“Did someone say ‘vagina?’” whispers hormone monster Maurice before bursting out of teen Andrew’s desk. Big Mouth’s Maurice (Nick Kroll) gets things going from the very first scene. While Andrew (voiced by John Mulaney) is learning about the female reproductive system in health class, out pops Maurice: a horned and horny creature with brown fur and a phallic nose.
Big Mouth is a new Netflix comedy that explores how two “hormone monsters,” Maurice and Connie (Maya Rudolph), manipulate the minds and torture the bodies of pubescent junior high kids. Watching the show reminded me of the first time I saw South Park. Cartoons often get at truths that other art forms can’t, and this show certainly pushes boundaries.
The show portrays the horror of puberty in the form of Maurice and Connie, and in a way that’s relatable. It’s hard to pick a favorite character on a show as hilarious and perfectly pitched as Big Mouth, but gay classmate Matthew (voiced by Andrew Rannells) stands out, and the showrunners get major kudos because, besides being an incredibly well-developed character, Matthew is also the most well-adjusted — and he still gets some of the best lines.
Still, as Ben Travers writes in Indiewire, “Maurice and Connie drive the story. But they’re incredible creations because they’re more than scary monsters; they’re also trying to help these kids, in a very weird, very funny, and very recognizable way.”
While the show’s lead characters are Andrew (Mulaney) and Jessi (Jessi Klein), the hormone monsters certainly steal the show in a big, entertaining, and surprisingly educational way. In a world where Planned Parenthood and sex education budgets are being slashed left and right, Big Mouth — by tackling topics like sex, love, dating, and STIs (including HIV) — may be just the antidote we need to the ignorance that’s prevailing in our culture.