“Bojack Horseman” entered its fifth season on Netflix on Sept. 14, and features 12 episodes starring Will Arnett as the titular character, with Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, Aaron Paul and Amy Sedaris. This season focuses on the animated human-horse hybrid starring in a new TV show, titled “Philbert,” and Bojack’s continued issues with depression and addiction. Diane (Brie) and Mr. Peanutbutter (Tompkins) struggle with relationships, Princess Carolyn (Sedaris) looks to adopt a child and Todd (Paul) continues to be Todd.
This show is amazing with each new season, and it left a lot to be discovered following the tremendous fourth season, so the expectations for yet another season of Netflix’s most consistent show were sky high.
Once again, “Bojack Horseman” did not disappoint.
Season 5 delivers 12 episodes that range from very good to out-of-this-world spectacular, each of which feel new and innovative from the next. The show uses a brilliant amount of storytelling methods that are uncommon and original in order to make the majority of episodes feel like something you’ve never seen.
Where much of seasons 2 through 4 hit on ideas of depression and isolation to capture its emotion, the new set of episodes feels more fueled toward aggravating the viewer, making them invested in these characters, only to often be let down by many of their actions.
Arnett in the role of Bojack is truly exceptional once again, and it should be considered highway robbery if — and most likely when — he doesn’t get an Emmy for his work. The way he has shifted Bojack into the perfect antihero is nothing short of masterful, and the “Free Churro” episode in the middle of the season is just about the best thing this show has ever made.
As with every season, it is not just Bojack that has a storyline worth telling. Princess Carolyn’s struggles consistently hurt to watch, and Sedaris’ performance is as good as always. The same comes with Diane, who is often easy to hate, but always understandable through her character. Todd has more story than usual in this season, but is great at bringing in some well-placed comedic moments.
The returning cast continues to shine, and continues to build some of television’s greatest characters, but there are two new faces who excellently find their way into the story.
Stephanie Beatriz is a perfect counter to Bojack in her role as Gina, who becomes more of a centerpiece as the season unfolds, with her performance in episode 11, “The Showstopper,” along with Arnett, being some of the best the show has seen. Rami Malek’s work as Flip McVicker, who was teased in Season 4, is also great, and is a smart way to show the inner workings of a writer dying to get his work on the screen.
Aside from episodes six and 11, which are arguably the best of the season, there are some brilliantly fresh ideas in “The Dog Days are Over” and “INT. SUB,” that I adored, and it is these types of new ideas that keep “Bojack Horseman” on top.
Arnett was born to play this role, and is joined by tremendous voice work from the entire cast. The dramatic themes on display throughout the season all hit with a brutal amount of impact that left me with my jaw dropped on more than one occasion.
The plot continues to intrigue, the characters continue to develop and the seasons continue to impress as Season 5 is one of the best in television today.
“Bojack Horseman” displays once again that a series based on a horse can really be one of the most relatable and human shows running today.
Best Episodes: Free Churro, INT. SUB, The Showstopper
Worst Episode: Planned Obsolescence
5/5 stars, 10/10, whatever all that is