I never really thought I would relate to animated adolescent characters who are awkwardly trying to figure out how to masturbate, but here I am. Enthralled by the sharp wit and creative yet simple exploration of sexuality and puberty, I say “Big Mouth” is a television series you should not skip out on watching. The premise of adolescent middle schoolers fiddling with their junk between scenes of everyday life may seem like a kid-friendly version of “Family Guy,” but the show is much more than just dick jokes. Created by comedy geniuses Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett, “Big Mouth” is a unique show that tackles and satirizes the messiness of puberty with an outlandish fictional Hormone Monster that guides the growing kids through this awkward process.
Kind of like a more sex-driven version of Rick from “Rick and Morty,” the Hormone Monster and the Hormone Monstress are two crude, vulgar and ridiculous beasts, but nevertheless, they present a great metaphor for the manic and weird thoughts that go through the minds of pubescent boys and girls. The show features Kroll and comedian John Mulaney as the voice actors for Nick and Andrew, two best friends that are caught in the dilemmas of understanding what is masturbation, pornography, sex and most importantly, how to kiss girls. The girls on the show, Jessi (voiced by Jessi Klein) and Missy (voiced by Jenny Slate) are also featured in their unique qualms of getting their periods, masturbating and kissing boys.
The show really dives into all the awkward situations that can occur when going through puberty and offers a lens into the male and female journey. Oddly enough, this show succeeds in telling the audience that everyone is really confused about everything while going through puberty. Offering scenes about middle school relationships, getting your period and finding out that your mom is cheating on your dad with the lesbian rabbi, the show is outlandish at times but completely relatable to how kids process emotions and rationalize thoughts at this age. I caught myself laughing during every episode at how accurate the depictions of these kids are when I was their age. I was also surprised by how the show portrays that girls are just like boys in the fact that they are also horny and they too masturbate, creating a very sex positive show that doesn’t submit to stereotypes about girls and their sexuality.
The reason this show is so relatable and hilarious is because it is in fact based on the real life situations of Kroll and Goldberg growing up in the suburbs of New York. The jokes are spot on because they are true and the nostalgia you feel when watching this show is genuine. No other show whose plot revolves around dick jokes is able to conjure such raw emotions about one’s own journey through puberty. That is why when you’re watching “Big Mouth,” you feel just like what the lyrics of the opening credits sing: you remember you’re going through changes.