Big Mouth Review

Fun with Dick and his dick

Chuck Sipps, Arts and Life Editor

Let’s get this out of the way early. If you’re not ok watching a bunch of penises reenact World War I while children take bets on who the ghost of Duke Ellington lost his virginity to when he was alive, then “Big Mouth” may not be the show for you. If you are looking for a show that has as much heart as vulgarity then it just may fit the bill.

The series follows a group of 7th graders, including best friends Nick Birch (Nick Kroll) and Andrew Glouberman (John Mulaney), as they navigate their way through puberty with struggles like masturbation. They don’t go through this journey alone as they each have their own hormone monster or monstress. Maurice (also voiced by Kroll) and Connie (Maya Rudolph) guide Nick and Andrew through the awkward changes all the while giving some of the best and worst advice imaginable. Throughout the series, the kids interact with people and objects who are often personified and offer helpful, albeit confusing, advice. This includes the ghost of Duke Ellington, a French-accented Statue of Liberty, pillows and couch cushions that are capable of getting pregnant, and even the kid’s own genitals and pubes.

If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, the show gets really weird but it is also hilarious and at times heartfelt. As with most coming-of-age tales the hilarity often comes from the ignorance of our protagonist. What makes “Big Mouth” so much fun is even when audiences think they know what is happening next, they find a way to subvert those expectations and usually to hilarious results.

The show isn’t just about the boys either. It touches on all aspects of the sexual spectrum from the female orgasm, what it means to be bisexual and the way women are both exploited and shamed for their sexuality. The beauty of it all is the show manages to straddle the line between being preachy and being flippant about the issues it’s tackling. When both sides of the aisle are angry at you, then you’re probably doing something right.

That’s not to say that Season Three doesn’t have any problems. The show does suffer a bit from becoming a tad too formulaic. In past seasons, character arcs were carried out throughout the entire season and this time around, these arcs tend to take up one episode before being pushed into the background. There was also a missed opportunity between Nick and his hormone Monstress Connie. Season Two seemed to tease the idea that Connie, who before this had only worked with girls, would struggle being Nick’s monstress. While that happens a bit in the early episodes, the idea isn’t fully explored and is dropped early on.

Season Three doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it does set up big changes for the status quo going forward. “Big Mouth” isn’t afraid to go there nor are they afraid to admit when they miss the mark, see the slight uproar about the shows depiction of pansexuality. That is ultimately the strength of “Big Mouth”, the bravery to take on these complex issues and the humility to acknowledge when they get it wrong. What a novel concept.

“Big Mouth” is awarded two big ole steamy potatoes on the Sipps’ Potato Scale.