‘Bojack Horseman’ Final Season Review: You Might Not Like BoJack When It’s Over
Netflix divided the final season of BoJack Horseman into two parts of eight episodes each. The final eight keep up the momentum and really lean into the poignant drama of BoJack (Will Arnett) ’s growth, though never forgetting to be hilarious satire.
BoJack has always been a complicated character who causes harm to the people around him. He’s a compelling toxic jerk because he’s entertaining, and perhaps because he seems like he’s genuinely trying to be better. If you can still hang with BoJack after he caused Sarah Lynn (Kristen Schaal)’s death, the show is going to dare you to stick with him before the end.
Catching Up with BoJack Horseman
The new BoJack Horseman episodes don’t pick up right where the first eight left off. Don’t worry. The reporters are still on the BoJack/Sarah Lynn story, but the show goes further down the road for BoJack before he has to face them in the final season.
BoJack is teaching acting at Wesleyan which seems like a good fit for him. He can be close to Hollyhock and work in his field without self-interest. The BoJack version of Glengarry Glen Ross is funny.
BoJack Horseman is past apologies
BoJack actually owns up to his role in Sarah Lynn’s death and learns a palpable lesson. Apologizing is better than making excuses but there’s no 100% redemption. He makes the humble choice to own it and live with the consequences. Then the show Confronts him even further. Viewers will learn more unseemly things that happened behind the scenes of Horsing Around in this final season that will be difficult to reconcile with the past six seasons.
If BoJack Horseman makes it hard to sympathize with him, the last episodes dare you to find redeeming qualities. That’s the complexity in which this show deals. It does want you to see the value in a complicated character but it won’t spoon feed you.
The new Diane
Every season of BoJack Horseman has a bold experimental animation episode. There was “Fish Out of Water” and “Time’s Arrow.” Episode 2 (or 10 of we’re counting the whole season) does that for Diane (Alison Brie).
Diane is trying to write her book and the show visualizes it as cutout line drawn animation. It might be based on Don Hertzfeldt but a greater animation scholar would have to verify. Her book chapters all the distractions and personal trauma that plague creatives.
Diane is also on antidepressants. The show really captures the roller coaster of adjusting to medication, like it really feels trying to balance out, then uses animation for the surreal version. Raphael Bob-Waksberg and other BoJack writers are open about their struggles and you can tell they are speaking from experience. The human story grounds the surreal depiction.
BoJack Horseman’s last laughs
While BoJack Horseman is indicting its title character and exploring its supporting cast’s struggles, it hasn’t forgotten to be funny. All of the above is happening in a Hollywoo that seems to be cramming in every last joke they can before they lose this sandbox in which to play.
There may be more tongue twister celebrity name alliterations in this half season than there have been in the whole series before. Many come courtesy of fast-talking journalists Paige Sinclair (Paget Brewster) and Maximillian Banks (Max Greenfield), giving a His Girl Friday twist on them. There’s a Stephen King/Stephen Sondheim Joke that’s a masterpiece of construction.
BoJack’s desperate attempt at a raunchy comedy is hilariously animal-centric. They flashback to the ‘90s with more irreverence than ever, overly acknowledging that they’re in a ‘90s flashback.
So BoJack Horseman definitely ends on a wistful note. It’s not quite melancholy, but the secret drama rightfully wins out in the end. The last eight episode make sure you’ll never forget how funny BoJack Horseman was either.