BoJack Horseman: Free Churro
September 15, 2018 5:00 AM - Season 5, Episode 6 - Subscribe

BoJack delivers a eulogy at a funeral.
posted by Pendragon (18 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
episode 5 : "No show should have that much talking. TV is a visual medium."
episode 6 : 1 long monologue.
posted by Pendragon at 9:08 AM on September 15, 2018 [20 favorites]

My mom died four years ago. This episode was one giant runaway-vehicle metaphor barreling into my feelings, but this bit in particular is what really did it.
"You know what it's like? It's like that show Becker, you know, with Ted Danson? I watched the entire run of it, hoping that it would get better, and it never did. It had all the right pieces, but it just... It couldn't put them together. And when it got canceled, I was really bummed out, not because I liked the show, but because I knew it could be so much better, and now it never would be.

And that's what losing a parent is like.

It's like Becker.

Suddenly, you realize you'll never have the good relationship you wanted. And as long as they were alive, even though you'd never admit it, part of you, the stupidest goddamn part of you, was still holding on to that chance. And you didn't even realize it until that chance went away."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:12 AM on September 15, 2018 [30 favorites]

I thought this episode was amazing and really showed off some of the unique abilities of a streaming show, especially one that (IMO) is intended to be binge-watched. When this episode came up as the 3rd in a row for me, I did not notice that it had been one entire episode of a monologue until about 25 minutes in, and I could not have less of a connection to any of the 'bad relationship with parents' stuff in the show. It was solid and engrossing writing.
posted by neonrev at 12:29 PM on September 15, 2018 [6 favorites]

I think what's amazing about this episode is on top of everything else they manage to explain WHY everyone in Bojack is always miserable. Because if they are happy, no more show. So to some degree we, as fans, are invested in the characters continuing to suffer.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:35 PM on September 15, 2018 [8 favorites]

That was masterful. This is why I love this show that is so painful.
posted by sweetmarie at 6:01 PM on September 15, 2018 [5 favorites]

This episode echoes season 3 episode 4, which had no talking and one joke at the end. It was all talking with one joke at the end.
posted by snofoam at 6:31 AM on September 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

I watched this twice, back-to-back, then a third time a couple of days later. It was amazing.

I was especially impressed with how he mentions his dad, who is dead, and Herb, who is also dead, and then Sarah Lynn [pause...story follows].

And the eulogy is even more heartbreaking for the audience, as BoJack repeatedly says he knew nothing about and understood his mom not at all, while we are privy to a very sad history he will never know.

I have a good relationship with my mom, but my dad was abusive. The thing BoJack says about the death of a parent -- that the better relationship will never happen -- would have been true for me if it hadn't been the case that he had physically assaulted me (and then I retaliated twofold) just a year prior to his death and we were most likely permanently estranged.

I thought about this during the episode because, normally, I think of those circumstances and his death only a year later as particularly awful and sad, but I realized that, no, I had no hope at his death for the father I'd always wanted. So, I felt perversely fortunate in a way.

I did cry just a bit at his funeral, but I've never felt terribly sad or that it was a great loss. In some respects, it lifted a burden. Ten years later, only occasionally do I now allow myself to recall the things I liked and loved about him.

He, too, had a very tragic backstory. But my mom and I were very aware of it and made excuses for his behavior on that basis. I can't say I've totally resolved those conflicting feelings -- I do feel very bad for him, as I did when learning more about BoJack's mother. But that stuff is never an excuse for neglect and abuse.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:27 PM on September 16, 2018 [6 favorites]

I have a bad relationship with my abusive, narcissist father (he’s still alive), this episode is exactly in line with the therapy session I had last week: he probably won’t ever change, and his terrible history is a big part of why he acts the way he does, so now I’m coming to terms with the fact that I won’t have the relationship with him that I have wanted my whole life and still want. And I will probably spend the rest of his life, and possibly mine, trying to do that. But it was quietly affirming to hear BoJack process the same realization out loud.
posted by Snacks at 3:12 PM on September 16, 2018 [10 favorites]

This episode more than any other this season (maybe this series?) was just a long slow twist in the heart for me. I usually always overidentify with Diane but the relationship between Bojack and his mother is pretty easy for me to identify with too.

I binge watched it all on Saturday and this episode has stuck with me more than any of the others, especially because I have currently been weighing the idea of really trying to connect with my parents, and what that would need/look like. I don't know that this episode pushed me closer to connecting. But like someone else said, it was nice to hear someone else process this kind of thing out loud.

I find that a lot of other shows where I see particulars of my relationships with my parents reflected always push for and build to some kind of reconciliation, usually at the cost of the child being more forgiving/understanding that the parent and ends in some "I've always loved you" and then they hug, and so on. I actually appreciate seeing a show that does not go that way. Beatrice is definitely worse than my parents, and I can recognize that. But there are still striking similarities, and I have spent and will spend a lot of time constantly thinking about how to approach and process that, and how and if to try and mend (or really, build) connection there.

It always helps when you find words for feelings and fears you have been carrying inside yourself for years. I feel like this show consistently gives me that, and especially so in this episode.
posted by Reeberry at 5:48 PM on September 16, 2018 [8 favorites]

This show is full of terrible parents. This episode, unsurprisingly, really drove that point home, especially coming right after the preceding ep where we get the flashbacks to Princess Carolyn's mother--not as pernicious as Beatrice Horseman, but inept and self-centered for sure. This is interesting, considering the premise of Horsin' Around.
posted by scratch at 6:50 PM on September 16, 2018 [4 favorites]

jeeeeeeeeeeezuz, this is a good episode.
posted by entropone at 7:06 AM on September 17, 2018

Damn, that was some great tv.
posted by Fence at 10:54 AM on September 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

(I understand why Netflix wouldn't want one of their original shows to be commenting on the squandered potential of another, but: watching the entire run of a show with a bunch of good-to-great pieces in the hopes that it would eventually put them together into a satisfying show is exactly how I watched seasons 1 and 2 of Ozark.)
posted by Spathe Cadet at 12:51 PM on September 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

When I was a kid my parents hit me a few times a week. Mostly it was spanking, occasionally it was a cuff on the head or a slap in the face. Usually it was with an open hand or a wooden spoon, rarely it was with a belt and exactly twice it was with a switch before my parents realized that they were making the sorts of welts that could land them in jail. It happened when I hit my younger siblings or when I said words that my parents didn't like or when I said words that kind of sounded like words that my parents didn't like or when I said words that my parents did like in a tone that wasn't sufficiently deferential or when I was disobedient or when I was obedient at a pace that my parents found unsatisfactory or when or when or when.

The only acceptable response was absolute bawling terror. Failing to deliver that meant the hit repeated, and God in heaven help the child who took a spanking and laughed. So my emotional response became performative in order to avoid further punishment and I did that for so many years that I eventually lost any ability to properly identify what I was feeling vs. what I was pretending to feel.

The second-to-last time one of my parents hit me I was ten. I was already as tall as my father and it was no secret that I was going to be bigger than any member of my extended family (adult me is 6'5" and 290 lbs. and while I was obviously a lot smaller as a child the signs of how big I would get were there from the very beginning) and my fury over what was happening must have been palpable; immediately afterward my father told my mother, "That's the last time that we're going to be able to do that." The actual last time one of my parents hit me I was twelve and I had just had the first of what would in later years turn out to be a lifelong series of panic attacks. It was two in the morning and I was in the bathroom sobbing to the point where I was having trouble breathing and my sister (whose bedroom shared a wall with the bathroom) laughed and I called her a bitch. This resulted in my mother following me to my room and dragging me out of bed and slapping me repeatedly in the face. I was already bigger than her and I was just starting to develop the sort of physicality that comes with puberty and as she walked away I thought to myself that the next time she laid hands on me in that way I was going to step on her throat until one of us was dead. It fortunately never came to that.

I have never called what my parents did "abuse" and I suspect that I never will but I do know that if I saw a child being hit the way that my parents hit me I would feel obligated to intervene. I do love my parents and I also know that they love me but our relationship is a distant one and that distance is necessary because when we don't have it I slide back into the antagonistic persona that defined our relationship when I was a teenager. My wife has referred to me as "the boy who hates mothers" but I feel it would be more accurate to say that my childhood has left my deeply suspicious of anyone who intentionally seeks a position of authority over a child and the more they're willing to sacrifice to obtain that authority the more deeply suspect I find them.

tl; dr: Don't fucking hit your children.

A few years ago when my father died I was asked to deliver the eulogy and I gave one with significantly less venom than the one Bojack did in this episode. It helped that I never doubted for a moment that my parents both loved me and that as terrible a thing as they had done they were also doing their best. I told a story during the eulogy about how as a child I had broken a beloved toy and my mother consoled me until my father came home, at which point he promptly fixed it. My father didn't believe in unfixable situations and he always strove to repair or make things better; that was his defining characteristic.

At the dinner afterwards my mother told me that I'd done a great job with the eulogy but that for a moment she thought I was going to say that she had "comforted [me]… with a switch… or a belt". She was joking and seemed to think that I would find the joke funny.

I have mostly forgiven my parents for having hit me but that she thought that it was something about which she could joke with me was something that I was not up for forgiving at that particular moment, so I said, "No. This is not the funeral that I am saving that for."

We stared at each other across the table for a while after that.

So I guess this episode gave me some feels.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 2:43 PM on September 18, 2018 [39 favorites]

This episode ...

posted by kyrademon at 4:42 PM on September 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

The risks they take with this show! Exhibit A: a completely wordless episode that takes place underwater. Exhibit B: an episode-long monologue. And both times I was riveted to the screen.
posted by scratch at 4:01 AM on September 20, 2018 [7 favorites]

Not just a joke at the end, though. All I can think about is that, in-universe, none of that got seen by anyone who had a relationship with Beatrice. After all of that questioning and wondering no one will be able to fill in the blanks for him.
posted by bring a tuba to a knife fight at 9:43 PM on September 27, 2018 [7 favorites]

What a high wire act. You have to have serious confidence in your actor and your writing to do this. Bravo.
posted by Nelson at 10:03 PM on December 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

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