TV review: Bojack Horseman

Will_Arnett - photo by by David Shankbone

Will Arnett

The Trials and Tribulations of a Cartoon Horse

Back in the 90’s, he was in a very famous TV show. However, last week, Bojack Horseman, the main character of the Netflix original series who is a struggling middle-aged actor (and happens to be a horse) returned in the fifth season.

The main plot of the show has evolved from its early days of playing on the fact that animals and humans can live amongst each other in this make-believe Hollywood setting, this season appears to have a deeper meaning, with brushes of real-life issues being splashed across the story.

Whilst still as cleverly humorous as previous installments, season five takes a slightly darker road, approaching alcohol abuse, drug addiction, death, male superiority, and the #metoomovement.

Leading man/horse Bojack, portrayed by Will Arnett, is both relatable and despicable in his actions, from the conflicts he experiences with his parents to the sexual misconduct a young woman accused him of.

What separates Bojack Horseman from other shows currently addressing so many modern-day issues, is the subtle and at times humorous way these issues are addressed. In light of the Luis CK and Harvey Weinstein accusations, in which scores of women publicly outed the men for lewd misconduct in the workplace, we are introduced to new character Henry Fondle. Fondle, a poorly assembled sex robot who’s dialogue only contains sleazy sexual innuendos and commands, is promoted as the head of a corporation and becomes one of the biggest businessmen in America. This playful jab from the show’s creators acts as a reminder of how people in these powerful positions can act on a day to day basis, whilst at the same time portraying these sexual deviants as moronic, brainless pests.

Season five shows the audience that you could be a Hollywood actor or a waitress, but everyone has the same issues, and we are working hard to live our best life. At first glance one might question how a cartoon centred around a horse, a cat and a twenty-something woman can tackle such complex issues, however, Bojack Horseman at times seems truer in its storytelling than shows with real-life actors.

Watch the season 5 trailer here:

Photo credit: David Shankbone

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