Best of 2020: The TV Show of the Year is “Big Mouth”
Pubescent teenagers with hormone monsters wreaking havoc: that’s “Big Mouth” in one sentence. The animated show, released on Netflix in 2017, follows the development of five middle schoolers as they venture into the unknown world of puberty, where their unwanted sexual and physical changes remind us of the horrors of our own puberty. They are accompanied by their hormonal monsters, these wildly inappropriate furry creatures who serve to guide them through their changes, all while making one too many dirty jokes to keep us nearly pissing from laughter throughout all of the episodes.
Season four, which just came out on Dec. 4, gives us a whole new depth of realness. While the older seasons focused on the characters leaving their childhoods, in this season, the characters find themselves facing the realities of entering adulthood. We have the introduction of Tito the Anxiety Mosquito, reminding us of our own anxiety as a teen trying to fit in, or the love story between Jessie and Michelangelo, representing the lust we have felt for one too many toxic crushes.
Unlike old teen movies like “The Breakfast Club,” which seem too romanticized and out-of-date to feel true, the situations the characters face in “Big Mouth” are a true product of our time. For example, we meet Natalie, who is transgender, and we watch Missie’s own struggle in finding her identity, after being born to biracial parents, all of which ring direct bells to the LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter movements of today.
What makes “Big Mouth” so entertaining is that it unapologetically exposes our most embarrassing and shameful memories as teenagers, like the bitter memories of our first period or our first rejection, through these fictional characters’ own experiences. With the harsh year of 2020 coming to an end, “Big Mouth” is the much-needed reminder that life isn’t always meant to be taken so seriously, and that within us still lies the silly teenager we used to be.