Friday, October 6, 2017

Big Mouth Season 1 Netflix Series Review

Big Mouth (2017-)
Season 1 - 10 episodes (2017)
Watch Big Mouth Season 1 on Netflix
Created by: Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett
Starring: John Mulaney, Nick Kroll, Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, Jordan Peele, Fred Armisen.
Rated: TV-MA

Created by Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg, this raunchy, surreal animated comedy explores Nick, Andrew, and Jessi's teenage adventures during puberty.

This is raunchy and often gross. Maybe the only way to delve into this subject matter is to put it all out there. Despite the lewdness it uncovers a lot of truth. Puberty is confusing and disturbing, and this posits a great reason why teens are so ridiculous. It's frequently funny and honest, but it relies on gross out humor and going too far much too often. The frequent nudity, though animated, is going to turn many away.
It depends.

Did I mention this is crude? You get an animated dick visual just a few minutes into the first episode. That's just the tip of the iceberg. This is an adult oriented cartoon about puberty with no limits. It has great insight as to why teens are so crazy. They have so much going on, and their hormones are very much a sex depraved monster urging them into gross, ridiculous, and illogical scenarios. This focuses on the struggles of males and females. It's crazy for everyone.
Jessi, Nick, Andrew, Jay
It's quite funny and frequently true, though there are some scenes I wish I could forget. These are kids burgeoning into adults. They don't know how to kiss, but fake it anyway. They lack knowledge but have an overabundance of desire. Andrew falls prey to the hormone monster in the first episode, but Nick has yet to start changing. His go to for advice is the ghost of Duke Ellington in his attic. Ghost Duke Ellington is a fantastic character. The show frequently gets into the character's heads like Nick's imaginary friend Duke, or Andrew and Nick's friend Jay's relationship with his pillow. It's weird, but teens are weird.
Nick and the ghost of Duke Ellington
The name dropping in this show is insane and used to great effect. When Jay's brothers introduce them to Sylvester Stallone's porno, The Italian Stallion, the hormone monster comments, "Hey, that's my buddy Frank's brother." It's a throwaway gag, sure, but to think that in the hormone monster world Frank is more well known that Sly makes you wonder what that world is like. This is a world where middle aged P.E. teacher Coach Steve still has a hormone monster, albeit a severely decrepit and blind monster.
The hormone monster and Andrew.
When Andrew questions his own sexuality after feeling attracted to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the hormone monster administers a visual gay test akin to an eye exam asking Andrew to choose which he prefers. It starts with females and then transitions to Tilda Swinton and then David Bowie. It's a funny gag, but it also drives to a truth. Teens are confused and the world just doesn't make sense to them yet. The hormone monster can be mean and selfishly cruel. Teens just can't step back and see the world for what it is.
If it weren't so crude, it would be great to show teens, but this is a show about puberty made for adults that are well past the trauma. To laugh at this show, maybe you need to be well past it. To see this before or during puberty might just be too horrifying or too real.
The hormone monster and Jessi.
The final scene skewers the show hard, and addresses what is likely to be the biggest criticism of the show. The hormone monster and children are talking about Andrew's experience with the cops and he's told he could turn that experience into a television show called Big Mouth. Another character asks if showing a bunch of teens discovering there bodies would just be pornography. The response is to make it animated, surely they won't get in trouble for that.

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