Why Big Mouth Came at the Perfect Time
written by: Casper
With summer shows ending, and the Fall lineup in full swing, the release of Netflix’ new comedy series “Big Mouth” could not have come at a better time. If you are simply looking for the next show to binge, or are looking to fill the giant void that Rick and Morty's season 3 ending left, this is the show for you.
Puberty and Angst
The series was created by Nick Kroll (“The League” and “Kroll Show”) and Andrew Goldberg (“Family Guy”) and stars Kroll and comedian John Mulaney. The show tackles the awkwardness of adolescence in a brilliantly comedic way. By personifying early hormonal thoughts as the Hormone Monster (voiced by Kroll) and Hormone Monstress (voiced by Maya Rudolph), the show makes sense of the teen angst that older viewers have experienced and younger viewers are all too familiar with.
In the pilot, Mulaney’s character Andrew puts it best, as he dunks his jizz-stained jeans in a toilet in a panic attempt to clean them “Everything is embarrassing.” With this understood early on, the show continues to let the embarrassing incidents flow, pun intended. In following episodes, characters experience the confusion of a first period, in white shorts no less, the early feelings of sexual arousal, along with other ubiquitous pubescent benchmarks.
The writers display a remarkable ability to layer episodes with deliberate non-stop jokes. An attentive eye may notice that a few of the show's best bits are not just one and done. Occasionally, the Hormone Monster breaks the fourth wall to bring attention to cleverly written callbacks from the previous episodes. Nearly every joke delivered by a main character adds to their backstory or overall character. As any viewer would hope, they don’t just hear a teenage boy talking about “pumping my pillow full of Jay jizz” (Jason Mantzoukas as Jay Bilzerian) without receiving an explanation further down the line.
Miracles Do Happen
Although “Kroll Show” was fairly short lived, Big Mouth may not have been possible if Kroll hadn’t used the time to develop his characters and perfect their voices. As the voice of 13 characters, Kroll has truly proven the magnitude of his skills. With voice contributions from other comedy powerhouses, Jordan Peele ("Key and Peele" and Get Out") and Fred Armisen ("SNL" and "Portlandia" [among others] ), each episode is filled with vibrant and familiar characters.
With the way things are coming together for the main contributors, Big Mouth's timing was perfect. After displaying solid chemistry and gaining positive critical reception in "Hello on Broadway", it was a no-brainer for Kroll and Mulaney to collaborate again. Also, having the late Charles Bradley's "Changes" premier in the show's intro sequence, only nine days after his death, adds more awe to the show's perfect timing.
As a viewer, it is tough not to be addicted to this show. It displays the edginess of early South Park, in the choice to show cartoon child nudity. It has the self-awareness of shows like Rick an Morty's and others, in the way the characters break the fourth wall to call attention the the absurdity of certain scenes in the show. Big mouth is crass, witty, and genuine all at the same time. Netflix is fortunate to have secured such a solid program, and one can only hope that the show's creators are in it for the long haul.