On September 14, season 5 of Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman“ debuted, and it’s arguably the best season so far. This time, BoJack stars as the titular character “Philbert,” on the show-within-a-show for the fictional website, WhatTimeIsItRightNow.com. He has doubts about his showrunner, Flip McVicker, and is hesitant to film certain scenes. Last season, viewers saw Princess Carolyn forge BoJack’s signature on the contract for “Philbert.” Will he walk away from the show?
Princess Carolyn is ecstatic to step into her new role as a producer for “Philbert.” However, she must deal with public relations crises and casting issues along the way. How will she handle her new role? On set, a stunt goes awry, and an actor gets too into his role. Can she save the show’s reputation before it is too late?
Mr. Peanutbutter wants to be taken more seriously as an actor. He yearns to step into roles that will push his acting capabilities and take him to the next level. Will he drastically alter his persona to go further in his career?
This season has all of the elements that make “BoJack Horseman“ so incredibly mesmerizing. The characters all have depth and grow and evolve as individuals. Princess Carolyn progresses in her career and continues to make enormous life choices with confidence. Mr. Peanutbutter has introspective moments and realizes his own foibles. BoJack connects with positive people in his life and takes steps to become a better version of himself.
When friends and family ask me what BoJack is about, I never have a concise answer. On one hand, it’s a soap opera as characters become pregnant, and there are even long-lost twins and long-lost siblings. On the other hand, it’s a romance as characters fall in and out of love. It’s also cathartic, because the characters must deal with heavy topics such as drug addiction, mental illness, car crashes, alcoholism, and physical assault. Time and time again “BoJack Horseman“ reveals itself as a non-traditional anti-fairy tale. It is not a happy story, and it is not an ending with any semblance of closure. I found myself having to pause at least 10 minutes between each episode because of how many raw emotions I experienced.
It’s weird to think that a cartoon about a talking horse could make such an impact, but there is something there. The writers are geniuses who know exactly what they are doing. BoJack has a way of bringing up uncomfortable subjects and opening dialogue so that viewers can discuss these hard situations. I’ll be buying plenty of tissues when I inevitably re-watch the season.