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

bojack horseman 1.jpg