Season Review: BoJack Horseman Season Five

Could this be the best season of BoJack Horseman yet?

BoJack Horseman has officially dropped its fifth season.  That is quite an accomplishment considering most animated shows tend to struggle to get past the third season.  Yet, Netflix has invested in BoJack, and the fans continue to eat it up.  In fact, the popularity of the series has prompted the streaming service to invest heavily into adult animation.  Many Netflix shows over the last few years probably owe a big thank you to BoJack’s success including latest hits like Big Mouth, Disenchantment, and Paradise P.D.

Over four seasons, BoJack has been driven by two main factors, intelligent writing, and some genuinely outrageous narratives.  The first few seasons took BoJack to some audacious places and would sometimes rock some emotional topics.  Season four, for me, was a bit of a struggle, there wasn’t a healthy balance between the humour and seriousness.  In all honesty, I am not even sure if I finished watching the last season or if I lost interest at one point or another.  That’s not to say I don’t love the show and I was very excited for some new content.

Thankfully, season five is on point for all fronts.  The show has landed in a comfortable zone of taking on all of the best parts of the series and keeping you invested the whole season through.  The writing is better than ever.  For a show that relies heavily on intelligent narrative, this season feels like an accomplishment.  Somehow, they have taken a historically sexist man-horse and turned him into a male feminist in one episode and then let him give a 26-minute long insensitive eulogy in another.  And, after a roller coaster of a season, the finale was a potent conclusion.  Not only does it tie together some of the themes we’ve been watching for years, but it also offers some great insight on current social issues.

I have to say that I was shocked at how much I loved one of the earlier episodes “The Dog Days Are Over”.  Dealing with her divorce from Mr. Peanutbutter, Diane gets back on her own feet and decides to take a trip to Vietnam.  A storyline that sounds cliché; however, it was done in such a narrative fashion that it offered us something completely original.  Not only was the timeline very wonky through the episode it is driven by a “top ten” style list written by Diana herself.  Interesting the whole way through, the ending was an emotional lift that really helped to bring her character into the next season.  I genuinely believe this is one of the best episodes of the entire series and despite watching this show all day, I would watch that episode again right now.

One thing about the new season that eyes were watching was the line-up of guest stars.  BoJack has offered some all-star voices in memorable characters over the years.  Season five delivers on those high expectations.  Stephanie Beatriz steps into a season-long role of BoJack’s love interest and co-star, her time on Brooklyn 99 makes her so much more lovable in this role.  A couple of my personal favourite comedians Wanda Skyes and John Leguizamo added some great moments, with the latter playing Axlotol’s father who writes erotic novels – brilliant.  And, of all the people in the world, Whoopi Goldberg makes an appearance, though if you blink you may miss it.

Much to my surprise season five has been my hands down favourite run of BoJack.  While there is always something to be said for the first season of anything that airs this long, the show feels like it finally found its groove.  If the writers, animators, and actors can keep this balance of humour and style, there would be no reason why this show couldn’t stay on Netflix indefinitely.  If you have been on the fence about continuing watching the show for whatever reason, put that adversity aside.  BoJack Horseman season five showcases a realism of our lives through the lens of your favourite characters.

Score
9/10

Jesse Bereta

Jesse (Green Onion) Bereta is a chef of words. Classically trained in the kitchen, Jesse changed careers in ‘015 to pursue his passion of writing (and being a full time pop culture nerd). Aside from his work as a freelance writer, Jesse also operates his own website, podcasts, and is a father of two budding sprouts. The Green Onion headquarters is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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