The final eight episodes of BoJack Horseman have aired, and the series is finished.
I wrote my review of the first half of this season way back in the previous decade, back in December 2019. [For the record, I insist that my decades begin on a zero, as do centuries and millenniums (millennia?)]
If the first eight episodes were about giving BoJack (Will Arnett) and his supporting cast the semi-happy ending, the final eight are about burning it all to the ground again. Sort of. As dark and depressing as these final episodes get, there’s an undercurrent of “well…BoJack deserved it” and what I would term melancholy. A pensive sadness, tinged with nostalgia.
Sarah Lynn’s heroin overdose was a pivotal moment in BoJack’s life. That point is driven home, repeatedly, this season. Just when BoJack was sober and seemed to be getting his life together, the investigative reporters who had been digging up information about Sarah Lynn all along finally broke the story about BoJack’s involvement in the troubled young stars death. She overdosed on a heroin named after BoJack!
BoJack’s fall is as hard as it was inevitable.
While BoJack continues to dominate this story, like the Walter Whites, Don Drapers and Tony Sopranos before him, this doesn’t preclude the rest of this ensemble cast from shining. Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) still forges ahead in her indomitable way. Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) is the goodest of the good dogs. Todd Chavez (Aaron Paul) remains the Forrest Gump of this story, forever failing upwards. And, BoJack’s biographer, Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie), remains, in many ways, the heart of the series. In the end, she remains BoJack’s friend, and, perhaps—just perhaps—his soulmate.
The series ends with the two of these characters on the roof of a house, looking at the stars.
No, I never forgot that I was watching a cartoon. It is a cartoon. But, it also managed to hit a lot of the same emotional notes of some of my favorite dramatic series in recent years.
Now, it’s over. I envy those of you who haven’t watched this series yet. Try it out, on a lark, whenever you have a few spare minutes. Just tell yourself you’ll stop watching it if you don’t like it.
That’s what I did. Now, 77 episodes later, here I am.
Firewater’s View-from-Halfway-Down Report Card: A
As Diane Nguyen says in the final episode, “Sometimes life’s a bitch and then you keep living.” This cartoon speaks to me on levels I can’t articulate. I’ll bet you’ll like it, too.
Not for children. Not even for some depressed or substance-abusing adults.