BoJack Horseman: “Hank After Dark” (2.07)

Comedy Reviews BoJack Horseman
BoJack Horseman: “Hank After Dark” (2.07)

There’s a Bill Cosby of the BoJack world, and his name is Hank Hippopalous. Eight of the beloved TV star’s former assistants have apparently accused him of…something unspecified, though we can easily infer what that might be.

For his part, Mr. Peanutbutter is delighted to work with the legendary Hey, I Think You Can Dance host as he prepares to start a gameshow of his own on Major Broadcasting Network. He idolized Hank as a young actor, and is just as enthusiastic about spending time with him now as he was during Hank’s heyday.

Meanwhile, Diane has war-torn Cordovia on the brain, where she plans to volunteer in a month’s time. The republic’s Prince Gustav is actually visiting Los Angeles now, and quickly gets mixed up with Todd. Mr. Peanutbutter doesn’t realize his new assistant is aggressive foreign royalty, and Todd doesn’t realize he may have accidentally signed off on a genocide. As is the case with most Todd-driven plots, no one around him even notices or cares.

Before Diane can pay much attention to Cordovia, she has to focus on her book tour with BoJack. There’s not much public interest in their talks until Diane, in trying to make a point about how other celebrities are worse people than BoJack, offhandedly mentions the allegations against Hank. No one wants to believe their childhood hero is a bad person, and so they target their anger at Diane instead.

No one in Diane’s social circle is happy about fight to raise awareness of Hank’s transgressions, either. BoJack is mad he’s not the center of attention on his own book tour. Wanda and Mr. Peanutbutter both fear Major Broadcasting Network is in jeopardy. Diane initially tries to back off, but ultimately feels responsible as a feminist for holding Hank accountable in the public eye. Not long ago, Diane was looking for a purpose in life, and using her newfound Hollywood clout to further feminist issues is definitely up her alley.

As in the real world, it doesn’t take long for Diane to face very public, harsh backlash for her comments on Hank. MSNBSea is covering the story 24/7, making it easy for others to recognize her. They hurl insults as she walks down the street and mail death threats to her house. If this world has Reddit, you can bet Diane’s personal information is all over the homepage. Manatee Fair caved to corporate interests and declined to publish an exposé on Hank (though BuzzFeed later agrees to). Worst of all, even BoJack isn’t sticking up for her, even though he fully believes Hank’s name deserves to be dragged through the mud.

BoJack explains why he’s reluctant to offer support. Spending so much time with Diane finally gives him a chance to squash the lingering bitterness he has toward Diane for writing an unflattering book. “You were my friend and you hurt my feelings and it’s weird that you never apologized for that and that you still won’t,” he says, in the most honest and mature way he’s ever laid out an opinion. Diane admits she could’ve handled things better, and BoJack agrees to have her back as she speaks out about Hank.

Their talk is the latest example of how BoJack and Diane might understand one another better than they both understand their partners. Diane is eager to bring Mr. Peanutbutter up to speed on her work, but for once, he isn’t happy to see her. He says some space might be good for them.

A sad and confused Diane is off to Cordovia. Just in case this episode didn’t spend enough time harping on the stuff strong women have to put up with on a daily basis, a stranger sitting nearby tells her to smile. There’s literally nothing to smile about.

Feminism is such a big part of Diane’s identity, and it’s great she’s sticking to her guns as lesser people try to bring her down. But watching her suffer the personal and professional consequences is totally heart-wrenching.

Julie Kliegman is the weekend editor for TheWeek.com and a freelance journalist based in New York. She’s written publications including BuzzFeed, Vox, Mental Floss, PolitiFact and the Tampa Bay Times. Tweet her your favorite SpongeBob GIF.

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