Big Mouth season 2 tackles shame, Planned Parenthood, female pleasure, and so much more. All the while seeming like it is more so edutainment than just raunchy good fun.
|Creator||Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett|
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Life doesn’t get any easier for the characters of Big Mouth. Andrew, a long-established kid whose depravity fuels his horniness, is introduced to the Shame Wizard and he wrecks his life. At least, until he realizes how shame helps balance him out. Nick, on the other hand, he is dealing with being a late bloomer, not getting a stable Hormone Monster, until he ends up with Connie, and dealing with the ups and downs of his relationship with Gina. A girl who is one of the first to really blossom in her grade and deals with the awkwardness of that.
As for everyone else? Well, Jessie is still dealing with her parents breaking up, in the worse way possible. Steve ends up Jay’s Gary, a father figure messing around with his mom, and Jay learns, thanks to Matthew, and a seat cushion, that he is bi-sexual. As for Missy? Well, she is around but isn’t the major player she was in season 1. So outside of being caught masturbating, she doesn’t have a storyline to speak of.
Acknowledging Shame Isn’t All Bad
On Big Mouth, there aren’t really villains. Yes, some characters are mean, but no one is an absolute villain for everyone is humanized. Take the Shame Wizard. Despite him torturing all the kids, in the end, we learn he is really just a lonely being. One isolated by his fellow hormone and life peers to a basement office. One which has no one but him working in it compared to the Hormone Monsters who have an entire floor.
And it is with him talking to Andrew, after torturing everyone in Andrew’s grade, you realize how necessary shame is. When the Hormone Monsters allow the kids to go off their rocker, the Shame Wizard is the one who gives them back some form of morality or restraint. It is the shame wizard which gives them some kind of survival skills, if not social skills, so that they don’t ruin their relationships. Giving us, like how Big Mouth often does, normalizing scary emotions or feelings and making them not only be normal, but shown as necessary. Even good, if you look at it from a certain point of view.
Connie Being Assigned To Nick As His Hormone Monster
As noted in the season finale, Nick being assigned Connie means a slew of things for the show. For one, it breaks up the idea that Hormone Monsters are restricted to gender, which they have been for most of the show. Alongside that, it presents the need to question what could this mean for Nick? Granted, Connie is a backstabbing hormone monster but it could also mean Nick getting to understand his father Elliott who doesn’t strictly adhere to gender norms. Add in how much of an influence women have on Nick’s behavior and the third season could pick up the topic of Toxic Masculinity that Guy Town brought about.
Whether you speak about Judd, Elliot, Leah, or Diane, you have to appreciate their role on this show. For whether it is calling out Nick and Andrew, due to the way they talk about Gina, or the Planned Parenthood episode, they are such good assets to the show. Not to say the other families aren’t, for Barbara’s abortion during the Planned Parenthood episode mattered and Missy’s mom helping her not feel ashamed of her body. However, if we were to talk consistent output, Nick’s family is the best – without question.
Jessie Heading To Therapy
Jessie had quite a season, and it was mostly because Connie decided to drive her nuts. Rather than guide her through puberty, as Maury does Andrew, she had her rebel. She had her stealing, talking trash, and forgetting who she was before Connie came into her life. Thankfully, there came a point where she realized this and decided Connie was not good for her. Thus leading Jessie to take her mom’s advice and go to therapy. Which, assuming this is followed up on next season, could demystify for many what actually goes on in therapy. Perhaps, like with the concept of shame, make it not seem as horrible as some still see it as. Especially when it comes from you hitting your version of rock bottom.
Though Gina didn’t get the full experience Jessie did in season 1, it was nice for Missy to not be the only non-white character featured (I have no idea what Jay is). Also, you have to appreciate what she brought to the conversation in terms of the shame, if not sense of being uncomfortable, girls have during puberty. Gina was developing before her peers and from both the guys and girls she was judged for it. Thus making her insecure.
But, you have to like how, when approached by Lola in a later episode, after her tryst with Andrew, she came to the realization there isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Be it her body or sexuality, the issue is really those who’d make her feel bad about it. Those are the jerks and while this show is MA because of its content, like Thirteen Reasons Why, despite the content rating, you know those younger than who should be watching are viewing this. And, who knows, maybe Gina follows up on what Jessie went through in season 1 and gives a young girl what they needed to hear. Perhaps the words she just didn’t know how to say.
While We Establish Jay’s Bi-sexuality, The Hormone Monsters Still Stay Clear Of Him & Matthew
Maury outrights says Jay is practically his own hormone monster. That, to me, was such a cop-out. Also, taking note of Matthew’s time in Guy Town, also what the Shame Wizard says to him, are you seriously telling me, with all those Hormone Monsters we see towards the end of the season, there isn’t one for gay kids? If not, taking note of Connie being assigned to Nick, maybe Maury couldn’t have added him to his roster?
The reason why this is such an issue for me, is this show seems very self-aware. It calls out Matthew for being a sassy stereotype yet doesn’t necessarily treat him as an equal to the other kids. Yes, he seems to know himself pretty well compared to everyone else who seem like your usual bumbling teenagers. However, imagine how great it would be for a gay kid watching the show to see his struggles addressed on a show like this. One which isn’t trying to oversexualize him, make it seem like his life is going to be one huge tragedy after another, but then it’ll get better, but just something normal. Maybe comical, to a point, but also something which makes him feel seen.
Same goes with Jay. Considering Maury is definitely not straight as an arrow, are you telling me he couldn’t even watch over Jay part-time? Reassure him that his bi-sexuality is okay and normal. Wasn’t Maury around for when Andrew was questioning if he was gay? I just want some consistency here.
Connie Abandoned Missy
But maybe that was too much to ask? Because Connie just doesn’t speak to Missy at all. Which was weird since we learn Missy has been masturbating since she was a child. Something you’d think would lead Connie to appear, or say something, since Andrew’s masturbation habits is usually the main thing we see his character do. If not, at the very least, once an episode. So considering how they had a body positivity episode, one about birth control methods, and the first season had Jessie get her period and introduce herself to her vagina, the fact Connie skipped Missy masturbating was odd.
As odd as someone my age questioning why it wasn’t included. Don’t think the weirdness of this show makes wondering about stuff like this not make me uncomfortable.
On The Fence
Connie As A Hormone Monster
From nearly ruining Jessie’s life, ignoring Missy, and being two-faced when it comes to Gina, I was left so confused by Connie this season. Maybe it is because I was comparing her to the other hormone monsters who seemingly were there to be multi-purpose advisers. Take Maury. For Andrew, he was there for the rage, the horniness, a confidant, and also there to validate him just on everyday struggles. Connie? She was there to gossip, be a bad influence, and while she helped Gina with getting some pleasure from Nick, no sooner did she do that did she join the bandwagon of slut-shaming her for it!
Making you hope, after her nearly getting taken off from being Jessie’s hormone monster, she may get her act together.
The Handling of Jay, Lola, and Steve
When it comes to Jay, Lola, and Steve, as much as you have to appreciate how they represent the odd people who are in our lives, there is the need to question their purpose. When it comes to Steve, is he purely comic relief or should we consider him just a complicated character who happens to be a bit funny? How about Lola? Someone who also doesn’t have a hormone monster to guide her. Should we take her self-deprecation, cruelty, and her letting Andrew do what he wanted for some kind of consistent attention as a joke or nah? Was the main purpose to make us uncomfortable about what we may laugh at?
Same thing goes with Jay. His discovery of his bi-sexuality was based on guilt. Hell, his love for pillows and cushions probably deals with the fact inanimate objects are probably the only consistent thing in his household. Yet, again, should we take this as a joke, something which has a bit of seriousness, or should we feel uneasy about the character and how he is treated?
Overall: Positive (Watch This)
While it lost its luster a bit, and barely addressed the selectiveness of who gets Hormone Monsters and who doesn’t, Big Mouth remained a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps because it has no real peers, so it isn’t like you can do compare and contrast beyond its two seasons. But, season 2 didn’t make it seem like this show was going to tone it down, rest on its laurels, or anything like that. It pressed forward and really gets you excited for a season 3.
Hence the positive label. For while there are things you can pick over, they aren’t things you can’t foresee being addressed in the future. Connie could always talk to Missy about what she is going through and apologize for not being there. With Matthew and Jay, considering where that may go, it may be deemed time they need hormone monsters. The show may even outright say they got passed over but they’re playing catch up now. Who knows? Either way, its few blemishes don’t take away from everything else, hence two seasons with it being labeled positive.
Has Another Season Been Confirmed?
— Big Mouth (@bigmouth) November 17, 2018
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