Danielle Hogan & Pavel Zlatin— Arts and Entertainment Editor & 1851 staff
The season five premiere of “Bojack Horseman” was highly anticipated before leading up to its release on Sept. 14. The Netflix original animated series follows half horse, half man Bojack (Will Arnett) filming the first season of series-within-a-series, “Philbert”, with Gina (Stephanie Beatriz), colleague and lover in both “Philbert” and reality, and colleague Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins), as well.
“Bojack” offers a satirical perspective on popular culture while staying topical. Episodes cover the climate in Hollywood culture by giving two of the leading women, Diane (Alison Brie) and Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), extensive screen time. The creators highlight how female marginalization plays into Hollywood and film culture. Both women in the show experience harsh realities that the creators of the show have never fully explored in past seasons. Similar to reality, Diane is brought in as a writer for “Philbert,” where she experiences major sexism from director Flip McVicker (Rami Malek) informing her she was only brought on for a good public image and not her talents.
“Bojack” continues to focus on strong emotional writing. The episode “Free Churro” was entirely dedicated to Bojack giving a eulogy for his mother. The episode is a full monologue, with almost no music— effectively portraying an emotional loss. He constantly fluctuates from nostalgia, anger, sadness, and loneliness. This transparency makes Bojack and the other characters relatable to a broad audience.
The heavily detailed animation helps reveal the emotional descent tied with each character. The color scheme is bright and colorful on the surface but dark and bleak underneath, serving as metaphors for the complicated character arc of Bojack.
Altogether, season five of “Bojack Horseman” did not disappoint anxiously awaiting viewers. This season pushed the audience’s emotions and ideas, while still maintaining the classic “Bojack” satire and honesty. As usual, the season ends on a cliff hanger, leaving viewers wondering how Bojack will be able to bounce back from such tragedies.