“Bojack Horseman” Comes to Its Bitter Conclusion

Will Arnett and Aparna Nancherla in "Bojack Horseman"

After six seasons of gritty, grueling drama, Bojack Horseman has finally come to its bitter conclusion. What started out as a satirical comedy about a depressed washed-up celebrity evolved into something far more illuminating and far more important.

One of the recurring themes in the show is celebrities getting away with terrible behavior because they are famous. Vance Waggoner, a character who behaves atrociously is continuously able to revive his career by publically apologizing. Fittingly, he returns in season 6 as Bojack’s sponsor and they bond over being canceled. Elsewhere in the season, Margo Martindale is finally put on trial for murder, only to be let off the hook when she is offered a part in a movie. And finally, Bojack serves a short-term prison sentence with a movie offer waiting for him when he leaves. As Princess Carolyn reminds him, the best and worst thing about Hollywood is that it has a short memory.

By the end of season six, it feels like Bojack’s journey is already over. The anti-hero we have been reluctantly routing for loses everything and degenerates back into a cycle of addiction and self-loathing. He may be serving his time in prison but the people he loves will not be waiting for him on the outside. Princess Carolyn has found love, Dianne has learned it’s not her job to fix Bojack, and Hollyhock presumably wants nothing to do with him. It’s the ending Bojack deserves.

More importantly, however, Princess Carolyn and Dianne get the ending they deserve too. In “Good Damage”, Dianne navigates life on anti-depressants and has to face the fact that the book she has always wanted to write is not something she actually wants to write. Instead of forcing herself, she realizes that she can write a fun teenage detective story if she wants to and that’s ok. The damage that she has been desperately trying to make into something beautiful is a part of her and she can harness what she has learned in whatever she writes. It’s a triumphant and powerful moment.

Ultimately then, the best thing about season six of Bojack Horseman is that it isn’t entirely about Bojack. It is just as much about the people who have suffered at his hand. More than this, it is a profound social commentary on the toxicity of celebrity culture. And that is why Bojack Horseman will always be our favorite show about a depressed cartoon horse(man).