Review: BoJack Horseman (Season 6, Part 1)

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As we reach the end of an era, the new season of BoJack Horseman proves to be just as unforgettable as the episodes that came before.

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I always say that binge-watching BoJack Horseman is a form of self-care.  That way, the heartbreak is over more quickly, and you can move on to the healing process as soon as possible.  The first installment of the final season did nothing to prove me wrong.

As usual, BoJack Horseman launches into its typical intensity from the first episode – which is also quite possibly one of the best from the series as a whole.  The first episode, ‘A Horse Walks Into Rehab’, picks up from the end of season fives and shows the titular protagonist finally checking into rehab.  After years of watching BoJack self-destruct with an unwavering persistence that affected audiences all over the world, it was hard not to be nervous for the cartoon horse.

The result: an incredible piece of television. It never fails to amaze the audience that a cartoon world of anthropomorphised animals could so accurately depict such realistic tragedies.  The opening episode shows the difficult journey of recovery with care and precision.  For anyone who has experienced recovery from depression or addiction, this season is painfully relatable.  Rarely has television produced a main character who is so unforgivable in his actions, but who can evoke such sympathy is his journey to rehabilitation. Aided by the self-aware metaphor of climbing a mountain, recovery establishes itself as the central theme in this final season. Of course, in typical BoJack Horseman fashion, it’s not all a message of hope – when Dr Champ says to Bojack, “Of course you did this to me — because I cared about you and you ruin people who care about you…I want you to remember this, BoJack. I want you to remember what you did to me” it feels like a punch in the gut, a reminder that the protagonist will never be able to escape his past mistakes.

Once again, the supporting characters are spectacular.  This season shows a more unsightly side of Mr Peanutbutter as he comes clean about his affair. Diane Nguyen comes one step closer to her own feel-good story as she begins a healthy relationship with Guy, but finds she can’t escape her problems with depression. And Princess Carolyn. Honestly, if Princess Carolyn doesn’t get a happy ending at the end of all this, I’m going to riot.

All of this is building up to the second part of this season, which is contain the final episodes of BoJack Horseman (dare I say…the end is neigh).  After the announcement that the show was coming to an end, it was confirmed by the cast and crew that it had been cancelled by Netflix, despite critical claim and a worldwide audience.  It’s unclear whether this was linked to the company’s changing business model, or the rumoured unionising of the animators, but the news came as a shock to fans.  The show has been at the forefront of representing social issues in an unparalleled way and so news of its cancellation was met with backlash from fans.

Of course, having had the time to craft a satisfying ending, there’s still plenty of anticipation for the show’s final installment.  With the tense ending in which Hollyhock was on the verge of discovering what really happened in New Mexico, and reporters about to uncover BoJack’s link to Sarah Lynn’s death, it seems that our protagonist has further to fall. It’s hard to say whether BoJack Horseman will have a happy ending. But what we can count on, is a remarkable conclusion to the story that has captured our attention over the years.

BoJack Horseman Season 6 Part 1 is out now via Netflix. Watch the trailer for the latest series below:

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Records Editor 2019/2020. Second year French and Spanish student. Always going through some kind of music-based phase, frequently crying about The Cure.

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