The following post contains spoilers for Netflix original series BoJack Horseman through season 3. If you aren’t caught up with the show, read at your own risk.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect further information about the series.
A quick background on me: I have been a fan of BoJack Horseman since the first season. To me it is one of the funniest, and most depressing, shows on television. (But only in a good way!)
On to what you’re actually here for: Thursday, we got a new trailer, and a first look at season 4. What do we know now? Do we know things? Let’s find out!
Let’s assume the new season kicks off right where season 3 ended: BoJack is still in the desert after attempting suicide, but he feels emboldened by the freedom of the wild horses. This is why the trailer has Diane leaving a voicemail — and why the mailbox is full.
Judging by what they managed to squeeze into the new trailer, it seems pretty clear we’ll see some combination of the following nine storylines going forth. But, knowing the creators, a few could very well be deflections.
1. BoJack will try to find closure with his mother
At the end of the trailer, BoJack’s car ends up at a cabin-style home similar to the one in his drug-induced pipe dream from the first season. Maybe it’s in Maine? The house says “Sugarman,” which makes me think BoJack’s mother could have taken her maiden name after Butterscotch left her.
2. BoJack might have a daughter
This may be a more family-focused season for BoJack. A girl likely to be his daughter, who we first saw in the season 3 finale, is back and getting some grief for the familial resemblance. (“What a terrible thing to say to a baby!”) BoJack’s mother is also shown screaming at a window. If you caught it, there seem to be pictures of the same girl, along with a “Happy Birthday” note, beside her.
3. Todd will grow into his own character
Todd is evolving. Maybe he’ll spend more time with Emily? We do see him in what may be her house, now that she’s $8 million richer. I can’t help but wonder what the cow waitress, to whom Todd bequeathed his own half of the fortune, is going to do with all of her money! Todd might become a famous fashion icon, and maybe he won’t be that confused about it. He will definitely get into some wacky hijinks, per usual.
4. Mr. Peanutbutter’s campaign will parody the presidential election
It’s clear BoJack Horseman is revving up to tackle the country’s political climate in a way it hasn’t before; Raphael Bob-Waksberg, the show’s creator, said as much in an interview with IndieWire shortly after the third season’s release.
Mr. Peanutbutter is running for governor of California, and I can’t help but think it’ll be a parody of the 2016 presidential election. His designs are similar to those of President Obama’s 2008 campaign, but Mr. Peanutbutter seems like he’ll be more Trump-ish in style. He’ll say outlandish things that satisfy his voter base, but this could also harm his marriage with Diane. During the trailer, they clearly get into some sort of confrontation. It makes me think a divorce could be just around the corner.
5. Diane’s blog is a critique of BuzzFeed — and a way to attack her husband
Diane starts what’s supposed to be a badass feminist blog with Ralph Stilton’s sister, but it ends up more like a cheap BuzzFeed than a renowned New Yorker. She’ll be disillusioned. However, I think she’ll also find a way to utilize the platform as an outlet to criticize her husband’s gubernatorial campaign. Her attacks will go viral, sparking tension.
6. Chuck Woodchuck will be Hillary Clinton
If Mr. Peanutbutter represents Trump, then Chuck Woodchuck will be none other than the “establishment” Hillary Clinton figure. I’d bet my life we’ll see a “How much chuck could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood” joke somewhere. Also, lobster claws? Does Mr. Peanutbutter get a supporter to remove his hands?
7. Journalists will be criticized, too
More criticism of the media may be headed the show’s way, although it’s not exactly a new trend for BoJack. In the trailer, a reporter casually says, “Well, I’m satisfied,” after Mr. Peanutbutter says he will be on the side of facts and on the side of feelings. They could hardly be more direct.
Also, a few sociopolitical issues will be addressed.
8. Cultural appropriation plays a role
Ralph invites Princess Carolyn to a “Squeakyvus” party, where mice are holding torches and wearing cat ears. Princess Carolyn is clearly upset by this. She’s also later found with the clown dentists — plastered. I see their relationship becoming more strained as a result; the two having children together seems almost too good to be true, and this just isn’t that type of show.
BoJack tries to show the world as it really is, poking fun at the absurdity of feel-good sitcoms like Full House, the show upon which the fictional Horsin‘ Around is based. Real life isn’t chock full of happy endings; as BoJack said in the first episode, it’s just “one long, hard kick in the urethra.” The point of the show is that, at the end of another 30-minute adventure, things might not be okay.
9. Commentary on gun violence
Meow-Meow Fuzzyface pulls a gun on Ralph in his car. Could it be an acknowledgement of the Philando Castile shooting? Perhaps we’ll see a Zootopia-esque commentary, but built for a more mature audience. The blond girl sitting with Todd, who wears a matching outfit with him in a separate scene, is also seen pulling a gun.
Of course, this is all speculation. Maybe we see a bit of each storyline listed above. Or maybe it’s all one giant misdirection and none of this stuff actually happens.
Is Vincent Adultman going to come back? I miss him.
BoJack Horseman season 4 premieres on Netflix September 8.