Netflix’s comical animated show explores preteen problems
By Olivia Langenberg
Staff Netflix Newsfeed
Netflix has really been swinging and missing in its recommendations for me over the past month. I’ve been in quite a binge-watching rut, you could say. Just when I thought I should give up forever and start doing something else with my time, Netflix came through and hit a game winning home-run. This so-called ‘home-run’ is titled Big Mouth, a new Netflix original released on September 29. This animated comedy was created by Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett, though based off Kroll and Goldberg’s teenage years. And believe me, this is one recommendation you will not regret accepting.
To be blunt, Big Mouth is the most vulgar show I have ever seen. I’m talking “ditch your parents and secretly watch with your bros in the basement” vulgar. The first episode alone features so many graphic penis references that I found myself swiveling to make sure my roommates couldn’t see the nasty shit I was watching. Don’t get too scared, though, it’s all in good fun. The show is about the struggles of going through puberty. Kroll and Goldberg’s animated counterparts, Nick and Andrew respectively, deal with going through it at different times and how embarrassing and confusing that can be.
But what keeps this show from delving too deep in the testosterone forest is the fact that they explore puberty for girls, too. While the first episode is about Andrew’s entrance into puberty, manifested as a Hormone Monster, the second episode is about one of the female characters, Jessi, getting her first period while in the Statue of Liberty. The show explores what it feels like to be turned on, what it’s like to be in your first weird middle school relationship, and those sloppy first kiss adventures. While they really push some elements of puberty to the limit, it manages to be painfully relatable somehow.
I mentioned the concept of a “Hormone Monster” before. This is a golden element of the show. The male Hormone Monster, Maurice, also voiced by Nick Kroll, is crude, disgusting, and always encouraging Andrew to listen to his sexual desires. The female counterpart, Connie the Hormone Monster, voiced by Maya Rudolph, is a sultry beast, also pushing characters to acknowledge their urges. Both are constantly popping up beside characters, often at the worst times, to advance the situation romantically/sexually. Think of it almost like the “angel on one shoulder, devil on the other” concept while making decisions, but instead it’s just the devil and it’s really gross. Both voice actors did an incredible job of simultaneously creeping me out and making me laugh. Let’s be real though, we all know how weird it was when hormones were first kicking in and the cute person next to you in science class said one word to you. To be honest, I still react like a dumbass when someone cute looks at me. I blame it on my internal Hormone Monster.
I’d say my favorite part of the whole series, though, came in Episode 9, “I Survived Jessi’s Bat Mitzvah.” Amidst an awkward family blowout, the characters suddenly break into a song, appropriately titled “Life is a Fucked Up Mess.” Boy, isn’t it. Each character delivers a concise line about how their life is in shambles, and I literally couldn’t stop laughing the whole scene. I think that’s the point of the show though- to bring humor to life’s shittiest situations. Puberty is an incredibly weird point of life, where all sorts of changes are happening both biologically and socially. And sometimes it’s pretty fucked up. Don’t worry kids, it only gets worse.
So if you’re looking for a laugh in the eve of midterm season, set aside half an hour and watch the first episode of Big Mouth. Expect a star-studded cast (Jordan Peele, John Mulaney, and Fred Armisen, to name a few), dumb jokes, awkward preteens, and a whole lot of penises. Buckle up.