Bojack Horseman: Season 6 (2019)
creator: raphael bob-waksberg | runtime: 25mins – episode. | animation, comedy, drama
Those of you who are familiar with Waksberg’s one-of-a-kind Netflix show know that, despite it’s comedic core, it has it’s melancholic tendencies. Not in a showy way though, the anthropomorphic animal and human world are rich with real-life anxieties that very often leave themselves, and the entire show, embedded in your brain. To balance this kind of weight with the absurdity of it’s satirical world is a feat in it’s own, but with the shows ending finally here Bojack Horseman has cemented himself as one of the greatest and most flawed character to ever reach our screens. Season 6, while being one of the funniest openers they have ever done, puts everything on the surface and makes it’s main character face his demons once and for all.
One of the beautiful things about Bojack is that, unlike most sitcom formats, it keeps it’s previous woes and laughs with it. From the ‘Hollywoo’ sign dropped into the back of every episode, or the continuous holes that each character digs themselves into. But the beauty is, while we pray for some kind of recovery or rehabilitation for Bojack, his problems become bigger and greater and in some respects he kind of gets what he deserves. Sarah-Lynn’s death, his very obvious addictions, the complete alienation of his closest friends, they all come back to bite him on his arse in one brutal and exploitative interview. But that’s in the latter parts of the season, and Bojack wouldn’t be right without it’s episodic focus on other characters.
This time the show actually begins pushing the boundaries of it’s animation, Princess Carolyn has a particularly focused episode that highlights the realities and working-mothers and their struggle. Another episode sees now Chicago resident Diane working on her novel, and while her mind races and the self-deprecation is high it all ignites onto an imaginary book page. It’s this kind of ingenuity that some of the latter Bojack episodes lacked, using it’s already great animation but never pushing it. But Season 6 is balanced, it knows when to stick to it’s guns and when to branch out. Even it’s most loved characters in Todd and Mr. Peanut Butter get their spotlight, respectively dealing with their romantic problems and Mr. Peanut Butter ironically becoming the face of depression. It’s this kind of irony and though that really acts as another voice for the series.
Not only will the show be remembered for it’s depth but for it’s unique comedy. Every season is rich with humour that goes from satirical to the outrageous, and season 6 is no different, from Mr Peanut Butter’s Lazy Susan restaurant with mini plates, Todd’s incredibly flawed logic and to the continuous digs at popular culture and Hollywood norms. Even in the first episode, as Bojack sits on his hay bail (therapy chair) in rehab, he quickly gets disgruntled by his therapist incessant need to say “it’s a saying” after every sentence. Like usual the final season is rich in it’s humour, continuously using not only it’s characters but it’s language as well – alliterations, puns, metaphors, they are all there. Acting as further proof for just how smart this show really is.
Bojack episodes do so much for the story they are telling but in it’s six seasons it’s had the uncanny ability to have standalone episodes that shine through for concept and story, season 5’s Free Churro (ep. 6) episode is one of the strongest examples of this, but Season 6 aims for the shows most impressive outing. The aforementioned Princess Carolyn episode The New Client (ep. 2) is a force of it’s own because of it’s animation, as well as Good Damage (ep. 10) tackling depression and emotional weariness uniquely, but the standout of the entire season is The View From Halfway Down (ep. 15). For a show about regret and human fault it stands as the most reflective episode the show has, and without spoiling anything let’s just say that Bojack, in a surreal dream-like state, get’s to reflect on the people that have affected his mistakes the most.
In a vast world of heavy cinematic television shows, one that is only getting bigger, Bojack Horseman will forever shine. The absurdity of it’s world, the genius of it’s language, and it’s ability to make you laugh and tear you apart simultaneously make it one of the best shows of it’s medium. With it’s finale done and dusted there may just be a hollow feeling left in the world of adult animation, but we can rejoice in the fact that, after six seasons, Bojack Horseman deservedly takes it’s place as one of the best series to ever grace our screens.