Big Mouth review: Hormones running wild

Chad White

Big Mouth
Netflix
Season 1

Life is a fucked up mess! Oh, it's a shit show!

Big Mouth can be summed up in just a few words. It’s funny, charming, perverted, and dark. But is it “good?” This reviewer thinks so. Perhaps it’s the fact that the cast has been so ingrained in comedy culture for the past two decades. Or maybe it’s the joke writing. Either way, Big Mouth is another animated dish worthy of being served on Netflix.

Big Mouth follows a set of preteens entering their formative years. Puberty proves to be hard for all of them as characters blossom at different rates. Once the development starts, boys and girls are individually visited by the hormone monster who is a depraved beast that can affect the real world. And ghosts exist to apparently.

The show stars a cavalcade of talent including Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jordan Peele, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Maya Rudolph, Jessi Klein and Fred Armisen. Each person voices their character with distinct ticks and quirks, making them stand out amongst each other when on screen. They deliver jokes in such a rapid manner, viewers can easily miss a reference before catching the next one. Show creator Kroll has his Seth Macfarlane moment by voicing several one off and supporting characters. Cameos abound too. Andrew Rannells plays one of the more grounded students in the school – cutting anyone he can with burning lines. June Diane Raphael is memorable as the popular girl Devin. Seth Morris and Jessica Chaffin deliver powerful performances. These names don’t scratch the surface of the wide swath of guests that pop up from time to time. Even with the childish design of the main cast (who are kids so this is kind of moot), everyone sounds mature and well directed.

The behind the scenes of the show is one of the better aspects too. Among the four creators – Jennifer Flackett, Andrew Goldberg, Kroll and Mark Levin – each one has a hand on the scripts, which is something to be admired. On top of that, the other contributors are well known comedians in their own right with the likes of Jess Dweck, Gil Ozeri and Joe Wengert among the many names in the deck. Big Mouth feels like a comedy fan’s show and not something that’d pander to those who “didn’t get it.”

The jokes take the mainstage too. You never know how much you need to hear a pint sized, magic loving Mantzoukas talking about having sex with his pillow and later following up on it with a B-story of his own that spans into more than one episode. Which brings up another wonderful aspect of this show: the call backs. Streaming shows are dealt the better hands due to their production and subsequent full season releases. The practice works in Big Mouth’s favor with episodes having layers upon layers of story and comedic bits piling up on one another only for a one off riff from episode two to be brought up in episode eight. Highlights include dad’s law commercials, a Seinfeld joke, and who can see the Ghost of Duke Ellington and Maury the Hormone Monster. The writing is hands down some of the best out there for adult comedy.

Should you watch Big Mouth?

The cast, crew, writing, and guest stars should attract any comedy lover. There’s no reason to miss out on Big Mouth unless you’re a prude.