Sunday, February 2, 2020

REVIEW: 'BoJack Horseman' - BoJack Finds Himself Alienated From His Friends and Needing Stability in 'The Horny Unicorn'

Netflix's BoJack Horseman - Episode 6.13 "The Horny Unicorn"

BoJack gets a new AA sponsor. Todd plans a sophisticated party to impress his parents. Diane gets to know Sonny.

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.

"The Horny Unicorn" was written by Amy Schwartz and directed by Adam Parton

It has been truly fascinating to watch across the series as the characters emotionally develop and actually move away from each other. There is no longer a strong incentive for these characters to remain in each other's lives. They once placed all their hopes and dreams on the sustainability of these friendships. BoJack was the toxic center. But the show itself spread out to ensure that every character was just as complicated. There is a physical distance when it comes to Diane and her friends. She lives in Chicago now. She still has connections to her former Hollywoo life though. Princess Carolyn wants her to accept the empowerment she can achieve through writing her Ivy Tran novel series. And yes, she may eventually get the message after Guy's son Sonny seems to connect with it as well. She can still deliver her strong feminist messages through this format. She just has to be continually encouraged to follow through with it. That may make her success dependent on those in her life. But those friendships can be valuable outside of that too. That just makes it emotionally healthy for her to rely on the support systems she has. Meanwhile, BoJack's friends know him and have been through many turbulent times with him. However, even they are willing to place some distance with him after his disastrous interview in which he confessed to all of his heinous crimes. He was able to settle with Sarah Lynn's family. He is still a free horse in society. The world just rejects him everywhere he goes. It seems like the only valid source of friendship comes from Vance Waggoner, who is just as despicable. He too was ostracized by society for his abusive treatment towards people. He is an over-the-top character. This story literally builds to him in a screaming match with his daughter over liking an Instagram post. That is the man providing BoJack with a sense of stability. Before this moment, he could always turn to his reliable friends. Princess Carolyn has to focus on her company and her daughter though. She still throws BoJack some good will by saying he can move in with Mr. Peanutbutter and play a corpse on Birthday Dad. That's about it though. She does so not out of concern but for some feint belief that she still owes him something. Moreover, Todd pointedly tells BoJack that he isn't welcome at his sophisticated dinner party to celebrate him and Maude moving in together. This is a huge step for Todd. It signals a sense of maturity. Of course, the show reassures the audience that Todd will never fundamentally change. He still crafts these elaborate schemes that more often than not work out for him. They remain delightful as well. However, he feels pressure for this dinner to succeed because he is trying to reconnect with his estranged mother. He fundamentally knows that BoJack's presence will eventually lead to some disaster that will ruin his chances. As such, he has to shut him out completely. That is horrifying. It means BoJack falls in with the only crowd that can accept him - college frat boys who lash out at an increasingly PC culture. He could star in a movie where he aggressively says all the things people are afraid to say in public now. He feels powerful when coming up with that idea with Vance. But again, it encourages his toxic masculinity. He is essentially spitting in Diane's face and everything she has worked so hard to achieve. This presents as just the latest rock bottom for BoJack. As he said in his interview, this is a position he has been in many times. It's while here that he opens the letter from Hollyhock not believing this feeling could get any worse. When it does, that's when he slumps down refusing to engage with the world anymore. His image may forever be damaged and there is nothing he can do about it. That's what will make the temptation of alcohol all the more intoxicating as the opportunity presents itself once more and he seemingly has nothing left tethering him to sobriety. If he does relapse, that will cement his repression back to his old ways. That may even feel comforting given everything he has lost in an instant. It will take real courage to resist that temptation. It's just unclear if BoJack possesses that in this moment while alienated and not knowing what kind of life he can have right now.