The supreme animated equine is finally put out to pasture
With BoJack Horseman, creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg crafted an animated TV show that went from strength to strength in the way it took aim at scandalous Hollywood practices by satirising them with scathing humour and sincere concern. Now in its second leg of a sixth and final season, it comes to a close by shrewdly shifting the narrative around the intolerable cruelty of an industry rigged for sexual manipulation and headed up by bullies.
To recap, season six part one covered the plight of Hollywood assistants, which was at the same time unspooling in real life due to the Scriptnotes podcast drawing attention to pay inequality, long hours and poor treatment. In the show, the assistants gather together to strike, Hollywoo (the 'd' having been stolen) comes to a halt and a deal is met. It was a clever way to examine how powerful people can breed an atmosphere of fear and silence in a highly competitive workplace.
These final episodes focus on how its characters have changed over the years and gives them all some sort of rewarding closure. Todd (Aaron Paul) deals with his family issues in a rambunctious manner, Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F Tompkins) recognises his dysfunctional attitude towards relationships as he spins on as 'The face of depression', and Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) finally gets her happily-ever-after. BoJack (Will Arnett) and Diane (Alison Brie) represent two sides of the same coin when it comes to how they handle their depression: he drags people along on his downward spirals and they suffer hideous and fatal consequences, while she runs away from her problems. It's a recurring theme that has developed over the show's entirety.
Diane's conclusion is entirely refreshing in its depiction of a woman taking charge of her personal and work life, as it subverts the usual clichés concerning oppressive body standards and meaningful literature. BoJack leaves Hollywoo to take up his teaching position at a prestigious college but is closely followed by his past actions via a screwball comedy led by fast-talking reporter Paige Sinclair (Paget Brewster doing a sweet Katharine Hepburn impression). His narrative leads to some dark places, with episode 'The View From Halfway Down' standing out as a surreal, confronting and deeply melancholic highlight that's up there with season four's 'Time's Arrow'.
The final season of BoJack Horseman closes its #MeToo investigation to envision a better place where awful men are held to account for their actions. It allows its characters to turn the page in a typically nuanced fashion and bids a bittersweet farewell to Hollywoo and all its idiosyncratic inhabitants.
Episodes watched: 8 of 8
BoJack Horseman is available on Netflix, Friday 31 January.