The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: Say Anything

After going on a two-week bender because Diane and Mr Peanutbutter are engaged, BoJack decides he wants to get back together with Princess Carolyn. However, Princess Carolyn has other issues to deal with, as a merger between talent agencies forces her to share an office with her rival Vanessa Gekko.

This is a great Princess Carolyn episode. Narratively, it hits all the right notes, with everyone’s favourite pink cat having to deal with a set of increasingly difficult obstacles, reaching a low point, and then pulling it all back to save the day. The antagonist of the piece is Vanessa Gekko, an overachiever who has everything Princess Carolyn wants – a loving husband, three children, a highly successful career and a seemingly all-round perfect life. When Vanessa starts poaching Princess Carolyn’s clients, all seems lost, but naturally Princess Carolyn manages to turn it around by the end. And of course, we are cheering her on every step of the way.

At her lowest ebb, Princess Carolyn even considers responding to BoJack’s renewed romantic overtures. We see in flashback that BoJack tends to pursue Princess Carolyn almost as a fallback when other things in his life have gone wrong. Princess Carolyn briefly engages in exactly the same behaviour, only to be rebuffed when BoJack’s attention shifts to getting back in touch with Herb Kazzaz.

It’s clear that BoJack and Princess Carolyn do care for each other deeply, but as BoJack puts it – “I don’t love you. You don’t love me. We’re just two lonely people trying to hate ourselves a little less”. Their relationship has always been an easy fallback when other things haven’t worked out. It may cheer them up for a bit, but there’s no longevity in it. Princess Carolyn wants a family and relationship stability, and BoJack isn’t emotionally in a place to provide that.

Naturally, there’s also a Todd B-story in this episode. This time around he takes BoJack’s place as the face of Guten Bourbon, an “urban German bourbon”, only to immediately start acting like a diva. “Urban German bourbon” is just the first of many Princess Carolyn tongue-twisters that we’ll be treated to in the episodes to come.

First appearances

  • The distressingly perfect Vanessa Gekko makes her first onscreen appearance, after being mentioned way back in episode three.
  • The nervous and barely competent tree frog Charley Witherspoon joins Princess Carolyn’s agency as an intern.

Animal action

  • The cow waitress is back, and this time she dispenses milk from her own breast for customers.
  • Cameron Crowe is a raven who hates being mistaken for a crow.
  • Quentin Tarantulino is a famous movie director who also happens to be a tarantula. He has three pairs of arms and one pair of legs.
  • The robin paparazzi tries to fly out of the window of Princess Carolyn and Vanessa Gekko’s office, only to crash straight into the glass, as real birds often do.
  • Papers get stuck to Charley’s adhesive toes.

Other notes

  • We know that BoJack has had a traumatic visit to Herb Kazzaz, but we won’t get to see how it played out until the next episode.
  • Vanessa completely defuses the bird paparazzi blackmail situation.

Summary – Say Anything: “You got to get your shit together”.

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