The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: The Light Bulb Scene

Filming has commenced on Princess Carolyn and Flip McVicker’s new series, but BoJack is unimpressed with his starring role. However, when he tries to get his female co-star out of having to do a nude scene, he faces the prospect of having to get naked on set himself.

At the end of season four, Princess Carolyn was all fired up to produce her new TV show, Philbert. Now, filming is underway, but BoJack isn’t particularly enjoying the experience. In what seems to be a thoughtful gesture – but could equally just be him trying to look good – BoJack tries to address all the gratuitous female exposure on the show, only for Flip to ask him to get naked himself.

The quality of Philbert and its lack of feminist credentials will be an ongoing thread this season, but what I want to discuss for now is how much I dislike Flip. I’m pretty sure that’s the intention, but it still makes watching him an uncomfortable experience. He’s the Nice Guy who doesn’t understand that women are human beings, but can’t understand why girls don’t like him. He’s that creep who is too shy to do anything in real life, but likely posts lots of misogynistic invective online.

Character development

  • Princess Carolyn has signed up with an adoption agency, kicking off her ongoing storyline about finding a baby to adopt.
  • Todd is now dating Yolanda, who already seems impatient with his lack of career or any particular life direction. In response, Todd applies for a janitorial job at What Time Is It Right Now, but his impressive CV lands him an executive job instead. I quite enjoyed having my perceptions of Todd turned on their head – at face value, he’s spent years doing random crazy schemes, but on paper it sounds impressive.
  • Diane and Mr Peanutbutter were last seen struggling with marital difficulties, and as of this episode, they’ve signed divorce papers. At the end of season four, this was one of those things that could have gone either way – we’d seen big arguments, professions of love, and even marriage counselling. However, as a show that likes to explore all the big issues, it seems only right that we get to see how this two cope with divorce and its aftermath.

First appearances

  • Gina Cazador: BoJack’s co-star on Philbert. She’s tired of playing shallow female roles, but since they make for a steady income, she doesn’t openly complain about it.
  • Tracy: Princess Carolyn’s adoption caseworker. Her open rudeness is both frustrating to Princess Carolyn and amusing to the viewer.

Other notes

  • In the intro animation, a tribute to Ralph Carney (who died in 2017) is on the TV in BoJack’s apartment. The kaleidoscope section of the intro has been replaced with a scene of filming on the set of Philbert – which happens to look just like BoJack’s apartment. The TV at the party now shows A Ryan Seacrest Type talking about Philbert. Katrina is no longer at the party, having been replaced with new character Pickles.
  • The set designer for Philbert apparently took inspiration from a visit to “David Boreanaz’s house”. This must have been during the time Todd and Princess Carolyn were passing off BoJack’s apartment as David Boreanaz’s house, as the set does look exactly like BoJack’s place.
  • Even though the time is clearly displayed on his phone, Flip still loads the What Time Is It Right Now website to check the time.
  • Todd’s office displays the time in Cordovia.
  • When picking up Diane, Mr Peanutbutter writes ‘Blarn’ on his card. This was the name Diane used on her name badge when working at Starbucks.

Summary – The Light Bulb Scene: “Take that, our marriage!”

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