He’s drank and caroused and just generally burned his life down, over and over again. This is the burden carried by the women and men who publicly accuse the famous figures who have assaulted and abused them - they risk their entire career for a shot at justice. BoJack Horseman has continually proven itself to be one of Netflix’s smartest, most inventive series, taking the sort of storytelling and emotional risks not often seen on TV… Major, major spoilers for season five follow. But it also adds a surprisingly important thematic underpinning to the entire season, as these sorts of dark dramas are often about those who seek to skirt responsibility for terrible things they’ve done. When Philbert suspects that he might be the one who killed his wife (the crime that haunts him), his show lets him off the hook by inventing a twist that proves he didn’t do it. In the season’s last section, BoJack checks into rehab to work to contain his latest addiction (to painkillers). All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. And the show concentrates on this theme not to excuse bad behavior, but, instead, to try to help us understand how it can be better combatted before it happens, how self-loathing becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of destruction — I am a shitty person, who does shitty things. Season 4 of Bojack Horseman saw our obnoxious antihero take on the reigns of fatherhood, only to prove just as terrible at the job as his parents. Another focuses on Diane’s understanding of herself as a woman of color and her place in the world which, while a noble attempt, doesn’t stick the landing. Nothing really changed. Bojack is in a better place; he’s nicer, less intoxicated, and is actively contributing to the happiness of those around him, or at least, trying to. I'm fascinated by all forms of storytelling; movies, television, mythology, fairy tales, and urban legends. glamorizing the toxic elements of traditional masculinity? We encourage you to read our updated PRIVACY POLICY and COOKIE POLICY. BoJack Horseman has always been about how our worst impulses feed into each other, all of the ways that mental illness can feed addiction, or that addiction can feed doing terrible things to other people. Bojack Horseman is a reprehensible, yet relatable character, but he always feels the consequences of his actions, eventually. BoJack Horseman season 5 is a bold, bracing look at a culture that shirks responsibility; Insecure dropped a big reveal in its latest episode. That’s the hard part.”, And our storytellers have a responsibility to tell tales that don’t glamorize destructive behavior, (although the extent of their influence on society is questionable, it surely has an impact). Imagine having to reconcile that character’s destructive behavior with the unintended consequences of behaving (and being enabled) in such a way, in a climate where women are finally calling out those damaging patterns on a far larger scale. And our storytellers have a responsibility to tell tales that don’t glamorize destructive behavior, (although the extent of their influence on society is questionable, it surely has an impact). That’s a problem, because as Bojack happily lets Gina soak up her newfound fame (a huge deal for the equine egomaniac), he secretly indulges in his painkiller habit, which at some point, morphs into an addiction. We can certainly condemn toxicity, but we could do without the “holier-than-thou” mentality - we already tried that with organized religion, and it didn’t work out so well. But even as the series insists we can inherit damage, can have trauma visited upon us, it doesn’t let those who pass along that trauma to others get off easily. Forgiveness, atonement, punishment - who cares? Hollyhock, the best member of Bojack’s awful family, is the unlucky one who uncovers that unpleasantry. After all, if any showbiz satire on television could plumb the depths of its main character being held accountable for past misdeeds by a #MeToo-esque movement, it’s BoJack Horseman, which is as haunted by the past as any great ghost story. While Hollyhock is supportive and loving, there’s absolutely nothing she can do for Bojack, other than to make him promise never to take painkillers again ... unless he gets into a terrible accident. It’s unlikely that Bojack will ever have that happy sitcom ending - he might just have to settle with being “ok.”. The reset button is hit. If there is a reason BoJack can remain our protagonist, it’s because he, however fitfully, makes a few steps forward every season. He does care for people, and he occasionally thinks beyond himself to care about them on a non-superficial level. Princess Carolyn is thriving in her role as producer, and roommate Todd finally begins to flourish, for once undergoing a season-long arc instead of going off on wacky tangents. A few weeks of decent behavior can’t take it all back - people have just stopped caring for him. The two are always together-but-separate, providing companionship without the emotional support. There was too much this season for a single article to outline - the creative team behind. Season 5 sees the main characters drifted apart, with everyone attempting to start afresh. Well, what if you’re not? Thus, Diane reaches the conclusion that it’s not “Philbert,” it’s Bojack, and his simplistic view of himself as a “bad person” that is the problem. Run by the self-proclaimed genius Flip McVicker (a very funny Rami Malek), the in-show series allows BoJack to lampoon just about every trend of dark cable and streaming dramas, which leads to some of the season’s best jokes. And true to form, Bojack’s greatest mistake has come back to haunt him yet again, as a recording of Bojack admitting what almost happened with Penny falls into Diane’s lap. The show didn’t need it. . Bojack is trying to change, slowly but surely. From Character Actress Margo Martindale, to Aparna Nancherla, to Jessica Biel and more, this season continues to be an embarrassment of unexpected but delightful riches on that front, in particular thanks to the vocal stylings of Wanda Sykes and Issa Rae. Gothic novels are obsessed with borders. He has money. There's a 50-50 Chance We Really Are Living in a Simulation, Scientific Study Determines Sinister Is the Scariest Movie Ever, 5 Truly Twisted Horror Movies Worth Watching (Once), 19 Weird New Facts We Learned About Star Wars, The Batman Is Utilizing The Mandalorian's Virtual Production Method, Borat to Stream on Twitch With DrLupo in a 'Battle for Global Supremacy', Here Are the Best Graphics Cards From Both Team Green and Team Red, BoJack Horseman is one of the best portrayals of mental illness in pop culture, Things Ghost of Tsushima Doesn't Tell You. What’s not to love? Community was one of the most inventive shows in TV history. We live with our mistakes, we carry them with us, as do the victims of our worst impulses. That’s the hard part.”. We never know how important an election really is until long after it’s over. "Something has to change," is the thesis of the whole season, on macro and micro levels, for every character - and it’s nice to see a show push itself in ways that may challenge how we, the viewers, interface with the stories we love. But he’s rich and powerful. And when it comes to BoJack this season, there is no rooting for him. We can keep making the same mistake, or we can attempt to improve. There is no empathy provided for his continually radioactive, self-destructive behavior. But he still does bad things. newsletter. It just started streaming on Netflix. It’s hard to ignore the needling discomfort that comes from a white actress portraying a woman of color (in a time when that discussion is bountiful, to say the least) trying to understand what her own Vietnamese heritage means to her. BoJack wants Diane to write an article taking him down, because he wants to punish himself. We are all making day-to-day decisions that define us by the moment, and we’re free to veer off and change course any time we want. Without a doubt, the highlight of the season is the series’ more emotional investigation of its women, like Princess Carolyn and her maternal woes, and Diane, who is fully in crisis after the disintegration of her marriage to Mr. PeanutButter. Indeed, their simplistic, opinionated articles might just be making the problem worse. There’s a particularly insightful conversation between Diane and her editor, Stefani, where Stefani urges Diane not to hold herself to the same ridiculously judgemental standard of their clickbaity takedowns, because life is already unforgiving enough. It’s one of the reasons I suggested, back in the show’s second season, that it would be a successor to Mad Men, and I’m astonished at how the series hasn’t really gone wrong since. But the series remains as winning and funny as ever alongside all of this, and possessed of a confidence in its ability to do whatever it likes — including staging an episode where two characters who seemingly have nothing to do with the main plot fill us in on the other characters’ adventures anyway. Nobody wants to be defined as a victim, least of all those who have sacrificed everything for a slim chance at stardom, whose success rests on the shoulders of public perception. There’s no guarantee things will improve, but all we can do is try. That is the Herculean emotional task BoJack Horseman has decided to lean into in its fifth season, and it is honestly thrilling to see a series interrogate itself and its antihero to such an effective (and entertaining) degree. Chip in as little as $3 to help keep it free for everyone. But the series also twins that idea with the idea of blame, the idea of finding a scapegoat and sometimes even a completely justifiable scapegoat. But the bombshell doesn’t lead to Bojack’s own #MeToo moment as one might expect, but complicates his personal life, creating further distance between him and Diane. The Supreme Court ruling on Pennsylvania mail-in ballots is a blow to GOP — but the 4-4 vote should scare Democrats. But the more I think about this sequence and the many leading up to it in season five, the more I think Bob-Waksberg and company haven’t avoided holding their protagonist accountable. He has excuses, like the undiagnosed depression, or the chemical dependencies, or the shitty childhood. It’s easy enough to imagine BoJack’s ghosts stepping into the light. BoJack Horseman continues confidently down the thematic rabbit hole with a fresh and poignant season that's as devastating as it is hilarious. (If Will Arnett doesn’t win an Emmy for his voice performance, it will be a bigger travesty than usual.) which places Bojack Horseman in the same category as other popular male anti-heroes, the bad-boy role models - Tony Soprano, Frank Underwood, Donald Draper, and now, Bojack Horseman. It feels ever more like a miracle that this show exists and that it refuses to give lazy answers to complicated questions. While Bojack Horseman has always explored the process of trying (and failing) to improve, season 5 has been all about false starts, surface-level improvement that fails to dig deep. The show he was on gets canceled. John Cornyn becomes the latest Senate Republican to ramp up criticism of Trump. Bojack Horseman is a reprehensible, yet relatable character, but he always feels the consequences of his actions, eventually. Possibly. Then he “grew up,” got a real job, created an in-house sexual predator and watched him fail his way to the top. We all do, though some more than others. We can choose to hold grudges, or to move on. Les Chappell. Though the characters begin the story separated, they slowly come together through the show at the center of the show, and. There’s also side story involving a mad sex robot who ends up running the series’ version of Netflix. I write about film, television, pop culture, and other fun stuff. This season, this particular message is highlighted by the fact many of the people in Bojack’s life try to steer him in the right direction. TV Reviews BoJack Horseman 9/14/18. Here’s why it’s worse than it looks. It’s a complex question, and one the show is boldly asking itself, and its audience. Powerful, damaged men that do terrible things tend to be forgiven by society, and forgiven very quickly indeed, but self-righteous Twitter hashtags can only go so far. Gina is faced with a terrible choice - be defined by that terrible moment for the rest of her life, or pretend it never happened, to laugh with the man who assaulted her on-camera and convince the public that Bojack is a nice guy.