BoJack Horseman 2×07-2×12: Some (kind of) bright new beginnings

BoJack Horseman Poster Season 2

In both its seasons, BoJack Horseman has shined when it reaches its second half of the season. The first half of the season sets up the building blocks for each character and the second half lets the entire show knock them down. This is where the show pulls out its more emotionally painful moments. Each character in the last half of the season reaches a turning point in their life, and not always for the better.

Princess Caroline is one of the few who sees that she can better and fully commits to the person she wants to be. She opens up her own agency after being underappreciated at her old job. Like BoJack and Diane, she runs into a huge roadblock (finding out that her business partner Rutabaga is an unprofessional jerk who wants her to be his mistress), but she barely blinks and keeps going. In the end Caroline appears to be getting everything she wants: she’s her own boss and will run the agency to her whims. This includes hiring Diane, which will undoubtedly be fantastic material if the show gets a third season (which I’m hoping it will because this is honestly one of my favorite shows).

Photo Source: Netflix/TV Guide

Photo Source: Netflix/TV Guide

Diane’s plot is one that stings the most, as she commits career suicide in order to try and bring justice to those who have been wronged. Her struggle against “Uncle Hankie” is one of the most direct references to a Hollywood situation playing out in modern media, a.k.a. Bill Cosby and the accusations against him. Despite there being several accounts of wrongdoing against women, both men get away with it for a very long time because they are beloved in the eyes of the public and protected by corporations. Even Diane’s normally loving and supportive husband is upset about her taking a stand, not only because people are sending her death threats, but because Hank is his hero.

Diane essentially exiles herself to the struggling country of Cordovia, where e she hopes to write about Sebastian St. Clair as he helps the people there. Once there she realizes that the heroic man she hopes to report on only has her there to make him look good, not to help people. She goes back to L.A. disillusioned and realizing that she can’t handle the rough life of Cordovia. Diane’s story for the season is realizing she isn’t the person she thought she was and wants to be. She vents her frustration by staying at BoJack’s house (since her husband is so proud of her helping people in Cordovia), getting high and drinking way too much.

I love that Diane turned to BoJack in her time of need, mainly because those two are such kindred souls. They understand each other in a way no else really does. BoJack doesn’t judge Diane, and Diane feels comfortable enough to be vulnerable around him when her life doesn’t turn out the way she planned. The friendship between these two is really special, and I’m glad the writers didn’t try to bring back up the romantic feelings BoJack had for Diane in Season 1. In the middle of the huge life crises that both were going through, they didn’t need to bring up a romance between them again. Diane and BoJack are friends now, and there for each other in their respective crises.

Photo Source: Netflix/Hollywood Reporter

Photo Source: Netflix/Hollywood Reporter

One of the most poignant parts of Season 1 is when BoJack goes on a drug trip through his fantasies, and imagines a perfect world with his former friend Charlotte, where they live in Maine and have a daughter. Charlotte represents the path that BoJack never took, one that makes him think he might be happier and better with her. Charlotte represents hope for BoJack, hope that he can still be good. This makes it even harder to watch when everything goes wrong between Charlotte and BoJack. BoJack so desperately wants a family and a life that he integrates himself into Charlotte’s life, helping to take care of her kids and trying to get a job in New Mexico.

But where BoJack sees Charlotte as his redemption, Charlotte doesn’t see BoJack as anything. She cares for him, but she knows that he can’t be a permanent part of her life. While he was busy in Hollywood, she made a life for herself that doesn’t include him. All BoJack does for Charlotte is “make her feel sad”.  But BoJack can’t let go of his past, which is why he gets so close to Charlotte’s daughter Penny, and why Charlotte forever casts BoJack out from her life.

Princess Caroline, Diane, and BoJack all go through their own personal struggles this season, but they manage to work through them. Princess Caroline gets her dream job, Diane still has Mr. Peanutbutter who welcomes her back from Cordovia, and BoJack, despite ruining his friendship with Charlotte, keeps trying to get better. The season ends with BoJack making a commitment to try and be a better person. It’s going to be ridiculously painful and hard, but he still wants to try. It’s a small triumph, but it’s still a win.

Notes and Observations

  • Best episode out of the six: “Escape from L.A.”. It’s the saddest by far, but also such a deep episode that explains so much about BoJack.
  • The music in this show is great. The score right before Charlotte walks in on BoJack and Penny is so suspenseful.
  • I loved the small subplot of how Todd accidentally makes things worse in Cordovia by pulling a “Prince and the Pauper” storyline right before Diane goes over there.
  • I love Mr. Peanutbutter’s ridiculous celebrity game show, and the fact that it allowed the show to bring on guest stars like Daniel Radcliffe (playing himself) and Tatiana Maslany (playing a mouse).
  • Thanks for reading these reviews! It was my first time reviewing BoJack Horseman and I had a blast. This is one of my favorites right now, and I hope it comes back for Season 3!

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