Netflix’s animated adult comedy series “BoJack Horseman” follows titular character, BoJack Horseman, through six seasons as he navigates the life of being a burnt out 90’s sitcom actor. We see as BoJack attempts to pull himself into the limelight, for positive reasons, only to fail time and time again.
I watched this series over winter break, and I can honestly say that it is now one of my favorite shows. It is the perfect balance of dark and comedic and touches on some very important topics through some not-so-lovable characters.
None of the characters are perfect, even though they may seem to be when we first meet them. Even the happy-go-lucky Mr. Peanut Butter is proven to be a bad boyfriend and husband. Diane, who would typically be the relatable character for left-leaning 20-somethings, becomes almost a satire of her audience strictly when it comes to things that do not particularly matter. When she finds out that she and BoJack are seeing the same therapist, she gets angry and tells him to stop seeing the therapist, but then tells him that he needs to go to therapy?
Then, of course, there is BoJack.
When we first meet BoJack, he is a raging alcoholic who has not bagged an acting job since the days of his sitcom “Horsin’ Around” in the 90’s. He meets Diane and they work together to write a memoir about his life.
When his book is released, the way Diane wrote it, BoJack is finally faced with the negative view that the general public has about him because of his own actions. Through almost his entire acting career, BoJack has burned bridges and exploited his friends for his own gain. So to see it in literal writing is a horrible shock for him. Do not be fooled, he does not get better from this particular experience.
Even though we are shown time and time again that BoJack is an arguably horrible and disgusting person, there were times when I could not help but root for him, and I think that is due to the excellent writing and storytelling in this series. At no point did I love BoJack or ever really like him – most times I despised him – but in those few moments when he was trying to get things right, trying to get his life back on track, I could not help but be disappointed when they inevitably failed.
Still, none of that disappointment could stop me from thinking that the series should have ended an episode early. If you plan on watching the series, this is your spoiler warning, so turn away now.
The episode “The View From Halfway Down,” encapsulates everything that has been racing towards BoJack since season one. He is face down in the pool of the house he previously owned. He is drunk for the first time since rehab and high on pills that he stole from the new owner’s bathroom. He has just finished binging “Horsin’ Around,” the show that made him famous.
As he is drowning, BoJack is having a dream that he is having dinner with all the people in his life that he has disappointed or hurt. Sarah Lynn, his mom and the uncle he could never live up to, Herb, Corduroy Jackson Jackson and, of course, Secretariat. They gather ‘round a table and each have their last meals, BoJack’s being a plate of pills. In the end, though, BoJack is saved when the new owners come back home and he is pulled out of the pool and sent to prison.
Truly, this episode is too symbolic to not be the end. Not to mention, it is the ending BoJack deserved. A humiliating end when the whole world is already against him would finally give him an ounce of karma to pay for all the things he has done.
Despite this, and of course a few other minor complaints, I have to commend the creators of “BoJack Horseman” and recommend that if you have not watched it, do it. Once you get past the whole “humans technically dating animals” dilemma, it is a pretty great watch.