Jackson Ball reviews the fifth episode of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman season 2…
Episode 5 tackles a fairly meta subject for BoJack Horseman: in a world populated by intelligent, humanoid animals, who gets eaten as food?
Spoiler Ahead – You Have Been Warned!
‘Chickens’ is yet another example of the BoJack Horseman writing team throwing around some big concepts, albeit in nonsensical surroundings. Straight out of the gates, Season 2’s fifth episode begins with some entirely necessary exposition, as it is explained how certain animals are ‘friends’, while others are ‘food’.
As you can imagine, a thinly veiled commentary on animal testing and cruelty is quite a bold move for a comedic cartoon for adults, especially one in which half the characters are animals. Fortunately, the show pulls the masterstroke of having this particular plot-thread revolve around the show’s most oblivious character, Todd (Aaron Paul).
Had the animal cruelty satire been handled by the show’s more cynical, self-aware characters, like Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) or BoJack himself (Will Arnett), then the commentary could have lost some of its subtlety (and humour). However, this is cleverly avoided by using Todd, who has a lovable stupidity about him.
While this episode creates some great moments for Todd to shine in, it’s a surprise appearance from an underused supporting character that really steals the limelight. Regular viewers of the first season will remember the brief cameos made by the no-nonsense cat/police officer; the one who pulled over Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) for chasing a delivery man. Well, he obviously made an impression because he returns in ‘Chickens’ with a far more fleshed-out character.
His name is Officer Meow-Meow Fuzzyface, and he’s a self-confessed loose cannon. He is basically a combination of every hard-boiled, one-liner-firing cop that has ever graced your television screen and, like most of Hollywoo’s inhabitants, he’s a moron.
Perhaps the most striking element of this episode is the lack of the titular character. Sure, he isn’t completely absent (he has an ongoing storyline in which he is desperate to gain his directors approval), but he definitely takes a backseat to the show’s other regular characters here.
Best ‘Animal-Based Gag’ of the Episode: Officer Fuzzyface goes full-Horatio Caine when delivering this killer line about an escaped chicken: ‘So we know the chicken crossed the road, but the real question is…(*Removes Sunglasses*)… why!?’
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