Animated comedy tackles political issues

For comedies, later seasons often become a drag, rehashing previous plotlines in an unchanging setting until they become boring for audiences. However, the fifth season of Netflix Original “BoJack Horseman” breaks this precedent.

“BoJack Horseman” released its newest 12 episode season Sept. 14, and it perfectly blends comedy with real-world commentary in its traditional style.

The show follows half-man, half-horse BoJack Horseman, voiced by Will Arnett (“Arrested Development,” 2003-2018, and “The Lego Movie,” 2014), and his life in Hollywoo, where he is starring in the show “Filbert.”

Unlike many comedies, the show does an excellent job of characterization. Most characters have distinct story arcs that add on to what occurred in the previous seasons while being realistic in their development.

Mimicking real life, problems aren’t always solved by a conversation and in some cases, they cannot be solved at all without time and distance.

Each character is shown to have his or her own goals and flaws which drive their decisions, good and bad. These complexities keep viewers questioning and realigning themselves as the plot unfolds.

Despite this, the season maintains comedic pull. It contains several themed episodes like “INT. SUB” that lighten its content enough that it can discuss serious issues without alienating viewers.

The show’s satirical setting allows it to poke fun at the entertainment industry and expose flaws within it. Episodes like “BoJack the Feminist” use the fictional setting to discuss issues like the media normalizing problems and a lack of responsibility by public figures.

The brand of pessimistic comedy utilized in previous seasons continues, but does not come across as overdone due to a changed setting. Cheesy catch phrases and puns contrast nicely with the darker humor, making the show more palatable for viewers.

Season five of “BoJack Horseman” is an excellent continuation of the previous seasons. It provides entertaining comedy while also provoking thought with complex social messages and dual narratives.

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