By Brennan Atkins
Arts & Features Editor
By Noah Barnes
“Bojack Horseman” season six presents Will Arnett’s return as the titular alcoholic horse for one last ride. The Netflix original series premiered in 2014 and became the streaming service’s most unexpected hit.
We even praised season four in our very first “Couch Boys” review.
We commended the show for its in-depth commentary on how actors have to struggle with stardom, and how depression can make a person’s life spiral out of control. In past seasons, the show puts an emphasis on Bojack’s alcoholism, and the narrative never shies away from showing Bojack at his worst. However, the final season shows Bojack confront his past mistakes at last, and he seeks rehabilitation.
Unlike other seasons, there is a strong sense of recovery – viewers go through a journey of how someone has to integrate themselves back into society after feeling so distant from it. Bojack attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, becomes active in therapy sessions, and even reignites his theater passion by becoming an acting teacher.
However, while it feels satisfying to see Bojack become a better person after this whole journey – his past mistakes aren’t washed away – and it reveals a greater theme expanding throughout the whole series. You can only move on once you’ve admitted you’ve made mistakes that have hurt people, and people aren’t always going to forgive you. Running away from these mistakes instead of confronting them can consume a person’s life, making them lose sight of what is really important.
These psychological ideas contrast well with the satirical look at Hollywood and the modern world we live in. Medication, social media, globalization of corporations, suicide, and how the media can create a public image of a person are all topics that are tackled in this season. This may seem to be a lot for one season to take on, but the way in which the writers tackle these issues is highly effective.
It’s important to note that other characters are given a good deal of screen time as well – Diane (Alison Brie), Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins), and Todd (Aaron Paul) each have their respective narratives – all of which reinforce the show’s themes in one way or another.
For instance, this season shows Todd trying to rekindle the love of his estranged parents, and prove to them he has grown up. They haven’t talked in years, and it seems as if the goofy, loveable Todd from past seasons now has to deal with something very real.
The comedy can range from simple references to big names in Hollywood (we particularly liked the bit referencing Zack Snyder) to silly tongue twisters thrown out in the middle of conversations. Princess Carolyn has always thrown these troublesome tongue twisters out, but the writers got really creative with dialogue such as, “You’re telling me your dumb drone downed a tower and drowned downtown Julie Brown’s dummy drumming dum-dum-dum-dum, dousing her newly found, goose-down, hand-me-down gown?”
“Bojack Horseman” may feature one of the best conclusions to an animated series we’ve ever seen. From early on, the show presented the idea that stories don’t necessarily have good or bad endings – rather, just endings. This conclusion is a perfect example of this – everything doesn’t have to work out, but there’s always a silver lining as well.
It was a solid conclusion to one of Netflix’s best shows to date.