Jul 31, 2015

TV Recap: BoJack Horseman - "Higher Love"

Hello and welcome to a TV Recap series about our favorite half man/half horse 90's celebrity BoJack Horseman. Please join as I delve into the second season of the Netflix cartoon that takes on Hollywoo and discover what it takes to be famous while dealing with your deadbeat friends and traumatic past. While there's guaranteed to be hilarity, will there be as much brilliance as the first season? Let's quit Horsin' Around and just get on with it. Come for the recaps, stay for the jokes and dissections of each episode's best moments. It's the right thing to do. So join me every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the latest and greatest.

"This company is more in the 
red than Carrie on prom night."
-Accountant (Jake Johnson)

Plot:

Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) discovers that PB Living is filing for bankruptcy. He also discovers that his old manager performed autoerotic asphyxiation and killed himself. His rebound is to get a job at a shoe company. Meanwhile, BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett) is having trouble telling Wanda Pierce (Lisa Kudrow) that he loves her. When a costar tells him about his own autoerotic asphyxiation, BoJack thinks that his sex drive is the reason for his behaviors. Meanwhile, Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) tracks down J.D. Salinger (Alan Arkin) and gets him a job along with resurrecting Mr. Peanutbutter's career. She doesn't get any respect. As BoJack discovers that autoerotic asphyxiation doesn't improve his relationship, he gives it up. However, his co-star is found dead in his trailer.

- Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Secondary Character MVP:
Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris)

Among the major cast, Princess Carolyn is the one who never seems to get the respect that she deserves. She goes out of her way to be helpful, and all she gets is obnoxious clients. So when she is called upon to make moves that could improve her career, it is tragic to see her end up without a single hurrah. Even her condolences are met with someone else's personal problems. Still, she makes the most of the episode, even providing a lot of great banter with J.D. Salinger - who wrote "Catcher in the Rye" and others. Much like Mr. Peanutbutter in "After Party," this is her episode to become more of a complex and sympathetic character that continues to make this show particularly rich in more ways than one.

Best Joke

Let's just put it out there: this is probably among the darker episodes of BoJack Horseman. It is one that probably separates those who are willing to follow his journey into alcoholism and depression into different camps. This episode has not one, but two, deaths by autoerotic asphyxiation. That doesn't mean that the show just treats it reverently. In the moments before we discover that BoJack's co-star is going to kill himself, the two sit at a bar and trade a barrage of euphemisms for the action. It is a comical banter that reflects the writers using their skills to turn something completely dark into something far more fascinating. 

Overall Thoughts

This isn't the darkest that BoJack Horseman has ever gone, but considering that it features two very specific deaths, it may create a challenge for average viewers. So far this season, it has been a show full of heart and continuity gags. However, it has shifted into a more bizarre and scathing tale with this episode. There's a lot of joking about destructive behaviors that are both funny and disturbing. The Morning Time Hollywoo portion of the episode is particularly scathing in a way that may be accurate, but adds to the disturbing layers that prove that BoJack Horseman isn't just a cartoon. It is trying to be a more complicated and odd look at our modern culture in ways that may not always be pleasant, but are nonetheless entertaining. Also, it's great to see Salinger still kicking around.

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