Sunday, October 27, 2019

REVIEW: 'BoJack Horseman' - Todd Embarks on an Organ Heist with His Stepfather in 'The Kidney Stays in the Picture'

Netflix's BoJack Horseman - Episode 6.06 "The Kidney Stays in the Picture"

The assistants of Hollywoo go on strike. BoJack tries to help Dr. Champ. When Todd learns that his mother needs a kidney, Diane comes up with a plan.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's BoJack Horseman.

"The Kidney Stays in the Picture" was written by Minhal Baig and directed by Mollie Helms

BoJack is responsible for many acts that have caused others to suffer. And yet, he feels the weight of the world always pressing down on him because of how depressing others become after they interact with him for awhile. He believes he's responsible for Dr. Champ relapsing. He didn't mean for it to happen. He had the illegal vodka at rehab. But BoJack took care of the therapy horse in an effort to protect his job. This relapse didn't have to build into a full-on bender. That's what BoJack was hoping to avoid. However, he spends his first time outside of rehab in a bar. He is judged for that. But he is still trying to do right by a friend. Sure, Dr. Champ isn't an actual therapist. He is a therapy horse. There is a distinction. In fact, it feels like any horse could walk in off the street and fulfill this job. That may make rehabs even more common and less effective. Dr. Champ is simply full of bland statements that may not actually apply to the lives of his patients. But he is the only outside perspective they may have in order to delve into their personal issues. He can still be effective as a therapist as well. The burden is ultimately on the patient in order to accept these breakthroughs and figure out how to navigate through the emotional minefield. BoJack traces his own self-hatred back to his disdain for his parents. That extends to all of his relationships with horses. That's an entire species he has closed himself off to. Even though he has so much love for half-sister Hollyhock, he still projects a lot of fears and insecurities onto her. As such, she is close but not too close. She is part of his life but he doesn't rely on her for ongoing support like he does with Diane, Todd and Princess Carolyn. None of them are at his home right now. Dr. Champ eventually has to check into rehab himself. He does so unwillingly because he is more than capable of blaming BoJack for the sudden dysfunction in his life. He wasn't tempted to drink again but had a major relapse because of BoJack's time in rehab. BoJack does take responsibility for the role he played in all of this. And yet, Dr. Champ's own alcoholism is a factor as well. He wants to rationalize it all by saying that moderation is okay for him even though he can't control how much alcohol he drinks when he lands in the local bar. It may not be right for Dr. Champ to blame BoJack for all of this. That's a fear that BoJack will always internalize though. He strives to do and be better. He may not know if that is possible for him. He spent time in rehab and believes he made progress. He does have a breakthrough here. But the time is also evenly split between him, the assistants of Hollywoo going on strike and Todd needing to steal back his kidney to give to his sick mother. All of these stories have value and merit as well. With Todd, he wants to prove to his stepfather that he should be proud of the person he has become. He is happy about his life. He hasn't suffered like Jorge has. Nor does he understand the racial dynamics at play in the world. Things have come easy for Todd. That should be apparent for everyone who knows him. That can be a lovable quality. It can't magically fix everything. But he should still have respect from his family knowing that he does feel fulfilled even though he is sleeping on a friend's couch. That friend also has to remember what it used to be like for her in the industry. Princess Carolyn was an abused assistant for a time. She embraces horrible behavior in order to eliminate this conflict quickly. And yet, she also presents as the passionate insider who understands the systemic issues in question here and is in a position of power to do something about them. That may create uncertainty and despair for her industry. But Hollywoo also needs to hold itself to much higher standards. Behavior like this can't be tolerated any more.