Bojack Horseman Season 5 Review: I Can't Watch This Show Anymore

Updated on December 6, 2019
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Ash has a bachelor's in English Lit. She loves analyzing fiction and obsessing over books, film, and television.

I can't watch this show anymore -- and not because I think it's a bad show or because I'm offended or anything. I'm actually not offended at all, I think Bojack Horseman is a brilliant show, and I wish there were more shows like this and less shows like Family Guy.

So why have I quit the show, you ask? Read on.

I'm tired of watching Bojack be a self-destructive jerka**. It's actually really depressing, and the longer the show goes on, the more depressing it gets.

Take Bojack and Hollyhock, for instance. Bojack can't help but mess up his relationship with her. He belittles her PTSD about that time she nearly died of an overdose, and when she says she loves him, he can't even say it back -- which obviously hurts her feelings.

The one person who loves Bojack unconditionally, and he treats her like shit.

I take back what I said in my 1-3 season review. Bojack is not a relatable jerk with a secret heart of gold. In fact, as the seasons progress, he becomes a bigger and bigger narcissist. He goes from being kinda snarky and depressed to being a full-on sexual predator and a violent woman beater.

He's not just like Diane at all, and Diane had every right to be offended when he tried to say they were the same. Diane is not a perfect person. She is full of self-loathing, and as a result, can't get her act together and just enjoy life. But she is not deliberately mean, she is not a sexual predator, and she would never ruin someone's one chance to be successful for the selfish reason of keeping them around as a pet she can abuse -- I am, of course, talking about Todd and his rock opera.

It used to be that I liked Todd because he was the only character willing to call Bojack out on his s***. Now Diane is doing it too, and I just love her for it.

I also have to say that -- as a radical feminist -- I was really impressed by the show's commentary on feminism. At first I was annoyed because I felt there was just too much politics. I don't watch adult cartoons so I can think about how oppressed I am by the Patriarchy, you know? I watch adult cartoons to laugh and not think about the fact that I could be raped and either a) serve a life sentence for killing my rapist or b) be forced to raise the child of my rapist because abortion has been deemed "murder."

An underdeveloped fetus that isn't self-aware and can't feel pain is not a "baby," which is why women aren't allowed to get abortions after a certain number of months, when the fetus has actually become a baby. Learn science, pro-lifers who hate Diane and us other crazy women who think women have the right to bodily autonomy.


I made myself continue the season, and I was impressed by how Bojack was basically used to demonstrate how men can't really be feminists, and how most men are just saying they are to either get laid or be publicly adored.

To clarify, men can't be feminists because men can never really know what it's like to be a woman. The most they can do is be an ally.

Also, the show gets ten points for throwing shade at scumbag Joss Whedon, the ultimate "male feminist."

I really admired that the writers went all out and unapologetically said what they believed about female oppression, feminism, and misogyny without pandering to the mostly misogynistic males who predominantly watch the show. I really respected that. Because I've watched far too many adult cartoons throw minorities under the bus in order to protect their ratings, and it just sickens me.

I also love that there was an entire episode that bluntly stated Bojack wasn't someone who was written to give jerks excuses for being jerks. I loved that. And I loved that Diane -- the female character most hated by male viewers -- was used to say it.

Too many adult cartoons have jerky male leads, and too many jerky male viewers see them as an excuse to be jerky people. The writers of Bojack Horseman tore that the f*** down, and it was damn awesome to watch.

I was a little bit gleeful that Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter were still in love. I believe they both still have feelings for each other and that Diane just isn't willing to admit it.

It's amazing how the fanbase hates Diane so much. It's amazing that they blame Diane entirely for the situation, calling her a "homewrecker," as if Mr. Peanutbutter had been forced to have sex with Diane, as if Mr. Peanutbutter couldn't shape his mouth to say, "No, I'd better not come up to your apartment for sex."

Somehow, women are always framed as evil temptresses and men are so helpless to their throbbing libidos. Can you feel me rolling my eyes?

I really need to just stay off reddit. Fandoms ruin everything.

Everything about Todd was unfunny and felt pointless, and I wish Todd would either go back to being the voice of reason (like he was in the earlier seasons) or just leave the show.

My opinion. What ya gonna do?

The back story about Princess Carolyn was pretty great. I loved learning about her life before becoming a producer, and how and why she is the way she is.

I was admittedly sad about her breaking up with Ralph back in Season 4, but now I'm glad that it happened.

Ralph is a coward. And I guess it makes sense: he's a mouse. He always stands up for what he wants retroactively. Back in Season 4, he waited a long time to stand up to his family and protect Princess Carolyn from their crap. Later in Season 5, he decides to try being a part of her life again -- something he should have done the same night she kicked him out of her apartment.

Princess Carolyn deserves someone who is willing to fight for what they want. She can do better than Ralph, and I'm glad he's out of her life.

She also finally got to adopt a baby like she wanted. I imagine Season 6 will be full of hilarious motherhood jokes.

Now for the reason I'm really done with this show.

As I said in the first few paragraphs, I'm tired of watching Bojack destroy his own life and not get any better. People criticise Diane, but she's actually a good person, and what's more, she actually makes an attempt to be a better person. Meanwhile, Bojack carries on destroying everyone around him as beligerently as possible and gets a pass by fans because he's male.

I -- somewhat naively -- thought Bojack was actually doing better and turning into less of an asshole early on in Season 5. Then he let me down with his constant pill-popping and the way he treated Hollyhock, and it just got worse from there.

The final straw was when he strangled his co-star, Gina.

Gina is clearly a parody of Liv from Law and Order. She gets strangled by Bojack while he's high on pills, and the entire scene was just too graphic.

Gina choking and gasping while everyone just stood there watching, and then the writer of the show telling them to turn the cameras back on . . .

That kind of graphic violence against women isn't funny to me and never will be. So yeah. I guess I am "offended." I just know I don't want to watch anymore of this show. Listening to Gina get choked was just a bit too real.

A few episodes before, we are shown Mr. Peanutbutter choking a female co-star during filming on Bojack's show, almost as if the writers were trying to ease us into a more graphic scene where a woman is violently choked and a joke is made out of it.

It's like the writers can't support women and women's rights without also degrading women in some way. They say something in favor of women's rights -- then they make a period joke. Almost as if they are trying to keep the loyalty of misogynistic viewers while also appearing to be progressive and feminist.

The choking scene with Gina and Bojack felt very much like that, like they wrote the scene to appeal to the misogynists they might have pissed off a few episodes before. It's disgusting, and whatever respect I had for the writers is gone now.

You're either a feminist or you aren't. You either care about women as human beings or you don't. You can't have it both ways. You can't try to appeal to everyone or else you'll wind up appealing to no one.

This is my opinion and my opinion of a television show is harming no one. I'm not outside the studio protesting Bojack Horseman, I'm not harassing the writers on Twitter or sending them death threats in the mail.

I'm just writing my opinion and sharing it online -- which I f****** am allowed to do.

And there's nothing you can do about it.



This is an update.

I wanted to come back and elaborate on why I reacted so strongly to the season finale. My explanation is kind of personal, but then, Bojack Horseman is the kind of show that makes things personal. It's probably what I enjoy most about it.

A lot of people look at this show and can't handle it because it challenges us to recognize our own flaws. That's something that people just can't seem to do (check out my Neverending Story article for my elaboration on that).

Like a lot of people, I connected with Bojack because I, too, was struggling at the time to be a better person against all odds. Bojack was a trainwreck of a person, and so was I.

When I was watching Season 5 last year, I was actually going through a spiritual awakening. This meant that I had to confront my own demons and overcome my deepest flaws in order to elevate my vibration. It's the number one reason a lot of my articles on Hubpages have gone from angry and snarky and silly to chill and snarky and silly.

I am on a spiritual quest. And now that I've gone through the worst of it, I can kind of take a breath and look back and realize that I overreacted to the end of this show simply because I was going through my own personal crap.

By the time that I looked at the season finale for Season 5, I had managed to raise my vibration so high that I found myself giving up things that no longer served my highest good. This meant that I became a pescatarian and gave up violent video games, because my body could no longer handle that low vibrational energy.

I am also now a Buddhist.

So when my purified mind came into contact with the violence in the final episode, I couldn't handle it. When before I spent my life beheading people in bloody, violent video games like Skyrim, suddenly, I couldn't handle five-minute violence in an adult cartoon.

I feel that my body and mind are so clean of toxins now that I probably still couldn't go back and look at that episode again without being as psychologically shocked as I was before. But because I distanced myself from the show, I can now look at the ending for what it was.

The writers were trying to make a point about the downward spiral of a victim of emotional abuse who was pretty much a narcissist or well on his way to becoming one. Having been raised myself by an emotionally abusive narcissistic parent like Beatrix, it touched very close to home to see Bojack's decline.

Interestingly enough, I was actually in the process of overcoming my own trauma and becoming a better person, even as Bojack was in the process of succumbing to his trauma and becoming a terrible person. I suppose that's why it was so hard to see, the reality that I could have chosen differently and wound up some kind of addict because of my mother's abuse . . . (Now you know why I was able to give that in-depth analysis regarding Season 4. It's because I've lived Bojack's life.)

In other words, this show is so real. And it's so real in a good way. I don't really believe the writers were being sexist. As I mentioned above, they were trying to tell a specific story and (unfortunately) used violence to do it.

But because my energy now vibrates higher, Bojack Horseman is, unfortunately, still a show I can not watch. That's not a hippy way of saying I'm too good for this show. It's simply reality: I have vibrated the f*** out of the lower consciousness that it takes to enjoy this kind of violence. I simply can't enjoy it or even witness it without intense revulsion.

So I will not be watching Season 6, but I am glad that I got to see Season 5.

This really is a great show.

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    © 2018 Ash


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