TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 07

 

Underground Poster
Mr. Peanutbutter’s posh campaign fundraiser takes a terrifying turn. As chaos swirls around them. BoJack and Diane get drunk.

Director:

Aaron Long

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator), Alison Tafel (staff writer)

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

“Underground”

No punches have been pulled in this vicious takedown of fracking as Mr. Peanutbutter’s house falls deep underground due to a man-made earthquake. Glamazonian Drag World Superstar RuPaul Charles makes an appearance as the Ant Queen who saves Todd and Princess Carolyn from their earthen tombs.

Mr. Peanutbutter’s near-miss at being burned alive by Jessica Biel was the incentive he needed to realize his quest to be governor was just a reaction to being around his ex-wife. Bojack and Diane finally have the heart-to-heart they’ve been avoiding since the death of Sarah Lynn.

We’re over halfway through the series, and there’s no clear indication where any of this is going, or how any of these story lines are going to tie together. There does seem to be a recurring theme of families and parenthood going on, which is why I have a terrible feeling about Princess Carolyn’s pregnancy, but it’s too early to tell exactly how this season will end for Bojack and his friends.

 

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 06

 

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator), Alison Tafel

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

“Stupid Piece of Shit”

This episode gives us a look inside Bojack’s head, giving us a taste of his self-loathing and self-destructive thought patterns. Ever since meeting Hollyhock, Bojack has started to wonder how much of himself has been passed onto his daughter, and it seems like a fair amount of Bojack’s neuroses have carried throughout his lineage.

One issue this show always seems to address is the effects of the passage of time, and the cycles we’re all doomed to repeat. Bojack is a 90s sitcom star struggling to relive his past. At the same time, watching his mother relive raising a baby sparks a furious reaction in Bojack.

Hollyhock gives Bojack the perfect opportunity to make peace between his past and his present, but is he willing to do the work to put his demons to rest?

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 05

 

Thought and Prayers Poster
A mass shooting at a mall creates a PR nightmare for Princess Carolyn. BoJack takes Hollyhock to visit his estranged mother.

Director:

Amy Winfrey

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator), Nick Adams

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

“Thoughts and Prayers”

In this highly political episode, gun ownership, street harassment, and mass shootings are all on the table for discussion. In a way, “Thoughts and Prayers” is an airing of America’s dirty laundry when it comes to our problems with gun violence, and with women’s safety. After accidentally causing comprehensive gun control to pass in the California senate in lieu of societal changes that benefit women’s autonomy, Diane sums it up perfectly with the assertion that Americans “hate women more than they love guns.”

The only problem rattling around with this episode comes down to Bojack’s forced relationship with his estranged abusive mother, Beatrice, who is now suffering from dementia. Hollyhock’s continued insistence that Bojack cares for his mother in her old age is highly problematic. It’s been established that Bojack was the victim of severe emotional and physical abuse at the hands of his mother. Being old and sick doesn’t excuse literal decades of child abuse, and it’s hard to feel any sympathy for Beatrice with that in mind.

Having the background about Bojack’s grandmother’s lobotomy gives us more perspective in regards to Bea’s cruelty towards her son, but it doesn’t excuse her behavior. Normally in the Bojack Horseman universe, there’s a strong theme of “you reap what you sow,” which is why Bojack turning the other cheek feels out of place for his character, and out of place for this series.
 

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 04

 

Commence Fracking Poster
The campaign takes a toll on Diane’s love life. BoJack helps Hollyhock search for her mom. Princess Carolyn tries to get pregnant.

Director:

Matt Garofalo

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator), Joanna Calo

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

“Commence Fracking”

It seems like Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter’s relationship has been on the rocks pretty much ever since they’ve been together, but they’ve never come so close to splitting up as they are now. It’s always super weird to see sex scenes between the human and animal characters of this show, but there’s something fundamentally uncomfortable about watching shirtless Mr. Peanutbutter furiously laying pipe in his wife.

Hollyhock is still on the quest to find her birth mother, but that’s another issue in the whole people and animals in relationships thing. Can two different species actually reproduce in the Bojack Horseman universe? If Hollyhock is a horse, doesn’t that mean her mother has to also be a horse? If not, then Princess Carolyn’s quest to conceive with her mouse boyfriend isn’t going to end well.

The long-lost daughter angle is very much a cliché, but I’m interested in riding it out to see where this goes. Frankly, I’m not entirely convinced that Hollyhock is genuinely Bojack’s daughter, so there might be more to this situation than meets the eye.

 

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 03

 

Hooray! Todd Episode! Poster
Helpful to a fault, Todd is spread thin doing favors for Princess Carolyn, Mr. Peanutbutter and a visitor with a potential connection to BoJack.

Director:

Aaron Long

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator), Elijah Aron |1 more credit »

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

Review by Mary Cox

“Hooray! Todd Episode!”

Asexuality is something that hasn’t really been addressed in any mainstream form of media up until this point in time. There’s a lot of controversy about what asexuality really is, or how to define it as an orientation. In spite of this, Bojack Horseman is actually doing a great job with handling Todd’s exploration of his sexuality, and with depicting asexuals as normal human beings who aren’t the result of malfunctioning biology or dysfunctional personalities.

Again, there’s an issue with congruence of ideas in this episode. The undercurrent of Todd seeking to prioritize his own self-care, while also trying to manage his personal and professional relationships almost comes together. However, between Mr. Peanutbutter’s campaign, Princess Carolyn’s struggle to conceive, and Bojack’s long-lost daughter, there’s just so much happening this season that even in a literal “Todd Episode,” there’s no real room to focus on the inner-life of this character.

It seems like because the show has become less and less Bojack-centric that there’s now a serious lack of focus and structure. Bojack Horseman has never really been an ensemble show, and transferring it over to that structural format is an interesting experiment. Despite the efforts to keep the series fresh and original, right now, it doesn’t seem like Bojack Horseman is a show with a host of concurrent and carefully structured plot lines. Instead, we have a great big bunch of loose and hanging threads that are more tangled than tied together.

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 02

 

The Old Sugarman Place Poster
BoJack goes off the grid and winds up at his grandparents’ dilapidated home in Michigan where he reflects on his family legacy and befriends another soul haunted by the past.

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator), Kate Purdy

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

Review by Mary Cox

“The Old Sugarman Place”

Bojack is back! The second episode of this series sits somewhat uncomfortably for me. “The Old Sugarman Place” seems to be jumping back a little from the weight and drama of the previous season, but it’s right now, it feels the direction of the show is kind of still in limbo. Bojack Horseman is half-in and half-out of being a serious drama.

In the flashback scenes with Bojack’s grandparents, the recurring “it’s the past, so everyone is sexist” jokes start to wear a little thin. This isn’t because the repeated references to “womb problems” are offensive or in bad taste, but it’s that the jokes are somewhat one note. After the fourth or fifth antiquated riff, this episode starts to somewhat literally beat a dead horse.

Bojack’s grandmother getting lobotomized at the end of the episode is melodramatic and out of place. This scene is clearly supposed to be evocative of Rosemary Kennedy, the younger sister of JFK who was famously lobotomized against her will, but certain tragedies don’t translate when it comes to cartoon horses. Touching on such a dark and serious topic would be okay if it wasn’t just a throwaway moment in a flashback, but the way Bojack Horseman handles this scenario makes the weight and tragedy of the lobotomy somewhat cheap and unnecessary.

Clearly, there exists a balance between comedy and tragedy, and in the past, Bojack Horseman has successfully walked that line. However, things aren’t looking so hot based on how the content of this episode has been handled. There’s a chance that the flashbacks at the Sugarman cabin will have some greater thematic significance later in the season, but I’m not holding my breath.

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 01

 

See Mr. Peanutbutter Run Poster
Mr PeanutButter starts his campaign for Governor of California and starts by challenging the current governor to a ski race while Bojack is no where to be found.

Director:

Amy Winfrey

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator),

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

Review by Mary Cox

“See Mr. Peanutbutter Run”

After last season’s bombshell with the death of Sara Lynn, Bojack Horseman seems to be pivoting away from heavy drama and is returning to more of the lighthearted comedy featured in the first season of the series. Bojack himself is still missing in this episode, but it’s unlikely that he’s going to pull an Agent Cooper and not show up until late in the game.

This season of Bojack Horseman is shaping up to be heavily political, as the California gubernatorial race is pretty obviously taking a page from the 2016 Presidential Election. Mr. Peanutbutter has never really been depicted as a sinister character in the past, but something tells me that drawing a parallel between Peanutbutter and Trump is pretty telling about the direction this season is going to take.

It’s almost impossible to make something now that doesn’t touch on the surreal political climate we’re all desperately trapped inside, but I’m wondering how close to home we’re really going to get here. Can we expect another Cosby episode, where contemporary hot topics like covered-up abuse and sexism in the film industry itself is addressed? Or is this going to be a broader and more general look at the world we now live in?
 

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

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