“Oh, come on. I imply, am I interested in her? Certain. Do my days really feel higher after I’m round her? Yeah. Does she get me in methods no lady ever has? Indubitably. Do I fantasize about her? Sure, however solely in two positions. Look, am I the form of man who would attempt to steal another person’s girlfriend? Certain, after all, however do I like her? The reply’s no. You don’t have anything to fret about.”
BoJack Horseman bought itself on the outset as a satire of Hollywood tradition, and whereas within the early episodes it’s been fairly humorous on that regard, its satire has been comparatively restricted in its focus. Even leaving apart the broadness of its animal puns and illustrations, the jokes have leaned closely on the surplus and shallowness of movie star. The flimsy spectacle of the David Boreanaz Home, the human trainwreck of Sarah-Lynn, BoJack refusing to honor dibs on a field of breakfast muffins—it’s one-note comedy, enjoying up the self-love of movie star relatively than saying something new.
“Our A-Story Is A ‘D’-Story” adjustments all of that, nevertheless—and it paradoxically does so with the present’s largest gesture to this point. BoJack drunkenly steals the “D” from the well-known Hollywood Signal one night time in an effort to impress Diane, and with that the complete id of the city adjustments, so shortly that even BoJack sounds confused the following morning on the last point out of the city’s former title: “Holly-what?” Each point out of the city on the information calls it “Hollywoo,” each seen signal has the “D” crossed off, and never a single individual seems to suppose that is out of the atypical. When the “D” is recovered nobody thinks to alter again to the unique title, and when the “D” is destroyed there’s no signal anybody thought of a alternative.
This form of unconscious groupthink takes BoJack’s feedback final episode about Los Angeles being a superficial city, and expands it to an absurd stage that works dramatically effectively for BoJack Horseman. It stretches the superficiality to the complete universe of the collection, previous BoJack being deluded about how invaluable his fame is, or a bus stuffed with vacationers mistaking his house for that of the star of Bones. Now characters as affordable as Diane or as hapless as Todd discuss with the city by its new title with out lacking a beat. One or two individuals appearing loopy in a sane world is all effectively and good, however making the complete world—a world stuffed with speaking animals, thoughts you—even crazier than he’s, and one way or the other making that weirdness really feel grounded? That’s an achievement.
It’s a strong joke that grounds the remainder of “Our A-Story Is A ‘D’-Story,” an episode that continues the upward swing of BoJack Horseman as we attain the midway level of the season. From the pilot on the present’s demonstrated constant enchancment, the wordplay getting sharper and the characters rising extra fascinating with every episode.
“Our A-Story” continues the development of increasing the tent, giving Mr. Peanutbutter a while within the highlight after Todd and Diane’s respective stints. His good-natured cheer sees its first cracks as he turns into uneasy by how shut BoJack and Diane have change into following their East Coast journey. It’s the form of suspicion that could possibly be behind anybody’s thoughts if their girlfriend went off with one other individual for an prolonged time, however to see that from Mr. Peanutbutter—so chipper to this point it’s nearly to the character’s detriment—is shocking. Diane provides gas to the emotional fires, exposing that Mr. Peanutbutter’s need to be BoJack’s good friend borders on the determined.
The 2 of them being associates looks like an extended shot although, as their respective connections to Diane flip right into a frenzy of outbidding one another and hours of competitors in native restaurant Elefante. When Mr. Peanutbutter good points the higher paw by being the one to take Diane house, BoJack’s absinthe-powered theft of the “D” pushes the 2 into detente as Mr. Peanutbutter affords his help in returning it to the mountain. Each the rival and reluctant ally sections of the episode work effectively, as BoJack and Mr. Peanutbutter make fascinating foils for one another. A lot as they play one another to a draw of their “offensive show of extravagant wealth,” there’s a steadiness to their interactions, Will Arnett’s gravelly timber the bitter yin to the cheerful yang of Paul F. Tompkins’s indefatigable pluck. And it’s a nice shock to see Mr. Peanutbutter comes out forward in probably the most unlikely of the way—outflanking BoJack by claiming the grand gesture as his personal.
It’s a transfer that makes Mr. Peanutbutter a extra clever character than he was given credit score for at first, however the best way the gesture performs out additionally goes an extended solution to strengthen him emotionally. After BoJack and Princess Carolyn each put it into the bucket of “a Mr. Peanutbutter factor,” he turns proper round and units up a quieter night that’s the “Diane factor” she wished. Wayne’s introduction felt like forcing a break up between them, whereas that is an evidence for why the 2 work as a pair, with sufficient lightness to maintain it from feeling too earnest: (“That was so a lot better than what I used to be gonna say. I used to be gonna say carrots!”) Realizing what we find out about their unit at, it is sensible that Mr. Peanutbutter would suggest to Diane and it is sensible that she’d say sure. And it is sensible that instantly after he’d set off an enormous celebration, as a result of whereas he’s exhibiting dimensions, he’s nonetheless him.
It additionally is sensible that BoJack could be unable to maintain his disclosure of his emotions on the file. Constructing a love connection between BoJack and Diane—and by extension a love triangle with Mr. Peanutbutter—isn’t probably the most progressive factor the writers might do in these circumstances, however prior episodes have efficiently conveyed the sense that she’s been the primary individual in a very long time to get him to say or do issues past his personal ego. Arnett continues to make BoJack’s susceptible moments extra fascinating than his rants and grumbles, and the writers are leaning into it as they ramp up the character’s clear injury. (Working example, the “Nothing on the surface, nothing on the within” cutaway is sort of jaw-dropping in its tragicomedy.) Hopefully the writers have extra in thoughts than his attraction to her pushing him to be a greater individual.
Todd’s exercise this episode is light-weight in contrast, although it does emphasize two necessary particulars within the bigger BoJack Horseman image. First, it demonstrates the present’s give attention to continuity, as Todd’s nonetheless in jail after the autumn of the Home of Boreanaz—a plot they may have simply deserted after the comedian twist on the finish of “Stay Quick, Diane Nguyen” and selected to stay with as an alternative. And second, it’s additional proof of BoJack Horseman’s willingness to take the form of sitcom tropes both Horsin’ Round or Mr. Peanutbutter’s Home would enjoy, and ramp them as much as the nth diploma. A “two dates to the promenade” situation? Let’s use it, however the twist is that they’re rival jail gangs, and exchange the decision with a race conflict. As soon as once more, it’s a plot stored afloat by its ridiculousness and Aaron Paul’s goofy deliveries, significantly as he tries to shepherd issues to a peaceable decision.
“Who says there aren’t any new tales in Hollywoo?” Todd says cheerfully as he walks out of the outlet left by the crashed helicopter. We might have mentioned that about BoJack Horseman when it began, however the lengths that “Our A-Story Is A ‘D’-Story” goes to proves that we had been unsuitable. With one letter dropped, issues are getting much more fascinating.
- Achievement in Voice Performing: Horatio Sanz because the Latin Kings’ goat chief gives an earnestness that’s interesting to each Todd and the viewer. Todd: “Hey, I received to go, uh, do a jail factor.” Latin King: “That sounds authentic. We’re in jail, in spite of everything.”
- Greatest non-D-related joke of the episode goes to BoJack’s try and get the eye of the information media by throwing greenback payments off the roof of Foie Gras and solely succeeding when a passing Beyoncé (Yvette Nicole Brown) journeys on all the only . (“All the only ?” “All the only .” “All the only ?” “All the only .”)
- I don’t imply to deviate, as author Scott Marder does have a subject day with D-related jokes early on. Tom Jumbo-Grumbo lists off doable suspects (“David Duchovny, Dick Van Dyke, DMX, and naturally Dane Cook dinner, who we all know is a thief”), Princess Carolyn’s having struggles with her Dean clients (Cain, Norris, Winters, and Koontz), and there’s plenty of other scattered wordplay instances.
- Where was Klaus keeping that card?
- BoJack’s spectrum of beverages to forget his problems: Cyanide (too strong), vodka (too breakfast), and absinthe (just right).
- The drug cartel leader and his rhino goon from “BoJack Horseman: The BoJack Horseman Story: Chapter One” are seen escaping in the wake of the prison breakout.
- “This is the sweetest choking hazard anyone’s ever given me.”
- “I had to carpool home from the airport like a goddamned environmentalist.”
- “Yeah, I don’t know. The D might be for David, because apparently when I was drunk, I printed out a bunch of pictures of David Boreanaz.” “… Yeah. You did that.”
- “The day they make love a crime is the day I turn in my badge.”
- “And that’s why Eva Braun was like the fifth Beatle of the Third Reich.”
- “She’s not gonna call. Get out the consolation Scotch.” [Phone rings] “It’s her! Make that celebration Scotch.”
- Today in Hollywoo signs:
Horsin’ Around DVD Commentary:
- Hollywoo remains BoJack Horseman’s best running gag: Three seasons and counting, and no one’s bothered to replace the D on that sign.
- While “Our A-Story” sets things up for a romantic direction of BoJack and Diane, that idea wil be dismissed in short order to get to the much more satisfying direction of the two as soulmates in depression, understanding better than anyone else the lows you can sink to, how to support someone in those lows, and just how deeply you can use those lows to hurt each other.
Tomorrow: Princess Carolyn struggles with a merger, a rival, and a client who’s burned every bridge in Hollywoo, as she proves she’ll “Say Anything” to keep herself afloat.