Big Mouth: A nostalgic whiff of preteen spirit

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Big Mouth: A nostalgic whiff of preteen spirit

by Haley Enders, Reporter

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The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/mfmqr

Warning: Minor Spoilers.

Rate: 5/5 stars

Big Mouth, a Netflix original, produced by Nick Kroll and his childhood best friend, Andrew Goldberg, was inspired by Kroll being pantsed in middle school in front of his crush. The entire show is based on Kroll and Goldberg and their experiences in the awkward years of middle school. The fact that many of the embarrassing stories portrayed in the show actually happened to the producers or people they know shows just how personal the show is for Kroll and Goldberg and just how invested they are. 

The second binge-worthy season was released on Friday, October 5, 2018.  Newbies can catch up on Season 1 on Netflix.  The subject is puberty, and it’s made more “alive” by incorporating cartoon figures of hormone monsters.  It’s a sick version of Disney’s Inside Out.

I  am reluctant to watch cartoons, but watching Big Mouth, especially the most recent season released, was not a mistake. The reason behind this decision being that there is an actual story line in Season 2.

Season 1, especially the end didn’t really have a plot. It was all over the place and kind of just for laughs. It was hilarious, but it didn’t do much to pull you in. Andrew (John Mulaeny) being arrested, Jessi’s (Jessi Klein) mom having an affair with her cantor, and some odd insight to Jay’ (Jason Mantzoukas) home life all had me wondering where this show was heading or if it was even heading anywhere at all.

The second season followed a more concrete narrative. Coach Steve (Kroll) finally finds himself a real friend. Nick (also Kroll) finally finds himself a hormone monster.  Jessi starts to go through a rebellious teen phase, and Jay is still same old gross Jay with the same old gross family.

With famous voice actors such as John Mulaney (Andrew), Maya Rudolph (Diane Birch), and new character, Gina, voiced by Gina Rodriguez, you can see how this show would be such a hit. The show received an 80% rating from Metacritic and a 4/5 from Vox, receiving praise from critics. There’s no question that there is a lot of push back, too.  The content is gross, and jokes often depend on sex and bodily fluids.                                                   

There’s new and exciting characters that liven up the show and hook the viewers in like Season 1 didn’t. Each new character represents a new problem growing teens face today.

For instance, new Depression Kitty (Jean Smart) puts a spotlight on what depression actually feels like and the importance of getting help. The Shame Wizard (David Thewlis) shows the difference between right and wrong and the reasoning behind why you feel so bad after you do something morally wrong–like when Andrew played on a girl’s feelings just for his own personal gain or when Nick spilled private information about the girl he liked.

Jessi, who was caught shoplifting, stealing from her parents and treating them horribly, is a wonderful example of when this otherworldly character came into play. The Shame Wizard doesn’t receive the credit he deserves until the end of the series, when he’s a little nicer about teaching what’s right and wrong.

The series touches on taboo, hard-to-speak of, non dinner table topics such as reaching adulthood, body positivity, sexuality, drugs, family separation, dating and basically everything an American health class should teach. And all of these subjects are addressed in a unique and hilarious way that eases the intensity of them, making them easier to talk about.

The series’ impressiveness goes beyond just the plot and the general messages. The art style is also exclusive as well. The show’s name, Big Mouth, is appropriately named for the way each and every character has comically large lips and an even larger mouth.

Although everyone likes to compare the cartoon to shows such as Family Guy and American Dad for the raunchy humor and simplistic 2D characters, this little quirk really individualizes Big Mouth from all the rest. It really is a show like no other and worth your time to watch.

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