VIEWER DISCRETION – THE ABOVE TRAILER MAY BE HIGHLY OFFENSIVE TO SOME PEOPLE
Am I Gay
Sleepover: A Harrowing Ordeal of Emotional Brutality
Girls Are Horny Too
Requiem For A Wet Dream
The Head Push
I Survived Jessi’s Bar Mitzvah
If ever there was an animated equivalent of marmite – Big Mouth proudly flaunts that title. You’re either going to love it or absolutely loathe it. Its shockingly obscene, vulgar and dives into the world of puberty for high schoolers with the filters firmly turned off. Behind the vulgarity there are a few good jokes but they’re glossed over in favour of seeing how far the boundaries can be pushed with this adult animation.
Each episode is an individual story that lies into a cohesive whole featuring a group of teenage friends that face the horrors and wonders of puberty. Its worth mentioning here that the first few episodes are shocking. Absolutely grotesquely shocking. There are some good jokes here but whether you’ll find enjoyment from this really depends on where your joke threshold lies. The episodes themselves tackle everything from wet dreams to periods all the way through to the social pressures of teenage life. Hats off to Netflix for at least trying something new and different but for me, the shocks and obscenity of it all is just too much and its used to disguise most of the other problems with the show.
The voice acting for most of the characters don’t fit the personas of their animated counterparts and the characters themselves (aside from lead protagonists Jessi, Andre and Nick) just aren’t that interesting or funny. The familiar trope of characters are all here but they’re so archetypal they never stand out. The creepy PE teacher? Check. The autistic kid used for comic relief? Check. Embarrassing parents that talk openly about their own sex life? The dialogue is also lacking, relying on shock and over the top vulgarity to entice laughs. Whilst this might work for a few scenes, its overused and around the midway point it loses its effectiveness. Its also not helped by a questionable art style and some really ugly looking character models.
Having said all that, Big Mouth does have some redeeming features. The scenarios the characters embark on are relatable to some degree and play on the awkwardness and horror these elicit. Random erections and periods aside, there’s a really nice social dynamic between the characters at work that’s interesting to see unfold but its just a pity that its never given enough time to shine with so much vulgarity overshadowing the character dynamics.
Whether you’ll get enjoyment from this raunchy adult animation really depends on where your threshold lies. The jokes play on the shock and sheer audacity of showing taboo subject matter with reckless abandon. It’s certainly going to polarise a lot of people and something like this will strike up a chord, especially the first couple of episodes that are relentless and border on what can only be classified as animated pornography. Its unnecessarily uncomfortable at times but behind all the crude jokes there is a good message. Puberty is a confusing, ugly and oftentimes messy affair. Unfortunately Big Mouth itself is also confusing, ugly and oftentimes messy and for that, its hard to look beyond its shortcomings, even if it does get some props for at least trying something new.