Review: BOJACK HORSEMAN SEASON 6 – A Fantastic End to a Seminal Series

FIRST IMPRESSION

A wonderful look at the final ups-and-downs of Bojack life.
Writing
Direction
Voice Acting
Drama
Humor

It was a hell of a ride as we followed the highs and lows of Bojack Horseman and his friends over the years. After six seasons the show has come to end with a final two-part series.

Following the events of Season Five, Bojack has gone to rehab for his alcoholism and has to face up to his past. Princess Carolyn struggles with her newfound parenthood, and Mr. Peanutbutter suffers from guilt after sleeping with his ex-wife, Diane. Diane travels across America with Guy the cameraman, working as an investigative journalist.

The sixth season was split into two distinct parts: the first focused on Bojack’s recovery, the second being about Bojack’s world finally collapsing. Both are linked by the theme of the past. This was introduced in the first episode where Bojack has to look back at what drove him to alcohol with each flashback going further back in time. The shadow of Sarah Lynn continues to linger over Bojack. In the first episode, he sees a photo of Sarah Lynn when she was in rehab and a flashback showed Bojack inadvertently gave Sarah Lynn her first drink at the age of 10.

The first half of the season focused on Bojack’s recovery. He conquers his alcoholism and seemed to get his life on track. Even though Bojack can move on, other characters can’t. The episode “A Quick One, While He’s Away”  showed some of the characters who have been affected by Bojack. Kelsey had to make ‘immersive product placement’ since her career has hit the rocks, Gina suffered from PTSD, and Sarah Lynn’s mother believes there was more to her daughter’s death than a drug overdose; leading to two journalists to investigate. “A Quick One, While He’s Away” was a great episode because it showed what happened to these characters and adds to the wider theme that no one can run away from their past.

Bojack’s actions with Sarah Lynn leads to his downfall. The exposé about her death starts a chain reaction where all of Bojack’s misdeeds get revealed. Although the fans know the details about many of these incidents an outsider would see Bojack’s actions as incredibly dodgy. Bojack ends up going down his darkest path which is remarkable considering the number of benders the character has gone on. This all leads to one of the best episodes in the show’s entire run: “The View From Halfway Down.” In that episode, Bojack gets reacquired with characters who died throughout the series. “The View From Halfway Down” was poignant, especially during the second half when Bojack realizes what’s happening. Sarah Lynn’s final verse of her version ‘Don’t Stop Dancing’ and Bojack’s call to Diane were particularly moving and tragic, whilst Herb offers a grim view about what happens after death.

Whilst Bojack had the major journey, the other characters also have major milestones. Diane has the biggest subplot because she starts a new relationship with Guy and moves to Chicago. She finally faces up to her depression and becomes more relaxed because of this. She develops an attitude that the world is burning so what the hell. But she also becomes determined to write a book about her past so justify the abuse she suffered and comes to the false conclusion that her anti-depressants hold back her creativity. She finally gets her life sorted.

In the episode “Feel-Good Story” Diane acts as an investigator and tries to bring down an amoral tycoon.  I loved the ending which had a view that nothing changes and we can’t make a difference. It was similar to the ending of “Chickens” which was wonderfully nihilistic.

Todd has a storyline involving his troubled relationship with his parents. After six seasons we finally get to know more about family background. Todd ends having to help his mother and reconcile with her in his haphazard way. The episode “The Kidney Stays in the Picture” showcased Todd’s ability to luck his way through life and offered up satire about wealth and race in America.

Todd has two other plotlines. The bigger one was Todd launching a dating app for asexual people and seeks to a partner with similar interests. His previous girlfriends were Emily who wanted a sexual relationship and Yolanda who he had nothing in common with. Todd also does what he does best, come up with business ideas: this time he succeeds in childcare.

Finally, there is Mr. Peanutbutter who has relationship troubles with Pickles. He has a moral dilemma after sleeping with Diane. When Pickles finds out what happened Mr. Peanutbutter comes up with an unusual solution. When the public finds out the ever loveable Mr. Peanutbutter experiences something he never has: being hated. It gives a hint of what Bojack’s future might be.

The final season of Bojack Horseman does supply comedy as well as drama and was even able to mix the two. My favorite comedic subplots were the assistant’s strike which led to the collapse of Hollywoo and the introduction of two journalists who spoke in a fast manner like they were from a screwball comedy.

It’s bittersweet for a show like Bojack Horseman to finish but it was the right decision to let the show end on its own terms instead of going stale. The final season does end the show on a satisfying note and has the right mix of drama, tragedy, comedy, and social commentary.

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