Saturday, February 1, 2020

REVIEW: 'BoJack Horseman' - Diane's Shifting Perspective Clashes With Her Need to Have a Meaningful Life in 'Good Damage'

Netflix's BoJack Horseman - Episode 6.10 "Good Damage"

Diane's depression lifts, but she's still struggling to start writing her memoir. Reporters Paige and Max pay Penny a visit.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"Good Damage" was written by Joanna Calo and directed by James Bowman

Diane believes she has to do something meaningful in her life in order to justify all of the trauma she has endured. She has continually built up this pressure on herself to achieve this profound but seemingly inexplicable goal. She could never focus enough to write her memoir even when she was commissioned by Princess Carolyn to do the work. Her outlook on life may have completely changed now that she is taking antidepressants. However, that doesn't present as some magical fix that allows her to become the symbol of perfection she has always aspired to be. Life doesn't work that way. It's depressing to think that life can just be a series of shitty events that happen to people. The problems of the world may be too daunting and widespread for anyone to solve. Diane has awareness of how the world is unjust and toxic. She can speak elegantly about the injustice facing her everywhere she goes. And yet, that also came to define her entire perspective on the world. She was looking at life knowing that everything is corrupt and oppressive. She fought against it. That also presented as her being confrontational to those who genuinely wanted to love her. She has formed strong friendships. But she doesn't have a strong coping mechanism like the rest of the characters. As such, it's easy for her to internalize all of these fears until they boil up and explode during withdrawal. It's scary to watch. This episode can highlight how great it is for Diane to be on this medication. She is no longer annoyed by trivial things in the world like she used to be. She has found a way to creatively work around those obstacles when they pop up. But again, that doesn't provide her with the necessary focus to write her memoir. The expectations have simply been set way too high. She has been building up this story for her entire life. And now that it may become a reality, she has no idea how to structure it or even if any of it is actually interesting. As such, she spirals for long periods of time determined to work but never actually committing anything to the page. Instead, it's a fun distraction when she can tell a simple detective story about a young female protagonist. That seemingly comes easy to her. It may not be intentional either. It simply comes from her observations of the people at the local mail. That's where her mind wandered. People are excited about those pages though because they are fun. That could be seen as contempt for what Diane has always stood for and the way in which she wanted to leave her mark on the world. But again, it requires a shift in perspective on her part. She should have fun in life. She shouldn't have to deal with the unbearable weight of living up to these expectations of meaning she has always projected onto this memoir. That made it this grand idea instead of something she could ever realistically accomplish. It's inevitable but incredibly effective when she goes off her pills. That seems like a valid choice to her in the moment. It isn't. In fact, it only increases the darkness swirling around her. That's what makes it crucial for her to have this support system helping her through it all. Guy may send Princess Carolyn the Ivy Tran story instead. But that's honestly the better move. It can still serve as inspirational too. Princess Carolyn provides Diane that comfort in her time of need. In this moment, Princess Carolyn has the perspective to showcase how Diane can still achieve something great while having fun in the process. That's what can provide a sense of simplicity and peace over her life. But again, trauma isn't that easy to overcome or wash away. Charlotte and Penny still feel it every single day because of BoJack. And now, their lives are invaded by Paige Sinclair and Max. Their rhythms and ridiculous nature can be fun. However, it's still delving into the hard truths about heinous actions and people needing to atone for them. Penny believes there is power in speaking out while Charlotte thinks the burden is on BoJack to deal with this harsh reality. His worst actions have the potential of being exposed. That may not be a bad thing. They may destroy his life after he has found some peace. He has a panic attack and passes out as a result. That may be what he deserves. But again, these characters need to always do what's right for them even if the pain and trauma can be overwhelming in the process. That yearning for peace is tangible. BoJack has long felt regret. Is that good enough? Or is there still more that needs to be done to ensure that he suffers before this story ends for good?