One of the most popular quotes from season 2 is Rutabaga Rabitowitz’s movie star speech, where he tells Princess Carolyn that she is the protagonist in her own story, and that the challenges she is facing only serve as perspective for when she eventually gets everything that she wants. Most of its circulation has been positive and uncritical, but upon close inspection, it’s not only terrible advice, but a valid description of how many of the characters in the series are seeing themselves and operating.
The first time we see Rutabaga, he’s taking notes on his phone call with Princess Carolyn, where she tells him about how she has nearly secured a role for one of her clients. The next time they speak, he reveals that he had gotten his own client a screen test for the same movie, and effectively took the project from her. He doesn’t come off as overtly scheming or manipulative, but from day one, it’s established that he is an opportunist who doesn’t really think about what he’s doing, if it means he’s accomplishing his goals and pushing his own narrative further. It’s difficult to say whether or not he is intentionally malicious, but viewing himself as the only person in his life whose happiness matters corrupts his ability to be self aware. He doesn’t see himself as leading Princess Carolyn on, because he does like her. He wants to be able to keep Katie as his wife and have PC as his mistress, since the only thing that he’s taking into consideration is his own fulfillment and not how hurtful this is to either of them. Why would he? After all, he thinks the movie is about him.
When we see him again in “Old Acquaintance” in season 3, Rutabaga and Katie have repaired their marriage, are expecting children, and he’s running his own agency alongside Vanessa Gekko. We see that nothing has changed about his perspective when he’s competing with PC to secure Flight of the Pegasus. Both he and Vanessa resort to unethical tactics to sabotage PC––using Kelsey as a pawn, and digging through her old emails to find ammunition against her––and get the commission for themselves, while she simply had connections to the casting director. Him taking yet another project from PC not only seals VIM’s doom, but ruins Kelsey and BoJack’s chance at reconciliation. Holding his newborn children in the hospital, Rutabaga proclaims “you’ve got to love a happy ending,” despite leaving so much destruction in his wake.
Though Rutabaga is an extreme example, and most likely exists within this narrative as a testament to how cruel, intentionally or otherwise, this sort of self-centered thinking can be, we see the leads behave in similar ways at times. It’s the most apparent with BoJack, when he’s doing things like sabotaging Todd’s rock opera so he won’t move out, trying to get Charlotte to leave her family for him so he can live out an escapist fantasy, or endangering Sarah Lynn because he needs a distraction, but it isn’t just him. Diane pretends to be halfway across the world for months because she wants to maintain the image that she’s doing important work, even though her absence is hurtful to Mr. Peanutbutter. Even PB, to a much lesser extent than the former, shows similar characteristics when he doesn’t stop to consider that he and Diane could be thrown into serious financial trouble because he doesn’t want to pursue other acting jobs, even though he’s spent all their money.
The movie star speech and its eventual deconstruction goes to show that toxic ways of thinking and behaving aren’t always overt, and can even seem empowering on a superficial level. Perhaps Rutabaga is the hero of his own story, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a villain in someone else’s. The same goes for everybody else, in BoJack Horseman and beyond.
today, I found out something interesting information in the defense of astrology. the Reagan family had a personal astrologer the whole time he was in office, and she advised Reagan on when and when he shouldn’t travel and a lot of the decisions he made were under her guidance. this is where it gets freaky - she & many others had predicted the death of JFK. she had a vision one day that a man in office during 1960 would die a violent death while in office. the scariest part? she remembered seeing the letters o & d in the vision, and Kennedy’s assassinator was named OswalD
(notice the o & d.)
also another interesting case is where Carolyn Reynolds, a notable astrologer, was given the birth charts of four serial killers including Ed Gein, but she wasn’t informed of who’s charts she was viewing, and she came to the conclusion that all four had serial killer potential. so, just wanted to share that because there’s sometimes that things aren’t really a coincidence, and although not a science, astrology is more of a tool to enhance our lives, not dictate it, the stars incline, they do not compel ✨
was thinkin about Abu Dhabi this morning and got a mental image of a post-episode scene where Carolyn’s chewing Martin out for diverting even though they “had to” because there was “smoke in the flight deck” and he’s miserable but then he sees Arthur in the background, snuggling the kitty who’s mellowed out after the near-freezing-to-death experience and is purring bc grateful for Arthur’s warmth
A young woman sporting an Alice band and a worried expression meets them when they arrive, though Martin can tell she’s really only expecting Carolyn. “Hello,” she says, slightly awkwardly, flicking her gaze between the two pilots. “You must be Douglas, and…Skip?”
Martin does one of his nervous half-laughs. Later, it will occur to him that he ought to have corrected her, that now she’ll think his name actually is Skip forevermore, and he’ll always be too embarrassed to explain. In the moment, he can’t think of anything that’s not Arthur.
“Where is he?” Carolyn asks, impatient. Her voice is more waspish in tone than usual, which is no mean feat. Martin’s glad he’s not on the receiving end, notices how Tiffy won’t meet Carolyn’s eye when she says, “Through here.”
They follow her through the heavy double doors and past a few curtained-off cubicles, until finally they reach the one that contains Arthur. For a second, Martin feels his own face drain of colour. There are certainly a lot of bandages.
Arthur makes up for it, though, with his impossibly wide smile. “Hello, chaps! Chaps and Mum. Chaps and Mum and Tiffy. Hello!”
“Hello,” comes back the slightly more dubious chorus.
“How are you feeling?” Carolyn asks, in a tone that says ‘matter-of-fact’ but with a face that says ‘worried’.
“Great!” Arthur replies. “These painkillers are really good. They just – took all the pain completely away.”
“Almost as though they’d killed it, would you say?” Douglas remarks.
“And it’s only two of my ribs! It felt like it was about sixty of them, but the doctor said I’ve only got twenty-four, he checked. And most of them are fine.”
“And the arm?” Carolyn asks.
“Not broken. Just couple of fractures,” Tiffy supplies.