Do you remember how strange and awful puberty was? Well now there’s a show about it. New to Netflix today is Big Mouth, a foul-mouthed animated comedy charting the perils of puberty through a group of kids. With the vocal talents of Jordan Peele, Jenny Slate and Maya Rudolph to name but a few, it’s based on the teenage years and mishaps of creators Nick Kroll (Parks and Recreation) and Andrew Goldberg (Family Guy).
Spanning 10 episodes in it’s first season, Big Mouth follows a group of preteens just on the cusp of puberty, and all the horrors, fears and hilarity that goes along with that. They’re awkward, terrified and confused about what is to come – something we can all remember ourselves. This is a no-holds-barred look at first periods, accidental ejaculation and questioning sexuality which manages to be embarrassing, empathetic and educational all at once. It’s a shame it’s just far too foul-mouthed to actually show to pre-teens because they would surely get comfort (and raucous laughs) from watching.
In a very light-hearted way they cover the realisations teens have during that time, with teenage boys heads literally exploding upon learning that girls get horny too being not only funny but true. The representation of the hormones now changing their lives as the Hormone Monster and Monstress as an almost imaginary friend-style figure (with some heavy shades of the anarchy caused by Drop Dead Fred in the film of the same name) is a great way to characterise what they’re all dealing with, the Monster and Monstress push the kids to do stupid and ridiculous things in the name of becoming sexually mature and trying to get dates and more. By giving hormones themselves a voice it takes puberty jokes to a much deeper place, with them on occasion explaining why they give the kids the suggestions they do and sometimes simply falling apart the way the kids do.
Big Mouth manages to cover a lot of topics relating to sex, sexuality and growing up in a surprisingly open and informative way, whilst retaining a wacky sense of humour and some truly cringe worthy moments. Though a lot of its humour comes from cum jokes it feels a lot more mature and grounded than the likes of Family Guy (which in recent years has become pretty stale). There are also moments of complete and utter insanity, with a pregnant pillow the focus of an episode in one of the most bizarre things that could ever be come up with, possibly aside from Hormone Monster’s interesting theory on how life on earth began. But for the most part Big Mouth focuses on the strange things that happen for real as you grow up.
If you enjoy Rick and Morty or BoJack Horseman then this is one to add to your watch list. It’s funny, weird as hell, but surprisingly relatable.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Weird, gross and yet strangely charming – Big Mouth will take you back to those awkward moments growing up as you laugh along with the show.