Everyone's favorite self-loathing alcoholic horse is back for more. And in its fifth season, Bojack Horseman is still a hilarious show. With a superb writing and some disturbing moments that are classic Bojack.
There was so much going on this season. And I have so many feelings about it. Almost every character undergoes some morbid or depressing arcs. Themes like, media normalizing things that shouldn't be normalized. And a large dose of self-criticism took the show to a whole new level.
The show also added some new cast members to its already stellar roster. Stephanie Beatriz did excellent voice acting as Gina Cazador. She really made the character come to life. She’s so talented! And she was easily one of the highlights of the season. Rami Malek and Bobby Cannavale also did a great job playing Flip McVicker and Vance Waggoner respectively.
While Season 5 still have the vintage Bojack downfall spiral. This time the show got also super meta. Philbert, the show Horseman agreed to do at the end of season 4, is basically a stand-in for the show Bojack Horseman. I mean, it's a show-within-a-show. That could be very confusing, but it was brilliantly executed.
Philbert is there for one reason only. To give us constant reminders that the terrible actions of the show’s main character aren't supposed to make us feel better about ourselves. Basically, the showrunner and writers are calling-out the viewers for missing the point of the character. And saying that we should stop using Bojack’s bad behavior to justify our own bad behavior. And I thought that was a very clever way to address this situation.
But the best thing about this season was the creative uses of storytelling. It kept the show fresh. Diana solo episode ("The Dog Days Are Over”) is a shining example of that. This Season had some major character development for her. I think she is done with Bojack now. And hopefully, she will move out of that awful apartment next season. Other examples of amazing storytelling were the therapist (“INT. SUB”), and the Halloween party (“Mr. Peanutbutter's Boos”) episodes.
The, already infamous, episode 11 of this season was also fantastic. “Showstopper” might be one of the best episodes of the series. BoJack's face, when he's strangling Gina, is so disturbing. And the idea that she had to give up on justice in order to have a career is so depressing.
But “Free Churro”, also known as the eulogy episode proves how insanely original Bojack Horseman is. This is one of the best television episodes ever made, in my opinion. 5 minutes in and I thought "how awesome would it be if this entire episode was a monologue”? And then, we’ve got a 22-minute monologue episode.
And to think that just one episode before that, Bojack was complaining to Princess Carolyn about too much dialogue in a tv show: "TV is a visual medium. No episode should have that much talking!" The attention to details in this show is absolutely amazing!
Not many writers can come up with a 22-minute monologue that is so captivating and real. But Raphael Bob-Waksberg did some of the best writing in tv in “Free Churro”. Which is not a surprise, since he has been doing that for the last 4 years now.
The episode also helps us finally understand why Bojack is the way he is. And how awful the relationship with his parents have been. Props to Will Arnett. He totally deserves an Emmy for his performance in this episode. That was probably a very difficult recording session. But he totally nailed it.
My only criticism about this season is how they treated Todd. I wish he had some more actual development. Most of his storylines were hilarious, as usual. And somehow the sex robot storyline turned into the emotional highlight of the show. However, I really didn't care for the dinner at Yolanda's parent's house. And I was super disappointed that nothing really important came out from his interactions with Emily. I hope they come up with some more depth for the character next year.
Overall, this was another great season of Bojack Horseman. The whole thing was so beautifully well crafted. And I loved how it just builds on all the other events from previous seasons. It was basically a confirmation that even after all the efforts of becoming a better person, BoJack is still doing terrible things. But hey, he did check himself into a rehab facility in the end. So who knows, maybe he will become a better person after all.
Hopefully, we will have a sixth season. In BoJack's words, “closure is a made up thing by Steven Spielberg to sell movie tickets”. But I really want to know what’s next to my favorite humanoid horse.