To the loyal Too Much Tuma readers out there (of which there are few) this is my first attempt at reviewing/recommending TV shows. I've been on bed rest post ACL surgery for the last couple of weeks so have had the luxury of grinding through some new shows out there. I've only ever written about baseball (which I still struggle with at times) but am hoping to do more TV writing in the near future, we'll see how it goes.
REVIEW: Big Mouth, Netflix, Grade: B+
What a weird show to write about, and even weirder to recommend to people. Big Mouth in one sentence? Uhhh, well...it's animated, and it's about kids reaching puberty, and there are hormone monsters, and there's a big musical number where one of the main characters thinks he's gay, and it's fucking hilarious. I think that sums it up accurately enough.
The show is based off Nick Kroll's own experience with puberty (weird I know), and features three childhood friends on their journey to "self discovery". What makes the show is how far the writers go with some of the jokes (literally NOTHING is off the table) and how goddamn relatable it is (hitting on puberty from both a male and female perspective). Seriously, we all went through puberty, and we all remember the terrible awkwardness caused by it. This show attacks that period from our lives in a way I've never seen before. And it's not just about puberty. It's about friendship, your first crush, peer pressure, and...well mostly puberty jokes actually.
Also, the cast is STACKED. In addition to Kroll the show features John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, Jason Mantzoukas (Raffi from "The League"), Jenny Slate, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, and Jordan Peele. Just a bunch of funny, fucking people.
The last point to make here is that Big Mouth cemented my feelings about animation. Animation in TV is BACK! There's always going to be great live action shows, obviously, but animated shows are just able to do so much more in creating a universe. Take for example Bojack Horseman and Rick And Morty, two of the absolute best shows on TV, and neither could function as live action. Part of what makes Big Mouth so great is the hormone monster I've mentioned, which is pictured below. I mean look at that thing! It just adds the perfect amount of ridiculousness to the story.
The key with all three of these shows (Big Mouth included) is that they tackle real world problems people are facing (depression, alcoholism, meaning of life) in a way most shows never could. Since they are colorful and cartoony (and funny) they are able to hit on big problems in a way that doesn't feel too dramatic, but still makes you go "oh, fuck"...if that makes sense.
But that's mainly a topic for another day. Big Mouth is worth watching because it's creative, it's about the most awkward stage of life, and we all went through it, and there are dick jokes, and the hormone monsters are hilarious, and it's like nothing you've ever seen before.