Maury Returns: Big Mouth Season 3 Review
Fans of hormone monsters and elaborate middle school conflicts were excited to discover that Big Mouth’s third season was released this fall, with the show’s quintessentially grotesque humor furthering the stories of adolescence and puberty in 2019.
The Netflix series’ first season was made available to subscribers in September of 2017. Since then, a second season and Valentine’s Day special have been released, and the long-awaited third season recently premiered on October 4th, 2019. In spite of the controversial opinions that surround the show, it has appealed to enough viewers that co-creator Nick Kroll announced its renewal even before the release of the third season. Tweeting his excitement, Kroll stated in a video that Big Mouth was picked up for three more seasons.
The show is often characterized by its obscene content, never shying away from sexually vivid imagery and graphic one-liners. Despite its salacious humor, the show utilizes its setting of a Westchester middle school to demonstrate the real struggles of adolescents in the current decade and how these struggles are affected by sexuality, race, gender, ability, and other identifiers. In this way, the show frequently depicts scenes that resonate with the lives of viewers, especially teenagers.
The third season touched on sexist dress codes, the ranking of classmates by appearance, and the objectification of young girls. Bisexual and pansexual characters also take on a more prominent role in the show this season, highlighting the erasure of different sexualities and calling attention to the fetishization of females in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the shame that some male members of that same community feel.
Fourth wall breaks, in which characters become self-aware of their fictional state by speaking directly to the audience, work collaboratively with references to the present-day political climate to strengthen the educational aspect of the show. The fifth episode, titled “Florida,” is dedicated to the memes surrounding the Sunshine State. A sly comment is also made about the Trump Administration’s rejection of the redesigned twenty-dollar bill featuring Harriet Tubman.
The issue of teenage mental health was recently introduced, and is personified by the new character, Depression Kitty. The animated purple cat visually depicts the struggles of mental illness, including how they take root and can become a defining force in the life of an adolescent. The discussion is accompanied by an episode about the pressure of standardized testing and its effect on students with learning disabilities such as ADD and ADHD.
While Big Mouth may be classified as an adult show, its setting in a middle school in suburban New York results in its appeal to younger audiences such as high school students. Consequently, it is not uncommon to overhear Packer students discussing the show, especially in light of its new season. Indisputably, an essential feature of the show is its obscene humor; to some viewers, such profane imagery and language may be the touch that makes the episodes funny and entertaining. To others, it may be what steers them away.
Frankie Albano (‘22), commented that while she enjoys the show overall, its third season had a tendency to “cross lines that aren’t that clever [and] just way too sexual.”
Alternatively, Leo Raykher (‘22) thought “the topics that were discussed were very relevant.” He said, “I’m actually surprised that it took them three seasons to get to that stuff,” referencing the third seasons discussion of female sexuality, while the entirety of season one seemed to only focus on the sexual pleasure of men. He agrees with many viewers that, despite some minor successes in the show’s second and third seasons, the show’s first season remains unparalleled in terms of laugh out loud material. Despite differing opinions about Big Mouth’s recent season, fans in the Packer community are nonetheless excited to see the shows promised upcoming episodes with the fourth season’s projected released in the fall of next year.