At first I was an evangelist, desperately trying to encourage people that yes, the animated Netflix show with the brightly-coloured talking animals and endless puns was actually a stirring treatise on depression, selfishness and the human condition, as epitomised by the titular ex sitcom star (/horse).
But later, once the world had caught up and recognised Raphael Bob-Waxsberg’s series for the quality piece of work it was, I became something else – a slightly self-satisfied viewer explaining to others how the series was now just retreading old ground, unable to move beyond the push and pull of BoJack’s (Will Arnett) progressively deeper rock bottoms and attempts to improve himself over and over again.
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When it was finally announced last year that this new seeason of BoJack would be the last (split into two groups of eight episodes, the first batch of which aired in 2019), I thought it seemed about right. The cast and crew seemed slightly dismayed to be cut down before they had intended, but frankly six seasons seemed like a long enough run to me. Why keep dragging things out once the show had mined this up-and-down storyline so deeply?
But now, having watched the final ever BoJack Horseman episodes, I’m already questioning myself – because I’m not sure if I’m ready to say goodbye to Hollywoo after all.
Yes, these final episodes finally tie together all of BoJack’s sins, mistakes and regrets to create a brutal series of hurdles for him to clear. Yes, the ending is sweetly appropriate, ties back to the first season and offers reasonably satisfying conclusions to all the major characters (with Aaron Paul, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie and Paul F Tompkins continuing to do sterling voice work here).
And it’s not like the new episodes aren’t individually brilliant (albeit without any stand-outs to the level of Time’s Arrow, Free Churro, Fish Out of Water or INT. SUB.) as well or stuffed with great wordplay and gags. It’s a great season, with some episodes – most notably Xerox of a Xerox, Good Damage and The View From Halfway Down, details of which I wont spoil here – making for a genuinely emotional watch.
It’s just that somehow, after years of slow-burn storylines and well-timed rug pulls this final ending just doesn’t feel all that… well, final. Maybe it’s a consequence of this series being split into two parts (something Netflix is doing inexplicably often these days) but BoJack’s big reckoning definitely feels a little underplayed, a little less built up to than I might have expected.
But maybe this was inevitable. After years of great storytelling, perhaps any ending was bound to be a little underwhelming, a little hard to take. And maybe in time, as I sit with this one a little longer, I’ll come to think of this as the perfect way to cap BoJack Horseman off.
For now, though, I find myself wishing we just had a little bit longer. Perhaps the perfect way to leave this series behind is with one final regret.
BoJack Horseman’s final episodes are streaming from January 31st on Netflix