Part of the appeal of animated series is that characters can continue being the identical age and exist in a place of stasis that is impossible in live-action. Netflix’s Big Mouth, nevertheless, is one of the few animated series that allows its characters to grow old because these changes are fundamental to the kinds of stories it tells. Big Mouth’scharacters are in a sensitive age where annually can feel like a lifetime.
This passage of time allows Big Mouth to feel refreshing and gain a greater level of depth in its storytelling and characters, even if it’s nevertheless an absurdist comedy that frequently escapes into fantasy. Nick, Andrew, and Jessi’s development have always been the show’s focus, but their growth in year four is the most important yet as these characters input the eighth grade and sexual activity becomes a graspable fact instead of some impossible pipe dream. It allows season four to contain some of the Enormous Mouth’s finest and funniest moments and it instills confidence which the show’s forthcoming seasons ought to be just as fulfilling as these figures clumsily stumble through adolescence and trudge through the remnants of puberty.
Big Mouth year 4begins with a fun change of pace in which the unique stresses and joys of summer camp are seasoned before the figures plummet into eighth grade. There’s a sunny atmosphere around these episodes, but there is also a brand new sense of dread that starts to grow as characters go into the more mature territory and eventually become sex adjoining in their relationships. Summer camp is a very strong framing device and there is just enough of it showcased to feel satisfied, whereas an entire season that is set at camp wouldn’t have the ability to sustain itself.
Big Mouth effortlessly juggles hormonal tales with psychological character development and much of the fallout at the end of last year helps start season four off with a lot of ammunition as figures already begin in a location of freefall. Everything helps make this series’ longest season nonetheless in addition to a year that sets these characters at significant crossroads as they prepare for major shifts that have been four seasons in the making. Missi is perhaps conflicted the most with this and her connection with her racial identity becomes a major storyline for the season (as well as the fuel for one of the year’s greatest musical figures ), which culminates with the passing of this function in Jenny Slate to Ayo Edeberi.
Big Mouth is often incredibly crass, but it is also among the most progressive and inclusive series on tv. This season continues to tell important stories and some episodes maturely investigate transgender representation, parents coming to terms with their children’s sexuality, as well as code changing. It’s genuinely fantastic to see how Big Mouth signifies something such as gender transition therapy with its Hormone Monsters and the exaggerated rules that its world has established. It finds a creative way to visually explore the sensitive subject matter while still treating everything with respect. This allows these stories to get the same treatment as other puberty stories the show gifts. It makes them a part of the standard instead of turning them into an anomaly in almost any capacity.
This new season unpacks important topics in informative ways, such as the use of tampons for the first time, an anthology setup based around”hand stuff,” along with the reduction of friends and societal anxiety. However, certain episodes also take bigger stylistic swings such as one that jumps several decades into the future. Big Mouth is a balancing act that works since the show is simultaneously absurd as well as intensely realistic. The series is made for adults, but I have said previously that kids would gain and learn from the stories being told in this show. That’s never been truer than now since these stories turned into more modern and universal with the way they approach groups of people who haven’t previously been explored like this in animated series. It helps build an important precedent that will be followed closely.
Big Mouth excels with how it utilizes puberty as a filter to inform these hyperbolized stories, but even the show’s non-sequitur dialog is gold. A show can rarely be this genuine and thought-provoking while also absurdly laughing out loud funny. There is also such satisfying and specific jokes for people that are inside baseball comedy nerds, such as how these characters will be their voice actors’ pint-sized doppelgangers or quote lines from their stand up patterns or podcast looks. It’s not often that a character’s full name and design can create leads, but Big Mouth succeeds by understanding who their audience is and unabashedly playing into it.
Season 4 plays with a lot of ideas, but it builds to an apocalyptic conclusion that is about learning how to adopt the worst elements of ourselves. It’s a valuable lesson, but its execution comes across as a little strained, particularly with Nick, but it’s still a satisfying season that’s able to attract all of its themes together. In doing this, Large Mouth’s fourth year pushes its characters farther into maturity and turns sex and puberty into less of a puzzle.
While this process continues it is clear to consider the length of time Big Mouth can last after those figures enter high school, engage in more sexual activity, and stop being children. I completely expect the series will relish the chance to explore how these characters lose their virginities, just as it does not belittle the significance of falling pigment of the opposite sex for the very first time this season, but it is hard to imagine fanciful creatures following them around for long then.
It seems like Big Mouth is well aware of its limitations, both concerning the broader range of territory it assesses this season and the way it has a spin-off series in manufacturing that is ready to transport over Enormous Mouth’s unique sense of humor, but in a different context. But concepts like anxiety and depression are lifelong disorders and it’s not impossible to imagine a variant of this series with elderly characters that no more attributes Hormone Monsters, but a litany of other societal stress creatures instead. Season four previously begins to experiment with this because it eases off some of its more established characters in favor of new ideas. The success of the transition is a testament to the potency of Enormous Mouth’s universe along with the tone which governs it.
Much like puberty itself, particular minutes of Big Mouth’s fourth season are awkward and messy, while some are sublime and unforgettable, however, they all set a promising future that can not get here soon enough.