Bojack Horseman is my spirit animal. I started watching Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s irreverent comedy this year and consumed every season available within the first month of finding out about it. The show spoke to the dejection and cynicism I’ve grown all-too comfortable with.
Will Arnett plays the titular character, Bojack Horseman, as he tries to claw his way to relevancy once again while also juggling his many vices.
If you haven’t watched the show before, this is where you should stop reading. Seriously, this show is amazing and you shouldn’t soil the firsthand experience you would get by borrowing your relative’s Netflix account. From here on out, spoilers will abound.
The fifth season kicks off with a show within the show, “Philbert,” and it appears to be going smoothly. Fans of the series know that this means it’s about time for Bojack to start messing things up to some degree. Bojack reverts to his bratty attitude and begins making demands on set and alienating the crew. In the midst of this, Diane Nguyen and Mr. Peanutbutter are struggling to find a semblance of normalcy post-divorce. Diane does so by running away to Vietnam and Mr. Peanutbutter finds comfort in a new romantic interest: Pickles Aplenty. Todd Chavez is attempting to make his first real relationship work, and Princess Carolyn is continuing on her quest to become a mother.
The characters of “Bojack Horseman” are growing season by season, and I think it’s fair to say that fans weren’t sure what to expect after the season four finale. Many shows suffer from having to top their own work, but it seems as though the directors behind “Bojack Horseman” have chosen to eschew this issue. Season five is the exhale of relief after season four put fans in a vice grip and forced them to hold their breaths in anticipation for what would come next.
Instead of running the risk of jumping the proverbial shark, season five pumps the brakes a bit and lets the characters attempt to take back control of their lives. Bojack is an arguable success once again, but he has to grapple with the smallest issue fans have seen him face thus far: addiction. While that may seem laughable after the crazier stunts he’s pulled over the years, it makes for a compelling and realistic dynamic we haven’t seen from Bojack thus far.
The same statement could be made for every other main character in this season — everyone is trying to change. There are a lot of creative differences with this season when compared to the others; in my opinion, the risks taken have paid off. The episode, “Free Churro,” is a perfect testament to what viewers can expect from season five as a whole; it’s also my personal favorite episode of the series thus far.
The actors are all still fantastic in their craft, and Hong Chau, voice of Pickles Aplenty, is a wonderful addition to the overall cast. “Bojack Horseman” continues to be the kind of show that can be thrown on and enjoyed at any time. I don’t know how many times I’ve rewatched this series, and season 5 is no different in levels of rewatchability.
“Bojack Horseman” continues to deliver, and season five maintains the pace of excellence. If the first five seasons are any indication, the sun won’t be going down in Hollywoo anytime soon.
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