The summer after my junior year of high school, I was in between TV shows and in search of a mindless comedy to pass the time while I searched for a serious drama to binge-watch. One fateful day, I stumbled upon a cartoon about an anthropomorphic horse on Netflix. The show seemed silly enough, so I started watching it. To my surprise, I was crying before the end of the first season. And I loved it.
That show, of course, was BoJack Horseman, and it satisfied my desires for both nonsensical comedy and a heart-rending drama.
After five years, Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s unprecedentedly depressing animated series is coming to an end. The first part of the final season was released last month, and the second part will be released in January.
TV’s most accurate portrayal of depression is a show about a cartoon horse, and in addition to being devastating, the first five seasons of BoJack were among Netflix’s funniest and most inventive programming. The first part of the sixth season is no different — in fact, it’s one of the series’ best seasons.
In only eight episodes, the first part of season six achieves the same balance between laugh-out-loud comedy and soul-crushing emotional weight as its predecessors. For the first seven episodes, the show tricks viewers into believing that BoJack will finally recover from the events of his troubled past. Then, the final episode concludes with a brutal ending that turned me into an ugly-crying mess.
Although BoJack’s arc is as gloomy as always, the supporting characters’ arcs are, for the most part, hilarious. And while the series’ solemn moments are obviously emotionally affecting, the show’s comedy is deep in its own way.
The comedic storylines of the first part of season six — which poke fun at everything from celebrity culture to capitalism — are as much biting social commentary as they are clever jokes. Combine this brilliant comedy with one of the series’ single most heartbreaking moments, and you get some of the best episodes of the series — not to mention an emotional rollercoaster.
As always, the character development in season six is excellent. Among other things, Princess Carolyn deals with the struggles of motherhood, Mr. Peanutbutter faces an ethical dilemma and Diane comes to terms with her depression. And at the center of it all, BoJack appears to finally be turning his life around.
With the first part of Season 6, BoJack’s writers are at the top of their game. You couldn’t ask for a better beginning of the end. BoJack has proven itself to be one of the best TV series of the decade, and this season is further proof of the show’s greatness.
With its combination of brilliant animation, superb voice acting and intelligent exploration of the darkest parts of the human psyche, BoJack will stand the test of time.
BoJack pushed the boundaries of what an animated show can do, and it’s the most emotionally affecting animated series I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. The only thing sadder than the show itself is the fact that it’s ending in a few short months.
That being said, I can’t wait for this horse-centric cartoon to make me sob even more in January.
Image Credit: Netflix via Wikipedia Commons