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Review: “Big Mouth” Season 3 is Going Through Changes

Rachel Stern ’21 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Spoiler Alert: This review contains spoilers for season 3 of “Big Mouth”

The raunchy and oddly heartfelt Netflix show is back with more pubescent issues to tackle and
even more musical numbers to serenade us about the psychotic decadence of Florida. Like
puberty itself, each season grows more mature, as each character goes through different
harrowing, embarrassing, and mature experiences, and not coming out the same person they
were before.

Season 3 picks up a couple months after the early-released Valentine’s Day episode,
where Nick (Nick Kroll), the boy late-bloomer struggles with puberty with fan-favorite hormone
monstress Connie (Maya Rudolph), who normally works with girls. His best friend, Andrew
(John Mulaney), goes through emotional problems, especially with issues of toxic masculinity, an inability to see that his ex-girlfriend doesn’t want to be with him anymore, and a lesson
that kissing your cousin is super gross. Nick’s other friend Jessi (Jessi Klein), still vulnerable
from her experience with Depression Kitty and her parents’ divorce, now also has to deal with
a sexist teacher and students. The “Friend That Nobody Likes,” Jay (Jason Mantzoukas), goes on
his own personal journey as the most immature of the group and comes to terms with his
bisexuality and his multiple problems at school and home. Lastly, the girl late-bloomer, Missy
(Jenny Slate) gets her own hormone monstress near the end of the show, deals with her
own desires, and finally stands up for herself.

Image courtesy of IMDB.

One of the show’s main draws is its completely unapologetic way of handling mature content
with immature aplomb. Most shows about puberty will skirt around these issues, but Big
Mouth takes the bull by the horns and displays every situation a pubescent teen goes through,
disgusting or not. It was a gimmick for season 1, but seasons 2 and 3 took on tougher, more
emotional material, and made realistic depictions of kids going through emotional turmoil and
growing even more mature, despite the immaturity of the jokes.

An impressive aspect of this season was highlighting its bisexual characters and labeling them
explicitly as that. Many TV shows refuse to do so for various reasons, but to see a character
going on a self-discovery journey and loudly and proudly exclaiming themselves as bisexual is a
rare gem indeed. They even ratified their mistake of labeling Freddie Mercury as gay in earlier
seasons, when he was actually bisexual. The show also goes through the problems bisexuals
face, like they’re just looking for attention, with even gay characters like Matthew telling Jay
that, “usually, when a guy comes out as bi, he’s just making a rest stop on his way to GayTown.”
There is a problem with the show’s first pansexual character Ali, with her putting down
bisexuality as “so binary,” but she does find some kinship with Jay about their experiences, and
based on Big Mouth’s track record for fixing mistakes made in the past, they will fix this one as
well.

Image courtesy of IMDB.

Unfortunately, season 3 does not end on a happy note. Andrew ends his friendship with Nick
after one too many fights, Jessi has to leave her friends and school to move to the city with her
mom, and Missy’s emotions are in shambles after being involved in a love-rectangle despite her inexperience. Ironically, the most messed up of the characters, Jay, experiences his moments of
content and happiness by coming out proudly as a polyamorous bisexual (albeit to an empty
room) and fixing his home life, slowly, bust surely healing his dysfunctional family.

Puberty is a messy and distressing time that everyone must toil through, with everyone
changing in a variety of ways, good and bad. It speaks volumes of how good “Big Mouth” is when it
can mirror life so accurately, genital warts and all.

Grade: A

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