BoJack Horseman‘s sixth season delivers exactly what fans of the series have come to expect: an unstinting view of life’s harsh realities delivered along with hilariously absurd comedy. The unapologetic manner in which it depicts the uglier side of life may bum some people out, but it’s worth watching for it’s blistering honesty and unique humour.
Creator: Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Writers: Mehar Sethi, Kate Purdy, Joanna Calo
Cast: Will Arnett, Allison Brie, Aaron Paul
Seasons: 6 (2014-2019)
Streaming on: Netflix
It makes you laugh and despair
As the first half of the show’s final season hits Netflix with eight episodes, it’s worth noting how BoJack Horseman, an animated show featuring anthropomorphic animals, turned into arguably the best adult animated comedy as well one of the most raw, dark and emotionally resonant shows on Netflix. It does a terrific job of using comedy to show human frailty. In this case, the poor life decisions made by the characters and the consequences they must face. In this season, BoJack goes to rehab and makes an effort to make amends for the damage he has done to others and revisits his own past trauma such as the death of former child star Sarah-Lynn. He’s not talking about getting his act together while continuing to do horrible things as he did in previous seasons, he’s actually trying.
The show’s brutal honesty and surprising emotional depth are both uplifting and depressing. In an episode that follows Diane, BoJack’s journalist friend, she’s casually told by a billionaire whale that billionaires can now commit murder without any legal consequences.
Redemption or crash and burn?
The previous season featured an episode called, ‘Free Churro’, in which only BoJack (Will Arnett) spoke. The episode is a eulogy BoJack gives at his mother’s funeral. Arnett’s voice acting carried the episode and demonstrated why this is the stand-out role of his career. This season Arnett is featured in a similar manner as BoJack spends the majority of it in a rehabilitation facility introspecting about his abusive and neglectful parents and generally irresponsible behaviour as an adult. Halfway through the final season, it’s unclear whether this is a story of Bojack’s redemption or the build-up to one epic final crash.
The show offers no relief
Most typical tragicomedies try to lighten the mood or reach a happy ending. On the other hand BoJack makes viewers stew in the gloomy realities it presents. There’s no easy resolution in sight for Diane’s depression and BoJack’s substance abuse problem among other issues. While the bleakness is easier to digest with animal characters, the show is an unrelentingly bitter pill.