There is a new gut-busting adult cartoon series that has just joined the rest, and it is the Netflix original Big Mouth, directed by Jennifer Flackett, Andrew Goldberg, and Nick Kroll. This show about the beauty an,d awkwardness of growing up, is nothing short of hilarious, engaging, and yet shocking all at the same time.
Big Mouth is about pre-teen boys Andrew Glouberman (voiced by John Mulaney) and Nick Birch (voiced by Nick Kroll) living their normal middle school lives as the big, disgusting, and crude Hormone Monster (also voiced by Nick Kroll) comes to help transition them from being boys, into being men. They are also accompanied by a female character named Jessi Glaser (voiced by Jessi Klein), who also has a Hormone Monster appear as well, to get the female perspective of the transition into womanhood.
This show is definitely not one to show to your 7th-grade class during a sex-ed lesson. It falls into the category of TV show comedies that are made primarily for adults including Family Guy, American Dad, and South Park. It is only funny to audiences that would understand the suggested language and constant sexual innuendos that occur throughout the first season.
With writers trying to search for ideas for new TV shows, the theme of what is to be thought of as making a comedic hit is by adding as many crude gestures, odd themes, and cuss words into an episode as possible. In other words, if you are not asking yourself, “What just happened?” at least 5 times per episode, then the writers are doing it wrong.
However, even though all of the jokes were uncensored and unexpected at many points, it was perfectly placed and timed. They were the kind of jokes that would make a normal person cringe in agony, but for people like me who enjoy a good dirty jest here and there, they’re absolutely hilarious but will also make your skin crawl at the same time.
What makes Big Mouth really engaging, was that it was relatable to those who know all about the awkwardness of growing up and finding out who you are. The most entertaining part of the season was the way the writers could bring back some the audience’s old nostalgia about their transition into becoming adults. Situations such as experiencing strong emotions towards the opposite sex for the first time or going through dramatic bodily changes are all things adults now can look back on and laugh at every now and then. While although some of the comments and situations in the show may seem exaggerated or extreme at times, whether some people would like to admit it or not, how they portray every single one of them is the closest to completely accurate that a TV show can get.
The cartoon show was also engaging in the sense that I was anticipating watching the next episode. The more inappropriate the show had become, the more I wanted to watch and find out what happened next. It was purely because I was so satisfyingly appalled after each episode ended, that I found myself always saying “Oh there is no way they can top that.” Sure enough, Big Mouth would never disappoint in showing me something even more raw in content every time.
This show was not all dirty comments and uncomfortable moments, however. There was a plot to everything that was happening around these young adults and it is what also makes this entire season worth your time. While yes, they are still showing the difficult moments about growing up, the directors and writers also did a good job at presenting how things get affected by all of this happening to a young person’s body and mind. Relationships with friends, family, and the world around the characters are also changing and are incorporated into the show, which makes this comedy more than just one big dirty joke.
Overall, I was very skeptical about watching this show in the first place only because it was yet again another adult cartoon that was hitting television screens. The idea seemed kind of worn out to me because they were all coming out and getting popular all at one time (Rick and Morty, Bob’s Burgers, etc.). However, when I saw that the casting lineup featured some of my favorite comedians such as Nick Kroll, Jenny Slate, and Fred Armisen, I was more than excited, to say the least, to binge watch this show in an entire day.
Big Mouth is a great example of what other adult TV shows should strive to be. It is mature but with adolescent humor, it has jokes and gestures that are absurd and outrageous but also follows a storyline. It is the most shocking thing I have ever seen in my life but in the best possible way. I can promise that I will be staring at my computer screen on my Netflix account awaiting the next season to come. Thank you to the directors and to the writers of this series for giving me a show that I am excited to see again.
Bethanie is a junior at St. Cloud State and is a mathematics education major with minors in mass communications and special education. This year, she is the Managing Editor for the University Chronicle, a director for in house productions at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center and a math tutor. She enjoys writing, rock concerts, and serving her community and fellow students.