BoJack Horseman: Season 5

My love of Bojack is well known. And I am happy to report that it is still the funniest comedy on TV. And somehow also the saddest at the same time. How they walk this line is beyond me. It probably has to do with the talking animals. BUT the critic in me, however much he enjoys the show, noticed a small but undeniable step backwards for the show.

Bojack has a new show: Philbert. He plays a tough talking no nonsense cop who probably killed his wife. Maybe. The show runner is kind of a creative diva and hasn’t finished the season. Of course everyone in the group somehow gets involved with the show, Mr. Peanut Butter becomes a co-star, Diane becomes a writer, etc, etc. But Bojack cannot separate his life from the show (because the modeled it on David Boreanaz’ house (a super hilarious call back)). And instead of progress, he reallllllly regresses. With the help of a lot of pills.

Each of your favorite characters get about one episode to explore their trauma and struggles: Diane’s divorce, Princess Carolyn trying to adopt, and Todd, in a super funny episode, being introduced to his asexual girlfriend’s super sexual family. In a creative master class (that ultimately is un-rewatchable) they spend an entire episode allowing BoJack to give a eulogy to his mother – no cuts, no other characters, just dialogue.

The question this season forces me to ask is: how long can I watch unpleasant people be depressed? If something horrible can happen, it will happen in this show. Either in the present tense or in a backstory. And that is not an exaggeration. The last season ended on a hopeful note for BoJack. This season kicks it to the curb. He’s done some bad things, but what happens in this one is literally the worst. Like it’s honestly horrible. How long can I laugh at a character who continuously doesn’t learn? Will they let him learn? Or keep him in the cycle? Maybe that’s the creative point. But sometimes, it feels like BoJack is trying to make too many points with too many characters. We get it, everyone’s fucked up in their own way. Can I laugh without crying now please?

Also, where is Hollyhock? She was a super important part of the last season (and part of the emotional redemption of BoJack) and she is straight up gone except for like one episode. And only to expose BoJack’s pill use. Which, really? He’s been abusing pills and alcohol since season one and now it’s an issue? It was kind of a comedy that he could put so much away.

Personally, this season became a drag. A hilarious drag. While it also ends a wee bit hopefully, I can’t help but feeling that the next season will be too hard to watch. Because BoJack will just do something horrible and I won’t be able to stand it any longer.

3.5 out of 4 stars.

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