In Hank After Dark, Bojack and Diane head on a book tour to promote the paperback release of One Trick Pony. For once, Bojack avoids controversy. Instead, Diane becomes the centre of the media spectacle. Diane resurrects numerous allegations of sexual assault made against beloved Hollywoo heavyweight Hank Hippopopalous. Diane is demonised by the media and despised by the general public as she fights to spread the truth about Hank. However, Diane’s pursuit for justice may be the final nail in the coffin for her and Mr. Peanutbutter.
Media outlets are referring to Hank After Dark as the Bill Cosby episode, but many viewers argue that Hank is actually based on David Letterman. Either way, the character is representative of every seemingly harmless perpetrator of abuse, rife in the entertainment industry (or any industry… literally anywhere in the world). This episode highlighted the almost impenetrable gridlock that is the patriarchy in Hollywoo/Hollywood (or, you know, society in general). As in real life, all of these stories are floating around, but none really seem to gain any traction, that is until a complete outsider (be it Diane or Hannibal Buress) blows the whistle. I think the episode did an excellent job of underlining the power structures that prevent celebrities (read: men) from being properly persecuted for their crimes.
In addition to this, Hank After Dark demonstrated the ways in which apologism and ignorance perpetuate violence against women. I’m afraid the saying, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us”, is entirely true – and that’s something that Diane had to face with Mr. Peanutbutter. Change cannot be made when the majority stands by. Bojack and Mr. Peanutbutter are both self-involved celebrities who idolised Hank, but at the end of the day, Bojack was the one who promised to back Diane, in spite of his initial reluctance. Unfortunately for Diane, Mr. Peanutbutter is not only stupid but he’s cowardly too. Okay, maybe that is a little harsh, but at the end of the day Mr. Peanutbutter didn’t step up to the plate when he was needed. After being “sent” to Cordovia by Mr. Peanutbutter, Diane finds herself alone, once again.
I’m not sure that this episode deserves the praise it will inevitably get. I won’t give Bojack a nice pat on the back for standing on the right side of history, mainly because I expect it from them. Good job for incorporating this story that had already broken a year ago, I guess? I feel like I am seeing that text post that goes around tumblr of “feminism on the red carpet” which mainly involves female celebrities being touted as feminist heroes for doing small things that I guess, can be construed as feminist. I’m not bashing Bojack, I’m bashing low expectations. It isn’t exactly revolutionary, but I guess what it does is show that when it comes to right and wrong, your friends and family might not stand where you expect.
Bojack Horseman S02E07: 7/10