‘BoJack Horseman’ gets real in latest season


Illustration by Lillie Busch.

“BoJack Horseman” started off as a silly, adult animation show on par with “Family Guy” but ended up more realistic than any live-action show that’s on right now. “BoJack Horseman” concluded its sixth season packed with so many heartfelt and devastating emotions. 

The season deals with our main protagonist confronting his past and finally taking responsibility for his abuse of his fame, fortune and abuse against his friends and family. The season revolves around him making amends with the people that he hurt and trying to find a life where he can finally live in peace without his past following him. However, the season does not wrap itself in a pretty bow as it ends showing how BoJack will have to come to terms with his biggest sin.

Every character in “BoJack” comes to terms with their past and tries to move on towards a better future. 

Overall the season hits all the right points. It avoids being too serious with too many funny lines and it has great subplots that mirror the main plot. The show uses brilliant animation concepts to show the in and outward hardships of the characters. The voice talent came did a wonderful job, especially Will Arnett as the titular character.

A brilliant theme in the show is that change is not a one-time trick, but a continuous path that must be kept up over a lifetime. The show displays the realistic, unflinching portrayal of self-improvement about how many times a person might relapse into bad habits as well as how our past heavily impacts our future. The show luckily does not erase its themes established in earlier seasons but brings them to a satisfying conclusion.

For many years now, animation has made great strides in storytelling that go beyond the past constraints as children’s entertainment. Animation can be used to enhance realism instead of just childish escapism. 

Animation has the unique opportunity to showcase what is hard to communicate through words. Through smart, mature writing, animation can delve into topics that many live-action projects will not consider and somehow less accurate to real life. Even though “The Simpsons” laid the foundation and “Family Guy” came in and took the mantle, shows from streaming services have the freedom to make refinements and innovations to adult animations.  Meanwhile, studios like Pixar and Studio Ghibli continue to create animations made for all ages that can still be fun and complex.

What’s interesting about BoJack Horseman is that even though the show is made up of anthropomorphic characters it still feels more real than animation projects that try to model themselves to be as real as possible through technology like with “The Polar Express” and “Beowulf.” 

“Bojack” accurately depicts the human condition in all of its shortcomings and how many people deal with depression and anxiety.