BoJack Horseman Final Season Part Two Review: You do the Hokey Pokey and you Turn Yourself Around.

4 and a half stars
And so one of the greatest animated series of all time has come to an end.
What a wild, depressing, existential ride it has been.
Why Netflix decided to pull the pin on BoJack Horseman I will never understand but I am at least thankful that they gave creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and the other writers enough time to end the show right.
And end it did, with the second half of season six bringing an end to the character arcs of BoJack (Will Arnett), Diane (Alison Brie), Todd (Aaron Paul), Princess Carolyn (Amy Seradis), and Mr Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tomkins) amazingly.
All five of these characters get great sendoffs that fit their storylines well.
As set up in the first half of the final season, many of BoJack’s past misdeeds catch up with him, especially the death of Sarah Lynn.
One thing I believed coming into this second half was that BoJack would have truly changed for the better and try to make amends for all he had done.
Well, now I can see that I clearly overestimated BoJack because he is still the painfully flawed, yet somehow still sympathetic, character he has always been.
We even learn some disturbing facts about some of the things he did that honestly made me feel a little guilty for sympathizing with him.

downer moment
Only BoJack could give horses a bad name while still being sympathetic.

But the way his story ends is perfect for him and can even be viewed as a punishment of sorts.
Then there is Diane and Princess Carolyn who both get fantastic endings as well that left me very touched.
As for Todd, he continued to be as insightfully wacky as ever in the conclusion of his story, making the simple nursery rhyme of the Hockey Pokey  inspirational.
The last of the main cast in Mr Peanutbutter, who I was honestly concerned about in the first half of the season.
I thought they were backtracking on his character arc but, thankfully, they follow through on it in this half, giving him a satisfying conclusion as well.
Then there is Hollyhock, with the way her relationship with BoJack developed in the wake of her learning about his horrible actions being realistic, yet heartbreaking.

pete repeat
BoJack and Hollyhock’s relationship does not really have a resolution but that’s the tragic point.

As well as the characters, many of the episodes are incredible as well, especially the last two.
The fifteenth episode, “The View From Halfway Down” is actually pretty horrifying at times and is easily one of the show’s best episodes.
And then there is the finale, the perfectly titled “Nice While It Lasted”, which wraps up all the character arcs and ends on a note that hits you right in the feels.

halfway down
The last two episodes of BoJack Horseman are haunting and conclusive.

There is a lot to love about the second half of the final season.
However, sadly, it is not perfect.
I, for one, was disappointed about how various characters got sidelined.
This is most obvious with Gina who it felt like the show was hyping up to be one of the people who exposed BoJack.
However, she and the trauma she suffered from her experience are never brought up again apart from a blink and you’ll miss it moment.
But, even though I was disappointed by this aspect, there is still so many amazing things about this final season and BoJack Horseman as a whole.
In fact, I think there is only one thing that I can say that will sum up my feelings about the show having ended.
BoJack Horseman is gone and everything is worse now.

 

BoJack Horseman Season Six, Part One Review: A Surpisingly Happy First Half… Until The End.

4 and a half stars
At the end of BoJack Horseman‘s fifth season many of the characters looked like they were in happier places.
BoJack (Will Arnett) was finally going to rehab to get the help he needed, Mr Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) proposed to his girlfriend Pickles (Julia Chan), and Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) had adopted a child.
However, based on what I knew about these characters, I highly doubted these instances would make the characters happy in season six.
This was because after all BoJack had been through and done I was unsure if he ever could change, and both Mr Peanutbutter and Princess Carolyn appeared to be ignoring their own problems by taking on their new responsibilities.
So, imagine my surprise when all three characters did end up happy in this season.

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Despite characters like Mr Peanutbutter looking like they were heading in an unhappy direction at the end of season five, they are happy in season six.

Granted, this was probably because Netflix had decided that this sixth season would be the final one but creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and the other writers really wrote these characters emerging happiness right for the most part.
The one exception to this is definitely Mr Peanutbutter because the story they seemed to be building up for him in season five is pretty much ignored in favor of improving his relationship with Pickles, which I am not sure was the right decision.
However, this is only the first half of the final season so I cannot judge Mr Peanutbutter’s storyline too harshly because it has yet to be completed.
And, other than him, I loved the direction the sixth season took, especially with BoJack as by the end of the season it is clear that he is a changed horse.
This resulted in many heartwarming scenes like the final interaction between BoJack and Mr Peanutbutter.

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BoJack’s scene with Mr Peanutbutter pays off a scene that I never thought would be and I love it.

Then there is Diane’s (Alison Brie) sweet, growing relationship with the buffalo Guy (Lakeith Standfield) and Todd’s (Aaron Paul) relationship with his stepfather and mother, which looks set to be expanded upon in the final half.
All of this builds to put all the characters in happy positions at the end of the fist half, most of all BoJack… only for the final episode just tears that all down.
“A Quick One, While He’s Away” has to be one of the most gut wrenching episodes of the entire series.
Just as BoJack is redeeming himself and becoming a better person his past truly comes back to haunt him, with many of his darkest secrets looking to be exposed in the second half.
And, as someone who considers the final scene of season four to be the most heartwarming moment of BoJack Horseman, the last scene of the final episode made me feel like I had been sucker punched.

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I loved the season four finale so much that it made me cried so to see that happy ending threatened by the the last episode of the first half really worries me.

I am now genuinely scared about what is going to happen to BoJack in the final season.
One thing is for sure, though, and that is that the first half of season six has built up to whatever this finale will be nicely.
It started by building up a feeling of hope before pulling the rug out from under us with a crushing final episode that has me eagerly anticipating the final half.
I know it will crush me emotionally but I have to see it through.

BoJack Horseman Season Two: What is Happiness?

4 stars
“What does it mean to be truly happy?”
This is what I found asking myself after watching the second season of BoJack Horseman.
Picking up where the first season left off, this one sees BoJack acting in the role he has been pursuing for years, that of Secretariat.
However, even though this is what he always wanted, BoJack still struggles with the meaning of happiness and how to get it, resulting in often disastrous consequences.
The second season picks up brilliantly from the thought provoking cliffhanger of the first one with BoJack’s struggles, which make him even more sympathetic.
One feature I particularly liked was how the relationship between BoJack and his mother is portrayed and the effect this has on BoJack.
It was this portrayal that allowed me to understand many of the actions BoJack took, even the reprehensible ones.
I was shocked that, even after he committed an absolutely disgusting breach of trust in episode 11, I still found myself feeling sorry for him, which shows just how great his characterization is.

Bojack and Charlotte
BoJack’s breach of trust in episode 11 is reprehensible but somehow, even after this, the show managed to make me feel sorry for him.

BoJack is not the only great character this season though, as many of the other main characters grew exponentially making me care for them a lot more.
This was achieved through the portrayal of relationships.
Mr Peanutbutter (Paul F. Thompkins) and Diane’s relationship was done a lot better than in the first season and one of their final scenes together had me grinning from ear to ear.
As for Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), her growth through her relationship with a workmate had me cheering for her by the end.
Finally there was Todd (Aaron Paul) whose friendship with BoJack not only made him grow as a character but also helped BoJack be more sympathetic and relatable.
Even the side characters shined this season with me coming to care for many of them like Kelsey (Maria Bamford).
Even background characters who barely speak stand out on occasion.

It Gets Easier
“It gets easier” this character who is often seen in the background tells an exhausted BoJack, providing a double meaning about happiness that shows the importance of even background characters in this show.

The humor this season is also good but not as good as the first, with the series’ main selling point being its complex characters and relationships that speak volumes about what it is to be happy and the dangers of celebrity status.
One criticism I do have though is how the Secretariat storyline played out, which kind of went off the rails half-way through the season.
It was set-up that this storyline was where BoJack would pursue his happiness throughout the season but it got pushed to the side by the end only to suddenly reappear.
All in all though, this was another great season of BoJack Horseman that brought up complex questions about happiness.

BoJack Horseman Season One Presents an Unlikable yet Surprisingly Sympathetic Main Character.

4 stars
I have heard a lot of good things about BoJack Horseman over the years in terms of its emotional power.
The main thing I hear people talking about when they reference this show is not its comedy or animation but its heart and, after watching season one, I can definitely see why.
Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, BoJack Horseman is set in a world where animals are just as evolved as humans and thus live side by side with them.
The titular protagonist of the series is BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett), a has-been actor who, after his popular sitcom Horsin’ Around, quickly descended into a spiral of narcissism, self hatred, and loneliness.
BoJack has been hoping for his big break into Hollywood again so is trying to write a book about himself but, when he proves to lazy to do so, the company publishing his book hires Diane (voiced by Alison Brie) to be his ghostwriter.
What follows is both a funny and very emotional story about the effects stardom can have on a person… or horse in this case.

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Season one details the effects stardom has had on BoJack in a very interesting way.

What I especially liked about Bojack Horseman was how the main character himself was portrayed.
BoJack is an unlikable character because of his selfish and sometimes cruel actions but the thing is you are not supposed to like him.
So many shows like Family Guy present unlikable characters and expect you to root for them after their horrible actions.
BoJack Horseman, however, does not do this.
The audience is supposed to dislike BoJack and this allowed the writers to branch off from this unlikable nature to show BoJack’s vices is affecting.
This allowed BoJack to, once again not be likeable, but sympathetic, even after all he did throughout that first season.
The final two episodes of the season  highlighted this very well, with the season finale leaving me feeling immensely reflective.
These episodes are by far the best of the season.

Bojack Horseman final episodes 1
The endings to the last episodes of the season “Downer Ending” and “Later” really got to me on an emotional level.

The series also does a great job of highlighting real world issues and topics that may not be as relevant anymore but were big problems in the old days of Hollywood.
The other characters, aside from BoJack, are handled just as well as him and serve to highlight the show’s themes and BoJack’s arc as well.
Another thing I liked about the show was its humor.
While  I did find a few of the jokes to be hit or miss, whenever the show made a joke about the animals that live in this world as people it was often comedic gold.
The one big problem I have with the show is its first few episodes because this is before we are given insight into BoJack as a character so all we see of him is his selfish and cruel nature, which does not offer much investment.
Since so much of this show revolves around BoJack’s arc this makes these first few episodes kind of a drag to sit through but, once it starts getting into why BoJack is the way he is, the show gets a lot better.
Overall, the first season of BoJack Horseman was a great start that has me intrigued about the other seasons.
It turned an unlikable main character sympathetic and I love that because it is not an easy thing to do, but this show achieved it.