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I saw the trailer for Bojack Horseman season three-- due out this coming month on July 22nd, woohoo! --and despite having ten thousand better things to do with my time, I could not resist going over it with a fine-tooth comb for clues about the upcoming storylines that I can't wait to see.

[Slightly spoilery for seasons 1-2, with some speculation on possibilities for season 3.]It looks like Bojack, thanks to the acclaim of his performance in Secretariat, has become not only successful but cool. Even though his book made him relevant for the first time in years in season two, he was still not really all that well regarded, but it looks like Secretariat was enough to change the perception of him. In fact, he's up for an Oscar for it, which was set up at the end of the last season by the "Oscar whisperer" Ana Spanikopita taking over his campaign for it.

Bojack declares at the first word his success that he feelings "awesome," but Diane expresses doubt over whether it's really making him happy, which continues Bojack's struggle to find anything that actually does. He resents her pointing that out, but pins the possibility for meaning in his life on whether or not he wins the Oscar. Despite this increased profile, he still gets recognized for Horsin' Around, which he resents. Possibly part of a theme of how you can't outrun your past, even if you reinvent yourself as someone better?

There's a brief shot of a messed-up-looking Bojack snorting white powder, which could be coke given the character's history with it, or it could be a fake out to ratchet up the tension of the trailer. Given the show's particular style of humor, there's certainly a chance they might have a joke about snorting some other substance as if it were drugs. But it might also be an indication of a breakdown or part of a habit storyline.

Todd points out that the movie will result in countless people having the opportunity to judge him all over the country, which distresses him. Bojack has always been afraid the judgment of other people, usually being found wanting, but the idea that this is a new enough sensation for him to still be troubled by it rings a bit false to me. That's been the situation for him every time he's done a movie or television show, why would that fear become acute in this case? Perhaps because he's more proud of it, because it's more important than the dreck he did before?

Of course there is the issue that most of the performance in the film isn't actually him, but his image and voice recreated with CGI. Is he going to have pangs over the fact that he's getting credit and praise for a performance that he didn't actually give? The trailer gives no indication. I think it could go either way-- it's a good source of drama, allowing Bojack to explore the fact that he hasn't even earned the one moment of serious respect he's being given, but the fact that his replacement with CGI got treated mostly like a joke in the moment may mean they're going to gloss over it. When they say he's likely up for an Oscar, does he protest that it's not him? I can't remember, I should check the episode again. But he does later in the trailer say "I don't know if I should win Oscar. I don't know if I want to," to Ana Spanikopita. The self-loathing is still a big part of him, and it could tie back to the fraud of the performance.

Bojack backs a car, inexplicably in his house, into his pool. The mistake of a messed-up man, either chemically or emotionally, but no context is given except that it seems to be in the middle of a party. Is the car a gift? Is he responding in some way to the attention of the crowd, which historically has made him act stupid? The image is framed on his face, and the way he goes into the water recalls his plunge from the balcony into the pool in the opening credits-- depicting a moment when he is DEFINITELY not doing well.

Bojack in cars is a frequent motif in this trailer. Not sure if there's significance there. The show does take place in LA, after all. I guess they've had a lowkey presence throughout all the series so far, indicators of his wealth, his tendency to use them to run away from his problems, and his spoiled carelessness, such as how he never bothers to fix his wrecked SUV in the second season.

An interviewer-- a manatee who's probably from Manatee Fair but sadly not Christine Baranski-voiced Amanda Hannity --asks Bojack what's next for him and he panics. He doesn't want to look ahead. He want to remain in this moment because things are finally going well for him, and change risks losing that. Also, planning for the future requires work he doesn't want to do. He wants to have arrived and never have to struggle for anything ever again. A man who fears he has no future.

Princess Carolyn telling Bojack how great he is. A development I find rather disturbing. Bojack has fucked her over so many times in so many ways, I don't like seeing her pandering to his nonsense. I prefer her when she's kicking his ass in gear with tough love for at least something of her own benefit. I wonder if they're exploring the idea that, smart as she is, she's as changeable by fame and hype as anyone. That's a little disturbing but could make for interesting character stuff. But she hammers home what's wrong with him in his inability to like himself, despite the fact that he does have a lot going for him. That means it could be making a joke of how un-pepping her pep talk is. Hard to tell what's a joke and what's significant sometimes.

Bojack's house gets trashed, presumably by partying, a good visual metaphor for the destructiveness of the lifestyle.

Fans with camera phones mob him as he sports a Vincent Adultman-style trenchcoat and fedora, as well as epic bags under the eyes. Presaging a freak out, probably.

J.D. Salinger sulks in the background of a shot of Mr. Peanutbutter, making him one of the only recurring minor characters I've seen.

An electric eel tases him in the aisle of an airplane, which I find hilarious.

Mr. Peanutbutter blithely carries away his struggling, screaming accountant, saying "It's going to be great, as it always is, from my perspective." Pure humor well within the character's wheelhouse, no hinting at anything heavy. But Diane came back from Cordovia without telling him, which he basically agreed to pretend to ignore, and I doubt that will go on forever even with his obliviousness. They've been hinting that the two of them have issues despite their love for each other, and I wonder what form they're going to take in season 3. The fact that I think Diane partially likes being with him because he basically just validates her and never challenges her in any way, even when she's wrong, is something I'm expecting to blow up sooner or later. I find their relationship shockingly fascinating, like no other on television, so I look forward to how it continues.

There are some completely context-free moments of Bojack in apparently an underwater city with a bubble on his head. Maybe he's promoting his movie? I guess it's where the fish people live, and land dwellers can visit there in this manner. One shot has Bojack swimming away from what looks like an underwater exploded bubblegum factory with a tiny seahorse under his arm. Is it a child? Does he develop a relationship with it?

Princess Carolyn tackles Bojack in the Elefante restaurant, so at least that means she's not going to be completely taken in by his new cache.

Todd kisses a girl who looks like a female version of himself. Romance for Todd, I guess, which they've never tackled seriously before. Will it be serious this time, or played for laughs?

A flashback to the 80s where Carolyn hoses down a Bojack sprawled on the sidewalk, covered in what I would guess is his own vomit. There's also a shot of little Sara Lynn hugging him on the set of Horsin' Around, to which he reacts with surprise and uncertainty before cautiously returning it. The presence of the little seahorse makes me wonder if this is part of a storyline about Bojack connecting with a child? He mentions that he's hoping for his life to have meaning, and clearly the Oscar isn't doing it for him, but lots of people think parenthood does. Maybe that's where the seahorse child comes in?

Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter cuddle up in bed together, but Mr. Peanutbutter looks sad. I know there's conflict ahead, but is there hope for these two to figure out their relationship and make it work? I want to see them struggle, but I'm kinda rooting for them to work it out.

Princess Carolyn watches fireworks from her office window. She's alone, but she's in the place that makes her happiest. I notice she's got a lot of booze in front of her, though. A theme for the character is her inability to form meaningful, non-work relationships.

Bojack parties somewhere with a kippah on his head. Somebody's bar mitzvah? Jewish wedding? No idea of the significance, but Bojack actually looks like he's having a good time. The only overtly Jewish character I can think of off the top of my head in this is Lenny Turtletaub. Maybe a function related to him?

"It doesn't matter what we did in the past. Or how we'll be remembered. The only thing that matters is this one spectacular moment we are sharing together." Bojack says this over the last few clips starting with the 80s, ending with him in a move theater silhouetted MST3K-style against a screen with a realistic shot of space. A shockingly positive sentiment from him, presaging that he might actually make some progress this season. Also he's probably bonded with whoever it is he's saying it to, who is not clear. They are only a short, bulbous form in the chair beside him. So I think it's that little seahorse in a water helmet, which confirms my theater that Bojack will find meaning through a relationship with this child.

And that's the trailer! Miscellaneous thoughts:

No indication of a romance for Bojack. Kind of glad, as I balk at the idea of yet another woman for him. Especially given what just happened with Charlotte.

Not much of ANY one supporting character, but they all got a shot or two, so the gang will all be there.

No celebrity guest stars obvious. I think that's a classy move, though I'm curious who they're going to get.

The Oscar thing foreshadowed by the last season is clearly in full force, but NO INDICATION of the other plot thread set up for the future, the one which I AM DYING TO KNOW ABOUT. Who is Jill Pill, the mysterious playwright who knew Bojack from his "other show" which is not Horsin' Around, and wants him to come to New York to be in her new play. They're going to do that, right? I AM INSATIABLY CURIOUS and CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THAT UNFOLD. I am maddened I see no hint of it!

And that is way, way, way more thought than needed on this minute and a half long trailer.


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About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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April 2017


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