09th Oct2019

‘Big Mouth: Season 3′ Review (Netflix Original)

by Rhys Payne

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Having seen the other two seasons of Big Mouth I was very excited for the third season to finally be released on Netflix. If you haven’t heard of the show, it’s an animated series that deals with a very important period in a child’s development – namely puberty – but also deals with many other key themes such as relationships, family breakdowns and menopause; because of this it is a show for a more mature audience. Big Mouth uses animation and comedy to cover these sujects (and more) which makes for a very fun and enjoyable watch.

This is a binge-worthy series (in fact I watched the whole third series in one day) that is incredibly easy to watch. Big Mouth follows the two main characters in this series, Andrew Glouberman and Nick Birch (voiced by John Mulaney and Nick Kroll respectively), as they navigate their early teenage years with the help/hindrance of their hormone monsters. These ‘monsters’ represent the changes that they would experience during puberty. I have to stress the importance of watching the other two season before watching this one as otherwise, the narrative won’t particularly make sense. One of the first controversial issues that this show deals with is the issue of male privilege and rape culture. This is a very serious issue for kids to deal with but It’s important to realise it’s not a guide for kids but instead a comical look back for the adult viewers. They introduce this topic through a new uniform rule introduced in Bridgeton Middle School and how the girls are forced into this rule due to the lack of control of the men. This leads to a ‘slutwalk’ which is obviously comical and satirical but is also a display of what women can do when they come together and the importance of sisterhood. Another issue that affects teenagers in this modern age is the addiction to technology and specifically to their mobile phones. The clever thing about this season is that the creative team decided to humanise the imitate objects (such as mobile phones) to show the pressures of social media that teenagers face.

Big Mouth is a hyper-modern TV show that deals with many 21st-Century issues. But it also references many other films/TV shows etc to help make the show relatable to a bigger audience. The show refers to films such as Captain Phillips (“I’m the captain now”) when Harry met Sally (with the iconic fake orgasm scene in the dinner), Marvel’s Avengers. It also brings up the La-La Land and Moonlight Oscar controversy, which is a very recent scandal which the audience would be aware of.

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Most notable however they discuss the TV show Queer Eye which is also a Netflix Original series. This for me was fantastic as Queer Eye and Big Mouth are two of my favourite Netflix shows and so to see they cross over was fantastic. The fab five of Queer Eye (voiced by the actual fab five: Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness) are tasked with transforming Coach Steve (also voiced by Nick Kroll). The animators of this show did an exceptional job of re-creating the fab five in the animated world. The characters in this were a comical caricature of the shows fab five, which was incredible to watch and so the animators should be praised for a fantastic job. Like earlier seasons there were a lot of impressions of music icons such as Whitney Houston and Prince which was fanatic and only added to the musical inclusion for some of the episodes. There were many hilarious songs in this season, included a song about the ever-increasing list of sexual identities and explains them to the audience which was both enjoyable and educating. There was an episode devoted to an imaginary musical which I personally really enjoyed as the show realises not to take things too seriously but also knows what it’s purpose as a show is.

One of the most surprising scenes in this season of Big Mouth was a brief lesson on Jewish history. There is a scene in which Andrew’s dad explains what Passover is and what supposedly happened at the first Passover. It is great to see Jewish history education is shown in a mainstream TV show. Another reason this show is great for representation is the inclusion of gay couples who are teenagers. The representation of minorities is fantastic and can only benefit those they are representing, which is great to watch. One of the highlights of the other seasons was the hormone monsters. In this season they include a Menopause monster for Andrew’s Mum which is a logical step in the story. This also allowed there to be a consistent story – making it easier to watch for the audience. My only concern is with the logistics of the monsters themselves. Only their mentees are supposed to be able to see and hear them. So thinking logically when the hormone monsters move things surely they would appear to be floating etc. Also if their mentees speak to their monsters surely people would notice these weird children talking to themselves? But this was never shown. This may seem like a small error but for me, this show seemed to focus on consistency and this is one area where it missed the mark ever so slightly.

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Overall, this new season of Big Mouth is a suitable progression from the other series and fits the ‘flow’ set up previously. It continues its comical take on real-world issues while maintaining a serious message underneath all the comedy. I would recommend this show to a mature audience who are not scared of and who enjoy dark comedy/themes.

**** 4/5

Big Mouth: Season 3 is available on Netflix now.

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