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'BoJack Horseman' recap: Prickly Muffin grows up, returns home

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “Prickly Muffin” | Aired Aug 22, 2014

BoJack has a knack for getting himself into trouble. Last time, we watched a media frenzy explode due to our favorite TV horse’s snide comments. In episode three, BoJack’s latest drama isn’t just from a surprise visitor. It comes from his personal demons.

The episode opens with a scene from Horsin’ Around in which BoJack makes breakfast for his TV kids as Sabrina hides under the kitchen table. After a few adorable quips and catch phrases, the director yells, “Cut!” A boom mic is in the shot and we’re now in the midst of the show’s taping. After placating the studio audience, BoJack kneels down and gives Sabrina some brutal advice. No matter how she feels or whom she hurts, she has to serve the audience. The world will disappoint you but so long as you’re good to your fans, you’ll have everything you need. Sabrina is horrified as the taping restarts and BoJack calls her by her show nickname, Prickly Muffin.

Cut to 12 years later when a Ryan Seacrest-esqe TV host gives us the lowdown on the now-grown-up Sabrina, whose real name is Sarah Lynn. She’s a big-time Miley Cyrus-type pop star and her new smash single “Prickly Muffin” is blazing up the charts. Sarah explains to ‘Seacrest’ she’s just trying to show the world she’s a grown woman who does sexy things with sexy people because she’ll always be sexy.

The “young ignorance” line of the episode: When the host asks Sabrina if she’s worried audiences will grow bored of her and move on to the next sexy star, she replies, “Are you kidding? I’m Sarah freaking Lynn. I’m gonna be sexy forever!”

Another cut to another 12 years later and we see Seacrest reporting on Sarah Lynn’s 30th birthday. His guest, 14-year-old pop superstar Sextina Aquafina, tells how she loved growing up with Sarah’s music, but she’s all washed up now. Aquafina tells us Sarah should go to wherever it is aged pop stars go when they reach their golden years. After all, she’s 30.

Episode 3 - Sabrina Pop

After Sarah’s TV damnation, we see BoJack and Diane in his office working on the book. The doorbell rings and you’ll only need one guess to figure out who’s on the other side.

But before we find out what we already know, we cut to five hours earlier when BoJack is rudely wakened by Todd. Todd tries his best to get BoJack out of bed: He tells him it’s a beautiful day, opens the shades (only to reveal two paparazzi birds snapping photos) and does a cannonball from his dresser to BoJack’s bed. The bed frame snaps under his weight and Todd sheepishly offers to buy BoJack a new bed. With what money, we can only guess.

We next see Todd and BoJack in a hip furniture store where everything is made from reclaimed train tracks and old junk. There’s even a letter opener that was once a Confederate bayonet. As BoJack wonders why anybody would pay crazy money to sleep like a homeless person, a group of teens walk up and start freaking out. BoJack thinks they are fawning over him but they’re really excited to see Sarah Lynn with her celebrity boyfriend Andrew Garfield.

After the three run over to get their autographs, BoJack walks over to say hi. Sarah is psyched to see her TV dad and introduces Andrew as her power couple boyfriend. But Andrew has some bad news. Since her last few albums tanked and she’s no longer the biggest star in the world, he needs to move on. This prompts a public breakdown where Sarah downs a bottle of pills, stabs herself with the bayonet and threatens to take a dump on a showroom sofa. Classic celebrity drama!

Episode 3 - Sarah Bleeding

Back in his office, BoJack tells Diane that after Sarah followed through on her couch threat, he checked her into rehab. When Diane asks him how it felt to place his celebrity daughter into a program, he’s just happy they got to reconnect a bit, even if it was just to comment on a lovely day as she passed out in the back of his car. BoJack admits he’s more of a “before rehab” friend and doubts he’ll ever see Sarah again. But then the doorbell rings and it’s, yep you guessed it, Sarah!

Sarah explains to BoJack that she doesn’t need rehab, even as she crushes up and snorts a handful of pills she got from a doctor at Adam Levine’s Halloween party. Despite BoJack’s fake fatherly connection, she explains she never had the need to confront her problems. Nobody in her life ever told her no and all she needs now is a place to lay low. BoJack quickly agrees. As he walks off singing the Horsin’ Around theme song, it’s clear he’s more excited about living his fantasy for being the cool TV dad than the troubled pop star’s welfare.

The next day, BoJack has fully settled into his role as her fictional dad. He’s made breakfast, trades a few clever quips with Sarah and calls Todd “sport.” After Todd gets annoyed about the guest room he didn’t know existed, Sarah asks BoJack if he can give her a ride to the mall to meet her friends. After Todd asks Sarah some snide questions about her DUI, creating a bit of tension, BoJack doesn’t think she should go thanks to her last “uncomfortable shopping episode.” Sarah replies by going into pout mode and after BoJack caves to the pressure, she goes off to invite her friends to his house. Todd isn’t fooled by Sarah’s antics. He’s now stuck in an episode of Horsin’ Around.

Back in his office, with Sarah’s friends hanging around outside, BoJack is getting yelled at by Carolyn about letting her into his home. But when BoJack lets it slip that she lost her agent, Carolyn runs out of the office to snag herself a big client. Clearly it doesn’t matter how much of a basket case somebody is when a paycheck is on the line.

Episode 3 - Sarah Smashed

Outside, Sarah is having herself a wild party. As Todd tries to protect BoJack’s fragile possessions, Sarah is out back getting wasted. Carolyn, in a moment of perfect Hollywood sleaze, tries to get all hip to gain Sarah as a client.

In the midst of the shindig, Diane comes over to get some work done with BoJack. BoJack asks Diane her opinion of Sarah and she goes off on a long-winded diatribe about pop feminism and female body issues. BoJack is taken aback by the social lesson and ask her opinion of Sarah’s new living situation. Diane asks BoJack how their TV relationship was and he answers, “normal.”

The this-is-what-BoJack-considers-normal moment: In a flashback to the Horsin’ Around dressing room, the adorable Sarah asks BoJack innocent questions, like where did he go to college and what he’s doing for the weekend? After her overbearing mother tells her college is for people who can’t tap dance, BoJack explains his plans for couch lounging, watching Disney princess movies and eating ice cream from the tub. When Sarah asks if she can come over, he gives her a rude no. Despite his girlish weekend plans, why would he want to hang out with a girl.

Diane asks if BoJack is doing this as a way of compensating for past tramua. BoJack cuts her off and explains he’s just helping a friend. There’s no way he’s doing this to reclaim TV dad glory, make up for treating her badly as a kid and acting out his own childhood worries and deep seeded issues. No way!

The pair then hear a smash outside. BoJack rushes to Sarah’s aid and learns her friends want to take out a wall to make a new sexy drugs room. Again, after BoJack says no, Sarah lays on the TV star guilt and BoJack folds like a cheap card table. It’s getting weird in the BoJack household.

Back in BoJack’s office, Todd voices what everyone is thinking. The Sarah Lynn situation is wildly out of control. Diane agrees and explains BoJack isn’t helping Sarah by letting her run rampant. Despite some pleading from Todd and a lemur smashing through a wall on fire, BoJack sticks with his TV dad ideas of child rearing. He’s going to give her a dose of “tough love.”

Episode 3 - TV Guide

After Carolyn tries to woo Sarah with a gin and nutmeg cocktail, BoJack pulls her away for a day of “just the two them.” At first Sarah hates the idea but as they romp around the Santa Monica pier, it’s clear she’s warming up. Sitting on a park bench over a sunset, BoJack tries to have a heart-to-heart moment with his TV daughter.

In one last stab to connect, BoJack gives Sarah his TV Guide award. BoJack explains that he always wanted to pass it on and since he considers Sarah the daughter he never had, he’d like her to have it. As Sarah accepts it as a sweet gesture, BoJack sits back and visualizes a set of rolling sitcom credits.

Back at the house, as the party continues to rage, BoJack gets a phone call from Mr. Peanutbutter asking him why he pawned his TV Guide award. Turns out Mr. Peanutbutter likes buying awards for himself and bought it for his collection. BoJack flips and runs to confront Sarah. Sarah explains she couldn’t care less about his dumb award. Despite having thousands of trophies and millions of fans, she’s had a hard life. According to her, in order to be a has-been, you need to have been somebody. In a moment of truth, BoJack admits he’s not her dad, they’re too drunk adults making mistakes and with the revelation finally in his head, they begin making out.

Episode 3 - Fire

What follows is wonderfully uncomfortable. Their TV dad/daughter relationship has turned into a cheap porno script. After trading lines about ottomans, boobs and putting out fires, the two begin having sex on the living room floor. Poor Todd, again literally caught in the middle, is horrified.

Two minutes later, BoJack is sitting with Diane and Todd. After Todd takes an angry nap, Diane explains BoJack is now the one taking advantage of a drug-addled girl with daddy issues. BoJack brushes it off as nonsense. After Carolyn tries one last time to snag Sarah as a client, BoJack demands she go to rehab. Sarah again plays the blame game, telling BoJack that he promised to always be there for her.

The uncomfortable Horsin’ Around moment: A final scene of a show taping features BoJack talking with his bookie on the phone, blowing cigarette smoke into Sarah’s face and screaming about how crappy the script is. He’s acting a bit like his dad from the second episode.

Finally trying to be a firm father figure, BoJack explains rehab is for her own good. Sarah’s reply is very “un-sitcom.” She explains she’s happy with being a drugged-out waste. All she needs is a posse of enablers to help her party until she dies sad and alone. She’s aware of who she is and couldn’t care less about the consequences. As she leaves, telling Carolyn she’s going with another agent, she gives everybody a good “screw off.”

The Carolyn rules moment: Having Sarah go to a rival agent was actually a part of Carolyn’s master plan. She’s pawned off the mental patient to her arch nemesis and is ready to move in on Andrew Garfield. So good to see her win out.

After she leaves, Diane explains to BoJack that there was nothing he could have done to help Sarah as she was a by-product of young celebrity. BoJack loves the idea and takes it as an excuse to blame society for all his issues. Diane tries to tell him that’s not what she meant but Todd stops her. Let him have this one moment of willful ignorance.

As the show closes, we see the paparazzi birds from earlier going through photos of Sarah and BoJack getting it on. The moral of the story is honestly in the face of sugary sitcom nonsense. Nobody really learns anything but as an audience, we’ve seen the depths of delusion from both a child-star-turned-addict and a TV dad desperate to connect the only way he knows how. A great end to a great episode.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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