TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 09

 

Ruthie Poster
One one awful day, Princess Carolyn deals with rejection, deception and loss. BoJack and Diane try to track down Hollyhock’s birth certificate.

Director:

Amy Winfrey

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator), Joanna Calo

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie |

by Mary Cox

“Ruthie”

I can’t be alone in thinking that the handling of Princess Carolyn’s miscarriage was somewhat tasteless. We see her suffer yet another huge, profound disappointment in her life, one which ultimately ends her relationship with Ralph and sends her spiraling into alcoholism and depression, and how do they decide to frame this information? Puns and cheap jokes based on the accents of “foreigners.” Tacky.

Bad taste aside, the plot line about Princess Carolyn’s family heirloom was a decent metaphor for the artificiality of the lies we tell ourselves about the past and the future, which does seem to connect to this season’s greater theme of all things being swept away by the passage of time.

I could live without the somewhat uninspired sub-plot where Bojack and Diane try to track down Hollyhock’s birth certificate at the county courthouse. If DMV-type jokes are the “groundbreaking” territory this series aims to cover, Bojack might as well be doing a stand-up routine about airplane food.

The ending of “Ruthie” does kind of pull back around to a more tonally reasonable place, but this season has generally struggled a little when it comes to balancing comedic and dramatic moments, like how it stumbled over Bojack’s grandmother’s lobotomy. At the very least, “Ruthie” gives us clarification that inter-species relationships end up with babies that are either one animal or another, clearing up some of the mystery surrounding Hollyhock’s parentage.
 

*****
“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 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

bojack horseman 1.jpg