This review contains spoilers – lots of ‘em!
As season five closed with our favourite alcoholic cartoon horse going to rehab, it was clear that the show was on the brink of change. But after it was announced that Netflix was cancelling the show after season six, my expectations were even higher.
For those of you who haven’t seen the show, it’s important to know that Bojack is so much more than an edgy cartoon with swearing animals. In fact, despite being a comedy, I don’t go to the show for laughs most the time. Despite its ridiculousness, I watch Bojack for the incredible storytelling and the characters that, despite being golden retrievers and pink cats, feel entirely real. And on this basis, it’s fair to say season six delivered.
I can imagine that keeping Bojack sympathetic to the audience has been a huge challenge for the writers over the course of the show. The first episode of this season finds us rooting for him more than ever before as he stumbles through rehab trying to take responsibility for the awful things he’s done. The portrayal of recovery feels so accurate – after seasons of us rooting for Bojack’s sobriety, seeing him cling onto stability made him even more human (even though he’s a cartoon horse).
They’re learning, as Bojack is, that a happy ending won’t come so easy
If part one was about setting up a climatic ending, it did so in the most entertaining way possible. Even aside from Bojack, every character is on the brink of what they want; Princess Carolyn is finally a mother, Diane is making social change, Mr. Peanutbutter is… still not facing many consequences for his actions (the only disappointing part of the season for me). But despite getting what they’ve wanted for seasons, they’re learning, as Bojack is, that a happy ending won’t come so easy.
For a Netflix show, Bojack isn’t massive on season finale cliffhangers. But if the audience was used to relatively calm endings, we were granted no such privilege this time. In what can only be described as a sucker punch, episode eight looks at all the people that Bojack has hurt and leads us to wonder whether it’s too late for him after all. If this show has one cohesive message, it’s that there are no bad people, only bad choices. But whether Bojack and the people around him can keep believing that is yet to be seen. Fun stuff.
Last modified: 19th November 2019