Big Mouth’s second season continues reign as TV’s funniest cringe-comedy

Netflix comedy ups its serious content without losing laughs

The characters of Big Mouth comically grapple with puberty.
Credit: 
Screenshot from Netflix

When Netflix’s animated comedy series Big Mouth came out with its first season last summer, audiences were surprised by its star-studded cast, bizarre-but-amazing premise, and cringe-worthy puberty jokes. 

Its second season, which was released on Oct. 5, doubled down on its wacky sense of humour while also delving into some of the deeper difficulties of becoming a teenager.  

Big Mouth follows seventh grade best friends Nick Birch and Andrew Glouberman—voiced by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, respectively—and their interactions with peers, parents and teachers. 

The show’s sophomore season focuses on Nick starting puberty and getting his own hormone monster, who turns out to be an unhelpful and decrepit version of the monster Andrew got last season. It touches on more serious and relatable issues than its first, like shame and depression, but still manages to avoid getting too dark. 

In addition to the hormone monsters of last season, Big Mouth’s second season introduces the Shame Wizard, voiced by David Thewlis. 

The Shame Wizard is the enemy of hormone monsters, and he haunts kids with their deepest fears. Even though the show uses an outlandish mythical creature to portray this emotion, Big Mouth still manages to give an accurate depiction of how shame really feels—especially at such a self-conscious age. 

Despite the Shame Wizard serving the constructive purpose of depicting embarrassment in teens, his torment still provides loads of laughs, especially in a bit where he becomes best friends with man-child coach, Steve.

Another powerful storyline in season two explores how openly gay student Matthew, voiced by Andrew Rannells, feels left out from his peers and doesn’t think he fits in with the boys or girls in his grade. 

The show gives an honest account of what it’s like to be an LGBTQ+ adolescent but never sacrifices its comedic appeal, shown through another character’s nickname for Matthew being “baby Billy Eichner.”

The show gives an honest account of what it’s like to be an LGBTQ+ adolescent but never sacrifices its comedic appeal

One of Big Mouth’s highlights continues to be its stellar cast, featuring the voices of comedy icons Jason Mantzoukas, Jenny Slate, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, and Jordan Peele. Kroll, a co-creator of the show, impressively voices seven different characters throughout the season, including protagonist Nick, hormone monster Maurice, and seventh grade mean girl Lola. 

Big Mouth’s sense of humour can be dirty and outlandish, but the second season doesn't fails to provide humour along with nostalgia about our own coming-of-age years. The show is self-aware and employs many meta jokes, such as a whole bit where Nick and Gina talk about how much they love Netflix before a scene where they begin discussing sharing passwords, which is suddenly cut off.

Though its second season touched on more serious issues than it previously has, it avoided feeling preachy while still getting the message across about the difficulties of puberty which mainstream media rarely covers.

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