‘Big Mouth’ is the throwback no one wanted

Creators reflect on their terrible tweens in second season

Fair use from Netflix

Fair use from Netflix

Megan Raatz

No one wants to think about their middle school years. Between hormones, friend drama and just trying to figure out who you are, that stage of life doesn’t come with many pleasant memories. “Big Mouth’s” reflection on the middle school experience is not something most would like to recall. Comedians Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg however, are not most people.

The pair of childhood friends are the creators of “Big Mouth,” an animated comedy Netflix series, loosely based on their experiences as teenagers. In the show, best friends Nick Birch (Nick Kroll) and Andrew Glouberman (John Mulaney) navigate the horrors and wonders of puberty alongside their fellow seventh graders. But in this journey they do not go alone; their guides comes in the form of the crude, rude and totally lewd Hormone Monsters. The creatures are physical embodiments of every prepubescent thought that comes to the kids’ heads.

In season two, we are introduced to an even larger slew of characters, including Gina (Gina Rodriguez), the first girl in the grade to grow breasts, Depression Kitty (Jean Smart), and the sadistic Shame Wizard (David Thewlis), who takes great pleasure in haunting the kids with their most embarrassing moments and worst decisions.

The introduction of all these new faces is handled reasonably well. All the characters are there for a reason and help to develop the plot in some way. None of the main characters are ignored, each getting the development they deserve.

The show handles some serious topics including depression, sexuality, and drug use surprisingly well. When the boys’ friend Jessi (Jessi Klein) is caught getting high with her dad’s edibles, it comes with the consequence of her dad getting kicked out of the house.

Besides that, “Big Mouth” is lacking in a serious way. The humor is hit-or-miss and rather repetitive, which is unsurprising considering most of the jokes are entirely dependent on the bodily functions of a pre-teen. The show’s attempts at sexual education are well-intentioned, but out of place at times and the animation is just not fun to look at.

Overall, “Big Mouth” is like middle school: an experience I would rather not like to revisit.

“Big Mouth:” ★★☆☆☆