Big Mouth’s opening “Changes” has become a classic to fans who listen to the song at the beginning of every beloved episode. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Smith)
Crude, vulgar, a bad influence. Those might be some of the words used to describe Netflix’s hit show Big Mouth. The show has become a hit among the younger generations. Big Mouth’s story of a group of kids traversing Bridgeton Middle seems to capture our attention like no other show.
What sets Big Mouth apart from other shows is that Big Mouth actually teaches the target audience, middle and high schoolers, how to deal with puberty and that puberty is normal.
Past seasons have covered topics such as masterbation, divorce, periods, and sexual education. Season three opens up so many more topics that people should talk about more.
A big theme that Big Mouth chooses to explore throughout season three is sexuality. Matthew is the only “out” kid in school at the beginning of the show. In my opinion, he was more of a minor character during the first two seasons. But in season three, Matthew’s character really starts to open up to the audience. The way Big Mouth shows him trying to start his relationship with Aiden while dealing with conservative parents is something many kids can relate to while watching.
Big Mouth also touches on the important subject of exploring your sexuality and coming out. While Jay is by far the lewdest character in the show, he is also struggling with coming to terms with being bisexual and trying to come out. The show does an excellent job of exploring how hard it is to come out while not taking away from the humor that Jay’s character brings to the show. I think it’s quite erie how accurate Big Mouth encapsulates the struggles of being bi.
When Jay comes out to the school, his classmates tell him some disheartening things. Both his straight and gay peers say that he’s only doing this to get girls or that he is just saying he’s bi because that’s usually a pit stop to fully coming out as gay. These are common excuses to put down bisexual people and discredit their coming out. I think Jay being asked to dance at the wedding by Ali, who being pansexual is also scrutinized by many, is the perfect way to show what true acceptance is.
Another theme that the show touches on perfectly is depression. Jessi is constantly fighting with her depression while being stuck in the middle of her parent’s divorce. Depression Kitty to me is symbolic of actual depression. Depression Kitty makes Jessi feel like she can’t bring herself to get out of bed, and telling Jessi that she can’t do it and she should give up on tests. It’s important to show kids watching Big Mouth what depression can look like, so that they know what they’re going through isn’t normal and needs treatment.
Jessi’s constant fight with Depression Kitty is one of the most authentic storylines throughout the show. When Jessi takes unprescribed Adderall to get through the exams, it keeps Jessi up through the night, exhausting her and letting the Depression Kitty slink back in. But the next day, after Jessi’s dad asks he to ride her bike with him to school and she feels better afterwards, it’s such a happy moment. I think that it’s crucial that we as young people see healthy versus unhealthy ways of treating our depression.
All in all, I love the third season of Big Mouth. It’s fresh, funny as always, informational, and they advance the plot in a great direction. I feel as though the emphasis on sexuality and depression are very smart decisions on Big Mouth’s part just because how important it is to talk about these issues. Some people may not like Big Mouth for it’s vulgarity that’s aimed at middle and high schoolers, but until teachers and parents find a way to teach us about these things in a way we’ll listen, Big Mouth is a great educational asset.