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BoJack Horseman Review: "Yes And" (2.10)

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<i>BoJack Horseman</i> Review: "Yes And" (2.10)

Not that we needed another reminder that BoJack aces the self-sabotage game, but here it is in “Yes And”. It’s always a good idea to insult the new director of your movie to his face in his own home, right? No sweat for BoJack. His critique of Abe’s limited vision for Secretariat, along with his impatience toward overly literal and dense people, isn’t a recipe for professional success. Shocker.

For his complaints, BoJack gets trapped on the movie set for more days out of spite, while Abe reshoots scenes just for fun. That thwarts his plan to take an artsy prestigious role in a New York play Princess Carolyn snagged for him. He can barely bring himself to keep going to work, even knowing he could face a major lawsuit if he doesn’t. And so the cycle of misery continues.

By this point, BoJack’s self-destructive routine is so familiar and expected that it’s increasingly sad to watch, but it’s not much fun. Good thing his predictability is coupled with Diane’s newfound wild side, which is incredibly sad and fun to watch. In her disheveled, mopey state, she’s still as quick-witted as ever, and much more biting than usual. Essentially, she’s the perfect companion for a distraught BoJack.

The greatest thing about Diane, though, is that even when her own life is a mess, she continues to have all the answers for everyone else. In the episode’s most poignant scene, she gently reminds BoJack that nothing will make him happy for more than a fleeting moment—not making a better version of Secretariat, not branching out into theater. The suggestion is doubly heartbreaking, because Diane herself is wondering the same about herself, as she gets drunk every day and avoids telling Mr. Peanutbutter she’s back in Hollywood.

Of course, Wanda doesn’t appreciate the new Diane’s spunk or insight, and wants her out immediately. She ultimately gets her wish to stop living with her, but not in the way she expects. When BoJack refuses to take a weekend away with Wanda, she breaks up with him. BoJack chalks it up to her finally getting to know him, and not liking what she sees. It’s a familiar refrain for him.

The breakup certainly took look enough. Their relationship has been one of the least interesting and insightful aspects of this season. Wanda isn’t a very fleshed-out character, so her relentless optimism and cold demeanor quickly got stale. BoJack reacts to her in exactly the same way every time, and the notion that they ever truly cared for each other, let alone fell in love, feels like a stretch.

And then there’s the obligatory random, ridiculous Todd adventure, which happens to be one of the series’ most fun. He stumbles upon an improv comedy group and quickly adopts the “Yes and” attitude to an extreme. Just as quickly, it becomes clear he’s in a cult, where reaching new stages costs serious cash and misbehaving members are banished to a ship.

Aside from skewering both Scientology and improv in the best, most blatant ways, Todd’s story folds in neatly with the questions BoJack and Diane are both asking themselves. It raises concerns about which voices are worth listening to and what to do when you feel hopelessly trapped in a bleak daily routine.

In his never-ending quest for happiness, BoJack ends up driving to New Mexico to see Charlotte, a reunion that’s been teased since the get-go. It’s sort of cute but also sort of sad that BoJack actually thinks anyone or anything can save him from himself. The easy answer, an impulsive escape from everything, hasn’t been the right solution for him yet, and it probably never will be.

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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