“Let’s. Go. Mets.”
The Netflix original “Big Mouth” is back and better than ever as our favorite middle schoolers navigate this difficult time of storm and stress affectionately known as puberty.
From animated genitalia and obscene musical numbers to jaw-dropping one liners, this show definitely does not disappoint in shock value. Upon the first watch, just like the first season, season two is slightly overwhelming at first, but once the Bandaid has been ripped off, you can’t help but appreciate and relate to the depiction of teenage turmoil.
The first episode, titled after the age-old question, “Am I Normal?” focuses on the developmental differences of Andrew Glouberman (John Mulaney) and Nick Birch (Nick Kroll) highlighted in the first season. Andrew, a compulsive masturbator, struggles to blend in after hitting his growth spurt and Nick wonders when his body will finally deliver him to adulthood.
In the next episode, we meet Gina (voiced by Gina Rodriguez), an oh-so-lucky early bloomer with a booming bosom. The previous sentence is laced with sarcasm– rather than lucky, Gina is uncomfortable with the attention brought to her body by the prepubescent boys surrounding her and the hateful insecurity she elicits in her female peers.
The third episode introduces us to arguably the greatest “Big Mouth” character of all-time– the Shame Wizard, voiced by David Thewlis. This guy is an asshole and we love it. Honestly, if the Shame Wizard appeared to me to guide me through my weekends, I wouldn’t be upset nor surprised.
The Shame Wizard appears after Andrew is caught dick-in-hand yelling “I want Leah!” (Nick’s sister) as he masturbates to her bathing suit in the family’s pool house in episode three. As an older sister myself to a little brother with some very young teenage friends whom it is rumored often set up their sleeping bags in my old room on Friday nights, I can only imagine that the appearance of the Shame Wizard is an appropriate comeuppance for such an encounter.
Coach Steve, also voiced by Kroll, drops a bombshell in this season by revealing that he is a virgin. I can’t say that I was as shocked as the teenagers, but I can not help but cringe at the dagger of his position as their sex ed teacher. Coach Steve finally gets to do sex on a lady – on Jay’s mom, no less – in an episode entirely dedicated to him. Although I was really excited for the prospect of a full 26 minutes of Coach Steve at the end of season one, the idea of an experienced woman taking a grown man’s virginity is just as horrifying in animation as it is in reality.
I’m really happy that we got to know Leah, voiced by Kat Dennings, a little bit more this season. Episode five gives a much appreciated nod to Planned Parenthood while simultaneously spoofing the popular reality show “The Bachelorette” as Leah walks through all the contraceptive options and services offered at these establishments. The pull-out method, though, was not so appreciated.
This season also touches on the more serious issues of divorce and mental health, particularly through Jessi Glaser (Jessi Klein). Jessi’s parents are in the middle of messy divorce, the warpath littered with infidelity, sexual fluidity and a lot of drugs – which Jessi also gets her hands on with Nick as her partner in literal crime. Not to mention the stealing, the running away and a cuddle sesh with the depression kitty. Luckily, after a few mishaps, Jessi agrees to get help and start seeing a therapist with her mother.
As for episode seven, “Guy Town,” I can only say that I hope such a place exists for the sake of a few of my exes. One of which in particular I theorize was a lot like our not-so-good boy Jay (Jason Mantzoukas) in his own prepubescent years. That being said, I love Jay, I really do. There truly aren’t any serious moments with him, even as he explores his sexuality with both girls and boys and ultimately falls back on to pillows to get his rocks off. So at the end of the day, no harm done I guess.
Episodes eight and nine depict the fall and recovery of a school-wide sleepover due to the middle school rumor system. Nick just couldn’t keep his mouth shut about making out with Gina and getting to touch his first boob, and as we all know, you tell one middle schooler something, you’ve told them all. However, Gina and the rest of Bridgeton Middle School are able to rise above the nasty rumor and defeat the Shame Wizard. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for his comeback in season three.
Far too soon, the season comes to a close with episode 10 “The Department of Puberty.” The hormone monsters are phenomenal, I liken their performances to that of Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean saga in that this show would be nothing without them. It is truly a privilege to be inside their world after Nick, Jessi and Andrew hop through a portal left open by a hormone monster in training, wish they had more than a fragmented representation of an hour though.
All in all, “Big Mouth” really stepped up their game for season two. Their increasing emphasis on diversity, as well as the growing pains we all share, does not go unnoticed.
Thank you, “Big Mouth” for another season of absurdity. I can’t wait for season three.