When BoJack Horseman first hit Netflix back in 2014, people weren’t sure what to make of it. The show blended vibrant animation and silly animal gags with genuine pathos and emotional maturity. As the seasons continued, the show got deeper and more creative, whilst maintaining the balance of tragedy and comedy. BoJack is a TV show about TV shows, which doesn’t believe in the easy endings that they often bring. So how did the show that once said “closure is a made-up thing by Steven Spielberg to sell movie tickets” end? Remarkably well.
The sixth season of BoJack was made up of two 8 episode parts. The first of which was released on 25th October and Part 2 on the 31st January. By all accounts, this extended season was a compromise between creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg who “felt the show could have gone on for a couple more years” and Netflix who asked him to wrap it up with a final season.
The first part of Season 6 sees BoJack (Will Arnett) in rehab, Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) struggling to run a business and raise an infant and Diane (Alison Brie) start a new relationship with her co-worker Guy (Lakeith Stanfield). Some stand out moments include a surprise party that goes wrong, an episode about media conglomerates, and a plot about Hollywood falling apart after the assistants go on strike, rather fitting as this was written after both BoJack and spin-off Tuca and Bertie were cancelled at the same time their animators unionised.
The second part of Season 6 sees a newly sober BoJack faced with the consequences of his actions as the past catches up to him. The opening titles now see BoJack drifting through key moments in his and the show’s history, essentially starting each episode with the worst things he’s ever done – for a show that spent an entire season criticising people who continue to defend BoJack, it doesn’t pull any punches.
Technically, BoJack has never been better than in this final season. The animation from Lisa Hanawalt and her team is the best it’s been, brilliantly fusing different animation styles together in some of the most creative moments in the show. The voice acting is consistently great as well. Almost every minor character, often voiced by a celebrity or character actress, is perfectly cast. But Will Arnett as BoJack continues to impress, taking his character to both his most hopeful and darkest places across the 16 episodes.
Unfortunately, most of the problems with Season 6 are down to the rushed nature of it. It’s really a condensed Season 6 and 7, with 5 episodes from each missing. Characters are written out of the show offscreen at times and time jumps imply character development that could have been entire seasons worth of storytelling. This doesn’t particularly matter in the grand scheme of things as the show gives each character a fitting ending and picks the perfect point to conclude. It’s just a shame that the show wasn’t allowed to jump when it wanted, it was pushed.
Harry Cottle is a screen contributor at Forge Press.
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