‘Bojack Horseman’ stands at top of Netflix pile


Bojack gives a eulogy at another character’s funeral. Image courtesy of Netflix.

Balancing comedy and drama is a difficult thing to do. More shows have been attempting to find the right mix between the two in recent years. None do it as well as “Bojack Horseman”. This fifth season isn’t the show’s best, but it’s got plenty of what makes this show good.

On the surface, this show is a satire about the culture of show business and Los Angeles in general. As wacky as the show can be, it also has a lot of character depth and complex themes. This new season doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the heavy stuff, but it also mixes in some great lighthearted jokes too. In one scene viewers will watch Bojack descend further into drug addiction and in the next see a sex robot become CEO of a company.

The strength of “Bojack” has always come from its characters. Despite half of the population being sentient animals, every character is treated like a real person. Seeing each character deal with their own flaws is what adds so much intrigue to the show, and the voice acting behind each one is fantastic.

The animation and general art direction are also well done. This is one of the most colorful animated shows going on right now. The wide variety of animals used for the characters also adds a lot to the show’s humor and visual appeal.

“Bojack Horseman” has become notorious for its dark stories. Episodes from past seasons can get downright depressing. It’s impressive how well the show can tell dark stories without taking itself too seriously. Bojack continues to be destructive to himself and everyone around him. His constant struggle for self-improvement is relateable, but at the same time, it can get stale. I guess that’s the point: to show how a damaged person can constantly fall back after making progress.

While other characters are going through their arcs, Bojack still falls into the same old pits and picks up an addiction to prescription painkillers to boot. The problem is that his behavior is more and more leaning to irredeemable instead of something that makes the audience sympathize with him. Addiction can make the patience of those around you wear thin, even if they love you. Bojack eventually finds the right path, but I have a feeling that he’ll only pick up another vice to last him through the next season.

That’s the effect the show can have on you. You’ll start thinking about these characters as if they’re real people. It’s a credit to the writing and storytelling that the show has done, throughout these five seasons. However, as good as it is, the show can’t keep this up for much longer without feeling like it’s dragging on for the sake of making more episodes. I’m not saying the show should end soon, but the show’s sixth season is going to have to shake things up more than this season did.

“Bojack Horseman” continues to be one of Netflix’s best shows, maybe even the best period. It’s one of the funniest shows available today and it balances humor and emotion in ways other shows can only dream of doing. The stagnation of certain characters is a flaw that it will have to overcome in the future and that’s why season five gets four stars.

Final Score: 4/5 stars

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesD on Twitter.