Review: BoJack Horseman

The beginning of the end…

BoJack Horseman is definitely one of the best shows Netflix has ever made. The decision for Netflix to make season six the last series is such a mystery to me. However, after the release of the first eight episodes of the season, it is possible to see how BoJack’s journey may be coming to its end.

What started off as a whimsical cartoon about anthropomorphic animals living in Hollywood (or Hollywoo as it is called on the show) quickly became more than a comedy. It became a nuanced commentary on fame, addiction, trauma and the cycles of self-destruction. 

Following the end of Season 5, the first episode begins with BoJack (played by Will Arnett), an alcoholic, washed-up sitcom star, checking into rehab after the death of his friend Sarah Lynn. The overall atmosphere of this season seems much less hectic and slightly more muted than its precursors. For the first time, we see BoJack begin to make some real and productive steps towards stopping the destructive behaviours which have prevailed throughout the show so far. Furthermore, the last episode of the first half of series six reintroduces a minor character involved in one of BoJack’s most regrettable mistakes; the night in the Season Two episode when he took his ex’s teenage daughter to prom, gave her and her friends alcohol, and was later caught in bed with her. Importantly, we see the point of view of someone else who was directly affected by his actions, whereas previously we had only seen BoJack’s own self-pity and hatred involving his mistakes. With this, along with reminders of Sarah Lynn’s death, we anticipate that with the second half of the season, some of BoJack’s biggest mistakes will be brought back to the surface and atoned for.

It is not all doom and gloom however; the series is as funny as ever and in classic BoJack style the serious undertones of the storylines are counteracted by satirical comedy on the celebrity world, tongue twisting dialogue and animal puns, including a running joke about the equine therapy which BoJack receives from another horse.

We also continue to see the lives of the other main characters in great detail; the show refuses to reduce any of them to a single characteristic but continues to expand and develop them relentlessly. Mr Peanutbutter becomes the public face of depression while Diane struggles with the condition privately. Todd bonds with his stepfather on another of his absurd adventures, and Princess Carolyn struggles to balance new motherhood with maintaining her successful career.

The final episodes of BoJack Horseman come out on Netflix on the 31st January 2020, and I am sure that they will be every bit as good as the ones before them; here’s to hoping that the writers will give BoJack Horseman an ending worthy of the triumph that is this show.

Photo Credit: The Daily Cardinal