Advanced Review: Bojack Horseman S5 (Spoiler Free)

BOJACK HORSEMAN
SEASON 5

Starring: Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, Amy Sedaris
Created by: Raphael Bob-Waksberg

It has been quite the trip these past four seasons for Bojack Horseman. For those of you unfamiliar about the show, the protagonist is a depressed alcoholic with the occasional drug use to cope with his life since his show in the 90’s Horsing Around ended. Bojack (Will Arnett – Arrested Development, The Lego Batman Movie) joined by his friends Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris – Elf, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) Todd Chavez (Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad, The Path) Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie – Community, Glow) and Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins – Bob’s Burgers, Comedy Bang! Bang!) as they all deal with relationships, Hollywood, depression and life. Season five is coming out September 14th, and a lot has happened in the past four, and will be doing a quick recap of season four.

Spoilers ahead for season four.

Princess Carolyn gets pregnant and miscarries on the baby. We get introduced to Hollyhock who believes that Bojack is her actual dad but turns out Bojack is actually her step-brother. Hollyhock wants to meet her grandmother. Bojack finds out his mom has dementia, she ends up living with Bojack and drugs Hollyhock with Chub-B-Gone to help her lose weight. Princess Carolyn pitches a new show “Philbert” (also the name of her baby before she miscarried) to What time is it.com, and gets Bojack to star in it. I will be doing a review of each season so far but for now let’s jump into season five.

Season five has the same satirical take on current events and politics, with the same realism in dealing with depression, trauma, addiction, self-destructive behavior, and the human experience that we have come know. It starts with Bojack as he films the show Philbert, and we get introduced to his co-star Gina Cazador (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz). The season mostly focuses around the show Philbert, but we see how the characters personal lives are affected by the show and their relationships.

One thing I love about Bojack is all the callbacks they do to previous seasons and events that have happened, really rewards the viewer for watching all the episodes. One example is in the first episode in season five when they are filming the show, Philbert. It takes place in Philbert’s house, which looks exactly like Bojack’s house. The reason for that is because it is supposed to be based off David Boreanaz’s house, but that is a call back to season one when Bojack left Todd alone in the house for a few days. Todd claimed Bojack’s house was David Boreanaz’s and charged people money to tour around it. That is only one example of all the callbacks they make throughout the entire show.

While season five has some of the same similarities as other seasons, this season is missing the humour that the other seasons had for me. Previous seasons did a wonderful job in balancing the comedy with the seriousness of the various topics. This season seemed to forgo some of the usual comedy to take a more serious tone throughout the season. I feel like Todd and Mr.Peanutbutter provided most of the comic relief in the other seasons and both of them took on a more serious tone this season.

Throughout the seasons, we have seen the characters grow and develop and become more comfortable with themselves. However, just because they are comfortable with themselves, does not mean they don’t have any flaws. The comfortability some of them have with themselves is a flaw that they don’t see as a problem and creates problems. Another note about this season is that I feel like it didn’t really give us anything new about the characters, or really developed that much this season. Most of what we get from the characters is from the progress they already made in other seasons. Some do grow and change, but I feel that this season was mostly stagnate.

This season does deal with various aspects of the human experience as others do but does not really expand on previous issues or touch on any new issues. We still get the same Bojack dealing with addiction and depression, but it’s the same as in the other seasons. Bojack does have a self-realization moment in the season finale. It feels like a long time coming based on other stuff that has already happened to Bojack.

Verdict:

Watch it. This season was not my favourite season. It may be my least favourite season, but that’s not to say that it wasn’t good. All the seasons are great, and I think the other seasons had a lot more going for them. I don’t feel the show itself is getting deteriorating but just needs to try and take more risks and offer a sobering perspective like it has done in the past. This season offered what we have come to know and expect from Bojack. If you are a fan of the show, you will enjoy this season. Bojack definitely has a unique way of being able to capture and show the struggles of dealing with grief, or heartbreak or rejection and that is why I love it.

Bojack Horseman Season Five will be on Netflix September 14th.

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