Big Mouth is a show that requires you to look past its animation style in order to enjoy it. So far, the people I know who love this show are animation nerds like myself, people who like gross comedy, people who are not bothered by the conspiracy-theory GAY AGENDA infiltrating their cartoons, and people who liked Drawn Together and acknowledge this is the only way we’re getting that level of toilet humor back in television.
The first season set up all of the characters. The second season assigned them some identities and tropes to tackle. The third season put them all in a cage match against each other and let it rip. They even framed it as Caleb’s superhero comic in the last episode, which was a nice touch, and possibly a dig on how modern superhero comics are written by people with a particular bent to insert into the fight.
There wasn’t a whole lot for me to take away from this season. Most of the episodes were sort of self-contained stories that wrap up at the end, which is a bit curious considering the last episode delivers two game-changers for Jessi and Nick/Andrew going into the fourth season. The former was something that doesn’t really need a buildup to unfold, but the latter only got a little bit of treatment throughout the season. I am especially interested to see what they do with Jessi for season four. Moving away from my friends was something I did three times in three years, and each time got harder than the last during my middle school years, which are the hardest. The show spends a lot of time waxing (pun intended) on sexuality and puberty, but part of that experience is the external. All those tropes about Catholic School girls? 100% true, my dudes. I would have ended up with at least two baby mamas living out of a low-income apartment complex in Ohio had I stayed there. I guarantee it.
As for self-contained episodes, many of them were fantastic. Episode 5 “Florida” has a fantastic musical number by Maury that nails Florida culture and societal norms to a tee. Jay’s foray into living in someone else’s house as he tries to grapple with his chaotic sexuality made for especially interesting interactions with Missy’s fanfiction. The entire episode on Duke Ellington didn’t really fit with the rest of the show, but it was interesting to me because I have a soft spot for 20th century jazz and ragtime. But also, because for as much as they rely on the ghost gag for bits in the show, it made sense that they piggybacked off it for a least a little bit of education.
The season was not without a few troubles. For one, Ali Wong’s introduction to the show as a new student got mired in the usual levels of M&M color sorting by the LGBT community. I do agree that their food analogy was a bit crude, especially when you consider the existence of Crunchwraps in the mix. But I think we’re at a point socially now where if your goal is to get more people on board with understanding the basics, applying it within humor is a vessel the common tongue understands. Once you start getting into the weeds with dilinations and infighting, people instinctively back the fuck away from that at warp speed because they know where it leads to. But also, I have to imagine that Ali Wong might’ve pitched her own ideas to the writers as a comedian and writer herself, and offered to run that gambit on her own. At a time when comedians are getting dinged by the woke brigade for their comedy, I generally defer to the creator over the consumer. Everyone has different tastes in humor, so the tacos and the burritos seems like a good modern sexuality tale as the birds and the bees were for those pesky cis-genders. Take your victories and move on to the next stage.
Still, pay no attention to the drama behind the curtain. Big Mouth is a show that you have to really lock your shit down to watch, because it will get downright cringeworthy as it probably hits under your belt. We all went through those awkward moments in our adolescence, even as adults as well. Where most other cartoons I watch to have a good time, I watch this one to have a good laugh. Especially at the hormone monsters, who are likely getting their own spinoff show.
Which, speaking of this, why aren’t we doing this show using the different monsters as a launch point for their human cases? It’s almost as if they’ve been doing this entire thing ass-backwards not realizing this would have done double-comedy as being both an office comedy slash satanical look at the bevy of human emotions around adolescence. Perhaps the writers didn’t realize they could slam The Office and Monsters Inc together to form The Greatest Goddamn Show in The World, but I’m available to consult if they’d like.
If you haven’t given this series a go, I’d recommend it. But if you’re squirmy or prude about having human depravity laid bare before you, I can certainly recommend you don’t.