Sunday, December 30, 2018

Gratitude & Bad-itude 2018: "Free Churro"

Bojack Horseman has been an important show for me since I found it back in 2016, just before its third season aired. Well, not aired, but was made available on Netflix. 

The show came into my life at a time when depression was really settling into my head. It wasn't a cure for the depression, or even therapeutic in dealing with the depression, necessarily. Less like a life preserver; more like having a buddy to hang out with as you both drown.

Its depiction of depression hits home with me. I'm not the only one who relates to it.

The show's first 3 seasons play out in a large story arc. Its fourth season wisely didn't try to be bigger or darker. Its stories enriched the Bojack mythology and set the stage for a strikingly self-referential story arc that kicked off with season 5. But this isn't about that story arc, it's about an episode that took a timeout from that arc, and, in an audacious manner, let Bojack bury his mother while giving WIll Arnett a full 30 minutes of dialog. Arnett performs as Bojack's father in the cold open, and everything after the opening credits is 100% him as Bojack with no B-story. It is a fantastic performance that balances humor and pathos, eschewing histrionics and feeling all the more potent because of the restraint. It's the kind of work that ought to earn Arnett an Emmy nomination for Character Voice-Over Performance, and if there's any justice, would get some accolades for the episode's writer, Raphael Bob-Waksberg (who is also the show creator).

I know exactly what he means about Becker.

My mother indulged me and watched the episode, and says she enjoyed it. It is a little awkward that the episode I told her she had to see was about a mother's funeral (especially considering the vitriol toward her), and she asked me if she should read anything into that.

And I just shrugged which maybe she didn't see over the telephone.

2018 sure sucked.

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