Big Mouth Season 4: Answering questions too personal to be asked
Image Courtesy of Netflix
By Petr Malasek
There is a trend of new coming-of-age content. Series like HBO’s Euphoria or Netflix’s Thirteen Reasons Why depicting life of high school students, trying to tackle issues of growing up, puberty, sexuality, and drug use.
With that, there has been an increase of animated content for adults, from shows like South Park to Netflix’s Rick and Morty, The Midnight Gospel, or BoJack Horseman. They discuss topics which are definitely not aimed for children, dressed in a simplistic, colourful art-style. Adults enjoy the juxtaposition and the fact that everything is possible - as no other cinematic style could have so many celebrities, living or non-living, side-by-side.
Big Mouth, and namely its fourth season, takes the best of the both worlds, continuing the story and interactions of the main four: Nick Birch (co-creator Nick Kroll), Andrew Glouberman (John Mulaney, Missy (Jenny Slate) and Jessi Glaser (Jessi Klein), who not only fight with the environment of a summer camp and the beginning of their eight grade, but also with their changing perception of the world, sexuality, insecurities and understanding who they truly are.
The character pool can be put into two categories, the real and the metaphorical. The hormone monsters, hairy beings provoking the teens’ sexual urges through the start of puberty, are still present. Big Mouth also personifies feelings like anxiety (Tito, the Anxiety Mosquito), depression (The Depression Kitty) or gratitude (Gratitoad) which become long-lasting partners of the cast, changing their perception of the world.
However, the ten episodes are not only about the four. Some minor characters take the wheel of the ship exploring their struggles. From new characters like Natalie (Josie Totah), a transgender girl who is at a summer camp with Nick, Andrew and Jessi, depicting her experience with hormone blockers, to Matthew MacDell (Andrew Rannells), a reoccurring character who fears coming out as gay to his parents.
Big Mouth’s new season does still talk about sex in the rawest and most animalistic sense, however, it also tells us how important it is to listen and express love towards the people we like. All of the characters face different struggles, from Andrew’s OCD to Missy’s code-switching, alienation from her true, black, self to suit a certain image of someone she is not.
This season has been by far the deepest of the four, tackling issues that many people face and struggle with. Even though the show looks at thirteen year old kids, the target audience is a little older - providing help in stressful situations or a dose of very embarrassing nostalgia.
Big Mouth Season 4 is available to stream on Netflix.