Bojack Horseman: Season 6, Part 2
Bojack Horseman sends off its central characters almost too neatly, but its tone is near-perfect: the choice to continue living, trying, failing, and starting over is conveyed with cynicism, humour, and hope
At its mid-season finale in October, Bojack Horseman’s titular celebrity seemed lined up for a reckoning of Biblical proportions as his misbehaviours inched towards the light. This second half of the season does not play into expectations, to its strength and detriment.
Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s signature wit is on full display – the puns are more egregious than ever, and letting the show luxuriate in a longer format for its sixth season allows all its beloved characters to enjoy unforced, unrushed arcs. That said, some of the series' momentum and sense of imminent catastrophe is lost in the process. The result is a quieter finale, letting moments of reflection shine through, but dampening the full impact of the damage Bojack unleashes on himself and those he loves.
The manner of this inevitable reckoning is the only area in which Bojack could have used even more time. A few threads left hanging at the mid-season finale and in the second half's early episodes are never tied up, leaving a sense that – however cataclysmic Bojack’s comeuppance turns out to be – there remains unfinished business and abandoned amends. This lack of closure may be realistic in the business of addiction and abuse, but in a larger-than-life show that has always used its ridiculousness to hit home hardest, the result is dramatically underwhelming.
A special mention must go to Will Arnett, who has delivered a consistently brilliant vocal performance throughout the show but reaches new heights here. In the words of a long-lost friend, Bojack is a ‘talented charmer and a stupid piece of shit’, and Arnett sells this perilous dichotomy with a vulnerability that keeps him just the right side of sympathetic.
Bojack Horseman sends off its central characters almost too neatly considering the beautiful, calculated mess of the show’s first five-and-a-half seasons. Its tone, however, is near perfect. The choice to continue living, trying, failing, and starting over is conveyed with cynicism, humour, and hope at its end.
Bojack Horseman series 1-6 are available on Netflix