Goodbye Hollywoo


Emma Seely, Managing Editor

Netflix recently released the final eight episodes of its original animated series, “Bojack Horseman.” Together with the first half of the season, which was previously released on the streaming service, this new batch of episodes ended off an exceptional series in what is maybe the best way possible given the complicated nature of the material. But regardless of its ending, or if viewers felt like it was enough to wrap things up, Bojack will remain one of the most groundbreaking, emotionally ambitious and visually engaging shows on television. As sad as the show made us at times, the saddest thing of all is knowing that it’s over. But aren’t we lucky to have gone on the ride?


The series followed the life of the titular Bojack Horseman, a talking, animated horse, and a former sitcom star with a drinking problem and depression. As bright, poppy and animated (literally and figuratively) as the world that Bojack and his friends lived in was, it was also filled with an existential sadness for the human ( or in this case, animal) condition. Hollywoo, the fictionalized version of our Hollywood, was brimming with the emptiness, loneliness and unfulfilled expectations that fame can bring, and the show didn’t hold back on a single gruesome detail. For six seasons we followed as Bojack hit his lowest lows, then watched breathlessly as things finally got better, only to have them crash back down again. And all the time, we laughed at the show’s clever word play, visual puns and silly shenanigans. So the final season had big expectations to fill, and it delivered. 


Throughout this final season, “Bojack” has been at its most narratively ambitious, spending every second of each episode’s brief run time wrapping up the lives of its entire cast. Things change quickly as characters move around, relationships dissolve and new ones are born. Then, as the final seconds of the series tick away, the question still remains as to whether people can really change from their problematic ways, but the viewer is left with something that feels like hope, or at least the Bojack-ian equivalent. Nothing here is easy, and it’s not fan service either. But some surprises this season feel long-earned, and the viewer can’t help but to be happy about them. 


The final season had a monumental task in wrapping up a series as ambitious as this one. Fan theories have exploded all over social media in the past couple months with people passionately going to bat for the ending that they think is the most satisfying, the most necessary. Some wanted Bojack to pay for his crimes, some wanted him redeemed, and it’s probably not too much of a spoiler to say that the show opted for a little bit of both. Endings, like life, and like “Bojack” itself, are not simple, and it would have been a mistake for the series to treat them as such. 


So if you haven’t watched “Bojack” yet, now is the perfect time to watch the entirety of the series in all its sad, funny, brilliant glory. And if you have, I wish you luck as you try to fill the Bojack sized hole in your heart. “Bojack Horseman” was a weird show. There may never be anything like it again.


Photo via Flickr Creative Commons