Season Two of Netflix’s Big Mouth Celebrates the Agony and Awkwardness of Puberty
The hilarious animated series is back and dirtier than ever.
Season two of Big Mouth dropped on Netflix on Friday, bringing with it the horny, angst-riddled 7th graders wrestling with puberty and their inner demons…sometimes literally. The series centers on best friends Nick (Nick Kroll) and Andrew (John Mulaney) as awkward middle schoolers navigating their changing bodies, masturbation, and their ever-present hormone monster Maury (Nick Kroll, in one of his many roles). Joining them are Jessi (Jessi Klein) and Missy (Jenny Slate), who have Connie, a monstress of their own, voiced by Maya Rudolph (who is so crazy good you’ll wonder why she isn’t cast in everything all the time).
Big Mouth became a sleeper hit when it premiered last year, thanks to its hilarious writing and sweet, sex positive messaging. It was the rare show that could incorporate sex education in one moment with basketball-playing penises in the next. While the puberty narrative is filled with horny, awkward male characters, Big Mouth spends just as much time on the girls, exploring body shame, menstruation, and the double standards inherent in a woman’s coming of age.
The show is weird, wonderful, and brilliantly filthy, with a deep roster of strong supporting characters. Last season we met Nick’s friend, the ghost of Duke Ellington (Jordan Peele) who sings the most offensive and ridiculous advice to whoever will listen. This season we get two new characters, Gina (Gina Rodriguez) as the first girl in the class to develop boobs, making her the object of the boys’ obsession and the girls’ jealousy. We also meet a new fantasy character, the Shame Wizard, voiced by David Thewlis (Professor Lupin in the Harry Potter films). The Shame Wizard descends on the crew, forcing them to feel insecure and inadequate about their self image and their urges.
The Shame Wizard is a brilliant addition to the show, as adolescence is so much about wanting desperately to fit in and “be normal.” Thewlis embodies the kids’ insecurity and self loathing with Voldemort level wickedness, tempering the exuberance and flamboyance of Maury and Connie. Big Mouth isn’t afraid to broach more intense subjects, like season one’s “The Head Push” which explores rape culture and slut shaming.
Season two features a powerful yet hilarious episode, “The Planned Parenthood Show”, that takes place in Sex Ed class, taught by the clueless Coach Steve. The kids teach Steve about Planned Parenthood and STD prevention through a series of pop culture-themed vignettes, all of which are funny and at times quite poignant (you’ll never think of Dee-Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart” the same way again).
The kids struggle with their changing bodies and the increasing complications that they bring. Andrew struggles with being a good guy despite being horny all the time, while Jessi spirals down a rebellious path in response to her parents’ divorce. Big Mouth effortlessly taps into the frustration and angst of being a middle schooler in a shockingly authentic way, especially for a show that features talking pubes (voiced by Craig Robinson and Jack MacBrayer). If you’re looking for a great binge watch this weekend, Big Mouth‘s season two is a satisfyingly humorous and heartfelt series.
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