Sunday, February 2, 2020

REVIEW: 'BoJack Horseman' - BoJack Makes Numerous Shocking Confessions During a TV Interview in 'Xerox of a Xerox'

Netflix's BoJack Horseman - Episode 6.12 "Xerox of a Xerox"

After the Sarah Lynn story breaks, BoJack gives a live interview on TV. Diane meets Guy's teenage son.

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.

"Xerox of a Xerox" was written by Nick Adams and directed by Aaron Long

BoJack Horseman finally feels alive. He is living his life with complete control over his actions. He wants to excuse away everything from his past with his addictions. He argues that he was a xerox of a xerox because he grew up in an abusive home and repeated the pattern of abuse everywhere he went. There is no true accountability to that though. He understands that he has to be honest with the public after Paige Sinclair releases her story detailing his actions leading up to Sarah Lynn's death. It's actually quite easy for reporters to uncover all of the heinous things he has done if they simply follow the trail of where he has been over the last few years. There are plenty of people he has scorned who are more than willing to share their stories. And yes, they do create a pattern of abuse and mistreatment of younger women. BoJack doesn't want to see himself as that guy. He didn't want to when he was in the throws of addiction. Nor does he want to knowing that he is in recovery. He just doesn't want to address his own shortcomings and the abuse he has carried out for years. Even the close friends in his life have to question just how much they are willing to care about him when it's so easy for him to repeat the same mistakes as the past. It's not just him relapsing with drugs and alcohol either. That would be the easy solution in order to illustrate just how destructive and hurtful he can be. He is a cruel and vicious person without the need of any kind of substance. He has had these abusive relationships that have scarred people for life. Penny and Gina have panic attacks in which they don't feel safe if they aren't in control of their immediate environments. Diane and Todd don't want to tune in to BoJack's interview because they know it's the same routine they have seen many times before. And yes, the first interview does follow that formulaic pattern. BoJack struggles at the beginning. By the end of it though, it truly does come across as him being sympathetic and apologetic. The audience can get suckered into it as well because we know that he feels profound guilt and remorse over what happened to Penny, Sarah Lynn and Gina. But again, the presence of these feelings doesn't mean he has made any dramatic changes to his life to keep from making those same mistakes again. He is confident heading into the second impromptu interview because he feels vindicated and honored by the world. He views himself as part of a crucial conversation. He is the model for how an abusive man can apologize for their heinous actions and still manage to have all the power that has always been afforded to him. He got greedy though. He needed to keep that momentum and narrative going instead of relaxing back into the comfortable life he built in Connecticut. The second interview goes disastrously for him because he remains on the defensive the entire time. He wants to say that he isn't that guy. And yet, the pattern is repeatedly brought up over and over again. He admits to abuses that weren't even in the public record yet. He builds up this idea of having special relationships. But everyone eventually ends up hurt and betrayed. He then moves on to the next opportunity and repeats the same misfortunes. He thought that getting sober would bring about a sudden change that welcomes a new outlook on life. It isn't that easy. Diane may look at the interview with empathy because she knows it's a crushing look at his soul. But Princess Carolyn understands that it may no longer be worth it to stand by her first client. This could very well be the end of his career. It's strange that he ends up back at a stand-up club to enjoy the final hours of being a beloved figure. It's a routine that is new. It reconnects him to his roots. But again, this episode embraces the old BoJack and how destructive he has always been. That may simply be who BoJack is. There is no changing that no matter how hard he tries. That's bleak and depressing. He professes a desire for change. Biscuits Braxby laying out every bad thing from across the show though paints a stark picture of exactly who the protagonist is and what the audience should expect for the conclusion of his story. It may not be good because he is only now having to deal with the major ramifications for his behavior. He is cocky, arrogant and entitled. He admits he's powerless even though he lords over others with power and abuses that perception. This public shaming could be healthy. But it's also the action that quickly spirals out of control too and truly makes him powerless over what happens next.