“Big Mouth” makes puberty funny


Nick Horwat | Screenshot via Netflix

Written By Lauren Ortego, Co-Copy Desk Chief

Imagine you and your friends having a show when you were 12-years-old and going through the worst time of your young life: puberty. Imagining it? It’s bad, right? Bring up a lot of traumatizing moments? Put that into an animated show filled with masturbation jokes, awkward first kisses, a bat mitzvah and some of comedy’s best performers and you have “Big Mouth.”

I had heard a lot about “Big Mouth,” the advertising was everywhere and I watched the trailer on Facebook upwards of eight times, so when my roommates and I finally decided to sit down and watch it, I thought I was prepared for the content.

I wasn’t.

The show ended up being one of my favorites, despite it’s wildly inappropriate content – there’s literally a scene in which the “Hormone Monster,” a character that haunts one of the main characters, Andrew Glouberman, voiced by John Mulaney, does some questionable things to the dismembered head of NPR host, Garrison Keillor.

What I enjoyed most about the show wasn’t it’s grotesque humor, but it’s equal treatment of both the boys in the show and their female friend, Jessi, voiced by Jessi Glaser.

Jessi gains a “hormone monstress” of her own voiced by Maya Rudolph.

Puberty as experienced by adolescent boys is seen in almost every and any show that involves young teens, but rarely is the puberty that girls go through talked about. Which is weird considering women make up some 50 percent of the population.

The show follows a pretty standard setup. The kids try to do something relatively normal and they’re immediately stopped by their blooming hormones. In their adventures appear some pretty colorful characters including the ghost of Duke Ellington, voiced by “Get Out” director and one-half of the comedy duo Key and Peele, Jordan Peele.

There are a few people who can’t seem to stomach the rather sensitive topics surrounding puberty that “Big Mouth” has associated itself with, but once you get past it’s outwardly absurd and gross shenanigans, underneath is a story about a group of friends just trying to make it to high school.

“Big Mouth” additionally presents charm in it’s self-awareness, mentioning Netflix a few times, the origin of the name of the show and the absolute madness of the plot being centered mostly around young boys doing what young boys do best in the final episode. Because everyone loves a good meta reference.

The sub-plot line of Andrew and fellow principle character Nick Birch, voiced by the shows creator Nick Kroll, finding out that Jessi’s mom is cheating on her dad with the woman in charge of Jessi’s bat mitzvah reveals the show’s ability to flex its muscles as an after-school special ordeal.

It even has an episode regarding teen pregnancies, although it is between a 13-year-old boy and his sentient pillow.

Overall, “Big Mouth” is a show about the struggles of being young, in love and confused, all while going through the monsters that all people must face at some point in their young life. The all-star voice actors really shine through in this setting, and the plot brings something refreshingly real to the scene of pre-teen shows.

Netflix did announce that a second season will be in the works, but no official release date has been set.