BoJack Horseman, a Netflix series review by Juno von Palko
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
From its initial debut, BoJack Horseman did not appear to offer much as far as adult animated sitcoms go. It stars an arrogant, self-destructive man in his late adulthood who antagonizes the people in his life but still expects people to pity him. What else is new?
However, as the series continues, it becomes clear what BoJack Horseman is really about.
BoJack Horseman is about the choices we make in life and how it ultimately defines us. It is a show that puts an emphasis on consequences. BoJack Horseman tackles issues regarding social justice, pop culture and how just because some things are perceived as legal or normal does not inherently mean they are ethical.
BoJack Horseman himself is representative of the worst traits of humanity, but like every terrible person, they were human to start with. He is a narcissist who was once a kid who wanted to be loved and accepted. He wants to fix himself, but he is unable to fully realize the impact of his actions without involving himself in how someone else feels.
All of this culminates in the final season of BoJack Horseman, where everything good you want to have happen does not happen, everything bad you do not want to happen does happen and the ending you think BoJack will receive is not what he ultimately deserves.
Something happens within the final half of the last season that I want to bring attention to. Diane Nguyen struggles more with her depression and begins taking medication. As a result, she gains weight.
And guess what? No one comments on it.
It is never brought up at her expense. The writers never make a joke about it. No one even acknowledges the change in appearance. It may not seem like a lot, but as someone who has struggled with weight gain (particularly as a result of taking multiple medications), it means a lot to see people with Diane’s body type normalized rather than turned into a spiel about health and the like.
The best way to describe the series finale of BoJack Horseman is that it is the finale of The Sopranos done right.
When The Sopranos aired its series finale, it was initially panned for not wrapping up loose ends. Years later, some have regarded the finale to The Sopranos as one of the best-written finales to a television series.
Others still passionately disagree. At its core, The Sopranos was a show about getting answers and following plot points to their conclusion. The way the show ended did not wrap everything up, and even if it was implied to have done so, it was never shown, thus leaving the impact to be underwhelming.
With BoJack Horseman, the ending is underwhelming in the best possible way. In real-life, people do not always receive closure. People say goodbye, and someone you once thought would be the most important person in your life is hardly even a background character. BoJack receives an ending that many think he deserves, but in some ways, it is for the best.
BoJack Horseman is over, and everything will be all right.