The following is spoiler-free:
After six seasons of genre and era-defining work, the story of Bojack Horseman is finally coming to a close. On January 31st, Netflix released part two of the final season and with it one of the truest and most fitting endings to a show in a very long time. The finale pulls no punches and gives no easy relief for the truly terrible things its leading horse has done over the seasons. Things come full circle in the most introspective and beautiful way; this is a truly fitting end to one of the most fantastically written television series of all time.
The second half of season 6 features a clear tonal difference to the previous seasons, one that has been creeping in ever since the beginning. Bojack Horseman famously changed the way many looked to critique television after several publications gave the show awful reviews having only watched the first half of season 1. This totally discounted the huge tonal shift in the second half of that season, which looked to explore the deeper issues we now know and love the show for. The second half of season 6, however, takes this shift further than we have ever known.
Although it is still an undeniably funny show, the humor comes slightly fewer and far in between. We really dive into the mental health of the characters, expanding on themes of consequence and responsibility. Without spoiling anything, the conclusion to the final episode is masterful. Touching, melancholic, and deeply emotional. Every story thread might not be tied up in a perfect bow, but that is life. The ending is purposely imperfect, just as our protagonist Bojack is deeply flawed and far from perfect himself. The finale embodies all the aspects that elevate this show far above so many others.
The ways in which the characters are allowed to grow naturally over time may not always be what the viewer wants or expects, but it is always moving in a direction that feels true to the decisions of that character. A common criticism of television and film is to scrutinize poor character decisions, thus leading to labeling it poor writing. If anything the opposite is true, the writers of Bojack Horseman allow Bojack to make the wrong choices at so many points, but it all fits into the fascinatingly broken character we know and love.
That is not to say that this final half-season is without faults. There are certain side characters, such as Todd, who the writers were unsure of how exactly they wished to use them. Overall at times, there was a lack of the same laser-focused direction of previous seasons. Things also slightly stall a bit a few episodes before the end. This does not completely ruin the experience but it slightly prevents the season from being the best of Bojack we have gotten so far. This, however, is an incredibly high standard to reach and is by no means saying that these 8 episodes are not utterly amazing.
These are just simple minor gripes with 8 episodes to finish off one of the best shows in television history in a superb way. The show does not end with a bang and crash and also does not end with a whimper of a slow fade into the night. The show ends as it lived, proving it is far more than the dumb raunchy horse comedy many thought it to be. Instead, it was a beautifully introspective masterpiece.
The final season of Bojack Horseman is now streaming on Netflix!
Follow writer Michael Slavin on Twitter: @MichaelSlavin98