The Brief: Big Mouth is an animated cartoon series that captures the experience of being a teenager and going through puberty, including all the nitty-gritty vulgar details.
In Netflix‘s Big Mouth, adolescent boys and girls are haunted by “hormone monsters” and the incredibly awkward experience of going through puberty. The show is simultaneously educational and crass, providing detailed portrayals of what tweens and teens go through as their bodies change and they become interested in sex.
Although Big Mouth is about children and young teenagers and covers issues important to them, it is rated TV-MA for its explicit depictions of sex, masturbation, drug and alcohol use, and more. These portrayals are often graphic and absurd, featuring things like full cartoon nudity, talking genitalia and personified sperm. Throughout the show, characters use a range of curse words as well as sexually explicit language. Big Mouth show captures the sometimes excruciating awkwardness of adolescence by sparing no details and focusing on some of the crudest ones.
This animated series is probably the most enjoyable for adults and older teenagers who remember the trials and tribulations of puberty. Although certain clips and/or elements of Big Mouth may be entertaining and educational for teenagers, many of the jokes are probably funnier for viewers who have more distance from those painfully embarrassing years.
In an interview with IndieWire, creator Nick Kroll explained who his intended audience included:
I’d love for parents to watch it with their kids…It is very dirty. [But] my hope is it gives kids and parents some version of tools and a language to communicate what the kids are going through and the parents are going through.
Because of its explicit content and relevance to adolescents, there is much debate about whether or not children should be allowed to watch Big Mouth, or even watch it with their parents. Of course, this decision is ultimately up to each family’s discretion. Episodes are a little over 20 minutes long so parents who are on the fence can easily preview them.