This study examines multiple characters from BoJack Horseman, exploring how they demonstrate the tenets of Fisher’s narrative rationality and hypothesizing what new public meanings the series might suggest about depression.
subject
Animation
BoJack Horseman
Depression
Mental Illness
Narrative
Netflix
contributor
Pabst, Kevin Alexander (author)
Von Burg, Ronald L (committee chair)
Hyde, Michael J (committee member)
Piercy, David S (committee member)
date
2017-06-15T08:36:21Z (accessioned)
2017 (issued)
degree
Communication (discipline)
2022-06-01 (liftdate)
embargo
2022-06-01 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/82257 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Why the Long Face? Narratives of Depression in Netflix's BoJack Horseman
type
Thesis

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