There is so much that can be said about the silly, chronically depressing, laugh-so-hard you-cry and then, well, you actually just cry show that is BoJack Horseman.
The critically acclaimed Netflix original animated comedy has had some brilliant episodes during its previous four seasons (hello underwater episode). And season 5 offered some gems.
Season 5 of sees BoJack in a new lead role as Philbert in the true detective-y, peak TV show Philbert. BoJack is still a narcotic mess but we catch him on an upswing as he finds success in this over-written show that surely takes a punch at this age of prestige tv. There are certain aspects of season 5 that seem like a clock ticking down (that was not a pun on the “what time is it right now” network that Philbert is streamed on). For one, BoJack’s real life and the life of his character, Philbert are eerily similar –– same house, same girlfriend (Gina/Sassy), same crippling self-loathing. The similarities examine the mental toll it can take on actors to have the line between reality and make-believe get increasingly more narrow. This cannot end well, and spoiler alert, it doesn’t.
Season Five has plenty of the ridiculous schemes that we have come to love in Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s show. I will list some of my favorite capers bullet style:
- Todd somehow become President of the What Time is it Right Now network. In typical Todd fashion he did nothing to make it happen, but his cheerful attitude just leads him through life.
- Speaking of Todd, he introduces the world to one of the best characters, Henry Fondle. I refuse to spoil anything else about this character other than that he has one of the best character deaths I have ever seen in an animated show.
- Mr. Peanut Butter dates an adorable pug girl named Pickles Aplenty or as some know her, the waitress.
- Diane has a beautiful, introspective trip to Vietnam as she works through her vulnerabilities about her heritage and her recent divorce with Mr. Peanutbutter. Her exploration also parallels with the real-life analysis of the show runners on casting Alison Brie to voice Diane Nguyen, the half-viatnamese writer.
- Princess Carolyn also has a wonderful journey to motherhood and we get a delicious back story of her life in North Carolina. As a fellow southerner I really appreciate the show’s attention to detail, everyone does bring ambrosia to family gatherings.
But what I want to talk about the most in season 5 is the sixth episode: “Free Churro.” The sixth episode breaks all the rules of animated comedies. It has only one person speaking, BoJack (the ever-increasingly talented Will Arnett) in an episode-long monologue. The monologue is actually an eulogy for his departed, but not dearly, departed mother, Beatrice Horseman. It starts off with BoJack lamenting that the only person to show true compassion for his mother dying was the girl behind the counter at Jack in the Box, and offering him free churro. She showed more compassion than his mother had his entire life. The eulogy had all the best parts of BoJack, his soul and his self-loathing, which in this case also extends to his late parents. If you can watch one episode of season 5 it should be this one.
I see you BoJack, I see you.