Big Mouth

⭐⭐⭐⭐ based on 3 reviews.

tl;dr: A surprisingly intelligent dissection of adolescence, puberty, and high school with a dark and lewd sense of humour that has utterly won me over.

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Animated Sitcoms

Season One

Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

I can't really remember why I started watching Big Mouth. I think I was just looking for something to fill a Rick and Morty/Archer shaped void for a bit. Whatever the reason, I'm really glad I gave it a go. At first glance, the show is a foul-mouthed, ridiculous excuse for the worst kind of juvenile humour, but the reality is actually a nuanced and surprisingly delicate look at puberty, being a teenager, and all the weird biology that comes with it. In some ways, I really wish the show was less funny as I genuinely think it's one of the best series ever created to try and tackle what it's like to be a teenager, but then makes itself too rude to ever really advocate being shown in a classroom. On the other hand, it's freaking hilarious and that deep level of lewd (yet intelligent) humour is the cornerstone that holds the rest of the show together.

From periods to sexual identity, the show skewers a whole host of adolescent worries and nightmares with a distinctively well-written sequence of comedic encounters and ridiculous characters. The core kids – Nick, Andrew, Jessi, Matthew, Missy, and Jay – are all a lot of fun and the interrelationships that form and break between them feels like a very realistic portrayal of adolescence. That they are surrounded by a host of absurd and impossible characters, like the ghost of Duke Ellington (played brilliantly by Jordan Peele, of all people), Coach Steve, Nick's parents, and of course the Hormone Monsters themselves, just helps add levity and humour to the shows otherwise quite dark plotlines. The combination works perfectly and creates something genuinely unique.

The result is a show with the plotlines and lewd jokes of South Park or Family Guy, only written by the team behind something like Rick and Morty or even The Good Place. It's clever, informative, always interesting, and even when it's going down lines of utter absurdity, a huge amount of fun.

Season Two

Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

Oh my god, the Shame Wizard is brilliant. If I thought the Hormone Monster angle was a fantastic take in season one, I did not see this coming. As a character, he's a brilliant foil throughout the season, but then the ending is just sheer ridiculous excellence. The whole school sleepover sequence had me in stitches and I loved the "defeat" of the Shame Wizard as the kids just go berserk, plus his utter confusion of Coach Steve.

I'm also a big fan of the show's increasingly liberal (yet not overbaked) leanings. The episode on Planned Parenthood, in particular, is a great expose of why the organisation gets a lot of schtick from the US media and why most of it is unfounded, no matter your religious or ethical beliefs. Once again, I deeply hope that some teachers are just ignoring the swearing (what teenagers aren't using worse language every damn day, anyway?) and showing these kinds of episodes in class, because they do a great job of evenly outlining the facts and highlighting the moral nuances involved that adults rarely manage to convey.

I also found the whole finale to be a lot of fun. Getting to see more about where the Hormone Monsters come from was a great piece of world-building and a surprisingly deep discussion around teenage depression. Overall, the show appears to be gaining strength and I can't wait for more.

My Furry Valentine

Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

I think My Furry Valentine is officially regarded as the first part of season three, but considering it was released as a special I'm not going to wait until I've seen the rest to include it. Overall, I enjoyed the special. I don't think it added anything too brilliant to the mix, but it didn't do anything badly either. I thought the Hormone Monster's arc was particularly fun and, overall, it progressed a number of plot lines nicely. Really, it just made me wish the rest of the season was already out.

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