This Is My Jam: Big Mouth and the rise of raunchy comedy

    Ahhhh, puberty. How none of us miss you. If you care to take a trip down memory lane to the most awkward period in your life, Big Mouth is certainly the show for you.

    After an outstanding reception of the first season, Netflix released season two on Oct. 5, and young adults have been buzzing about it ever since. The critically acclaimed show received a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and although it is yet to be announced, it is highly anticipated that a third season will be confirmed by Netflix soon.

    Set in the suburbs of New York City, the animated sitcom follows a group of teenagers in middle school as they navigate the minefield of puberty. It focuses specifically on a group of friends consisting of Nick Birch, Andrew Glouberman, Jessi Glaser and Jay Bilzerian. Throughout the episodes, each character, with the exception of Jay, is constantly encouraged and harassed by their individual hormone monster, which are living symbols of their raging and uncontrollable hormone levels, to commit heinous acts such as stealing, revealing their feelings to other characters and masturbating in public. These monsters act as both companions and tormentors to the teens, forcing them to compulsively follow their hormonal instincts even if it leads to disastrous consequences.

    The second season opens where the first left off with Jessi and Jay riding in the back of a pickup truck with Jay’s former lover, Pam the Pillow, and her son. The opening dialogue consists of sexually explicit comments and recollections by Jay and Pam as Jessi sits there awkwardly. This type of humor is only the tip of the iceberg in season two. These new episodes bring a host of new ideas and characters to the show: the introduction of Gina as a love interest for Nick, the decline of Jessi’s morality in the wake of her parents’ divorce, the introduction of Tyler as a “Hormone Monster in Training” and best of all, the Shame Wizard. The Shame Wizard serves as an even fouler counterpart to the hormone monsters to encourage the teenagers to perform shameful acts and suffer the unrelenting guilt that accompanies them.

    More intriguingly, the writing this season has also taken on a more politicized atmosphere. Various references appear like the would-be world if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election, subliminal shots at President Trump and an entire episode that explains the benefits and services provided by Planned Parenthood. Throughout the season, these messages continuously reinforce the liberal tone of the show and its goal of pushing the envelope and speaking its own truths.

    What truly sets Big Mouth apart from most sitcoms is its level of raunchiness: there are no boundaries. Besides the rampant vulgar language, the writer's have delved into and orchestrated just about every embarrassing situation you can think of, such as public nudity, getting caught masturbating, virginity, drugs and more. The hormone monsters, which act as external embodiments of the teenagers’ vices, serve as catalysts for the unsettling actions of the characters. What can appreciate most about the program is the brutal honesty. This type of dark humor takes shots at everything from race to gender norms and is not afraid to cross any lines. Viewers actually relate well to the content they see because it is composed of things everyone has experienced, but are too embarrassed to talk about.

    In addition, Big Mouth continuously breaks the fourth wall and acknowledges the viewers, referencing past, present and future events. It is the culmination of all of these factors, the humor, the writing, the politicism and the vulgar, relatable topics that really allows this show to create the hilarity and engagement that it does.


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