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BoJack Horseman season 5 review

The fifth season of BoJack Horseman further cements the program as one of the best on Netflix. With each season surpassing the latter by building upon strengths and exploring new territories, season five expands on this and certainly delivers.

BoJack Horseman is a unique show that spans genres and has made a name for itself over the last few years, thanks to its refreshing approach to mental health issues. As summer fades and autumn comes around, a new season has dropped and it’s the perfect time to binge, as the clouds forming in autumn reflect those in issues within the show.

For those who’ve seen BoJack Horseman before, season five follows a similar formula of its predecessors, beginning rather lightly and easing you back into the world of Hollywoo, before throwing you into the well of mental health issues and, in this season, sexual harassment.

From the difficulties of adopting as a single mother, to post-divorce melancholy, to exploring one’s asexuality

To begin with, the season focuses more on non-titular characters – Todd, Diane, Princess Carolyn –with BoJack initially playing a supporting role. The role of these characters in the show grows throughout the season to form individual stories that are enthralling in their own right. From the difficulties of adopting as a single mother, to post-divorce melancholy, to exploring one’s asexuality, each storyline grips. These characters are so strong that I almost forgot that there was someone missing from the picture.

And then there came BoJack.

Every season he explores his vices, voluntarily or forced, and each season I think “maybe he’ll be okay this time around.” And each season he does something awful and I always think to myself “maybe he’ll be better this time around.” And after watching each season I let the credits role because I can’t seem to move.

These are difficult topics to address, particularly within the bright, whimsical world of Hollywoo

Season five is much the same. It’s a harrowing watch in places, tackling mental health issues, drug addiction, sexual harassment, assault and more. These are difficult topics to address, particularly within the bright, whimsical world of Hollywoo. However, it does so in a way that’s approachable and empathetic, without praising BoJack for the awful things he does and without glorifying the aforementioned issues. BoJack Horseman does bad things and the supporting characters acknowledge this without praising or enabling it, which is important. Nevertheless, the content is heavy; if TV can easily influence your feelings, I’d recommend treading lightly – it’s a tough watch in places.

Despite this, it’s not all depressing. The show sprinkles humour throughout and silly anthropomorphic animal puns are aplenty – they’re just mainly in the background. Nonetheless, they serve as a nice break in the clouds and are an essential component of the show, offering a giggle in between the heaving sobs.

BoJack Horseman season five is a nod to the previous four seasons in its format and approach to sensitive issues, but it doesn’t stagnate, it develops to stay fresh. The storyline is gripping and weaves through several narratives to culminate in character developments that aren’t predicative, overall creating an amazing fifth season.

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