When most people think of adult animation, they typically think of a raunchier version of children’s cartoons — slapstick comedy with a dash of adult themes. Now when people think of adult themes, they typically imagine sex, drugs and alcohol — which isn’t far from the truth — but these three elements alone don’t encapsulate the real hardships adults go through that people never talk about. “Bojack Horseman” has been performing a balancing act of the two sides of adulthood for its past five seasons, and now that it’s coming to an end, I can’t help but wonder whether the adult animation industry will ever be able to put out a show as clever, consistent, hopeful and heartbreaking again.
The final season is split up into two eight-part installations, and the second part comes out on January 31. The first installment picks up right where Season Five left off about a year ago, with Bojack (Will Arnett, “Riviera”) finally making a step toward change and admitting himself into rehab. Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris, “At Home with Amy Sedaris”) learns to balance work life and motherhood, Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins, “Tangled: The Series”) learns how to cope with being a bad dog, Todd (Aaron Paul, “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie”) gets serious about taking on his ambitions and Diane (Alison Brie, “GLOW”) embraces her new career in investigative journalism. The characters underwent the most development in Season Five, which is why it was surprising to see that the show was coming to an end so soon.
In many ways, Season Five was an opportunity for the show to do new things with the new circumstances that each character had to deal with, and at times, the show’s abrupt end made some arcs in Season Six seem like fan service (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re a fan). After all, they had to tie up all the loose ends in 16 30-minute episodes, which isn’t much time considering all the time and effort the creators spent developing a plot as complex as this. The only reason why I may sound bitter about the decision to end this show is because Aaron Paul, who voices Todd Chavez, tweeted out something that made it seem a little like this was Netflix’s fault. But that’s besides the point.
Throughout the past few seasons, “Bojack Horseman” has scattered in a few episodes here and there where they focus on one character, and in this new season they continue with this device. In a valid attempt to wrap things up without rushing important plotlines, some episodes, like the second episode of Season Six, focus solely on characters like Princess Carolyn, who the creators have done a thorough job of developing since the start of the show. Like always, they never fail to incorporate real issues gracefully into the plot. In this particular episode, Princess Carolyn struggles to take care of her newborn adopted baby whilst living under the pressure of being a working mom who can do it all. The episode features silhouettes of Princess Carolyn taking care of tasks in the background along with distracting noises of her completing these actions, so the viewer can feel just as hectic and frazzled as she does.
They wrap up just enough loose ends and introduce just enough conflict to set up the second part of the final season, and it’s difficult to try and predict how the final eight episodes will turn out. I for one, question everyday whether it’s worth keeping Netflix around when they keep increasing prices, cancelling good shows and renewing garbage. There’s been too many “Bojack Horseman”-quality shows tossed to the wind and at this rate, I’m afraid we’ll be left with content like “The Kissing Booth.” With all the new streaming services coming out, Netflix’s reign might soon be over, and after this show ends, I might not be so sad to see it go. So watch out Netflix — I might just stop using my friend’s account.