This show isn't for everyone. Big Mouth probably has way too many dick jokes and is verging on inappropriate/offensive, but the question is: Did it actually go too far? Big Mouth is a 10-episode animated comedy that premiered on Netflix on September 29. The show centers around two teenage boys going through puberty along with personified "hormone monsters" to guide them through it. This sounds innocent enough, until you see giant penises walking around and you find yourself pretty much watching animated boys masturbate (no wonder this has become slightly controversial).
An Animated Show For Pedophiles?
This show has been shunned as an #animation for pedophiles, and called out for crossing the line between funny and downright inappropriate and disgusting. While I do agree that Big Mouth focuses on young teenagers masturbating and having sexual urges (among other things), I would hardly consider it pedophilic. Sure, it is crossing the line and exploring themes other shows have not; however, it does not in any way abuse the teenager characters, or even make them look sexual. If anything, it shows them as disgusting and awkward.
Big Mouth intends to be a show that depicts what puberty is truly like. Many shows gloss over teenage experiences during puberty, making them seem easier and less messy. In reality, puberty can be gross and emotionally draining. Other shows may have scenes in which a young girl gets period cramps or mood swings, or perhaps a boy masturbates into a sock. This show is not afraid to show a girl bleeding through her shorts when first starting her period, nor is it afraid to show that girls also get aroused and have sexual urges. It does this in a way that is not at all "sexy," but rather highlights what an awkward and disgusting time it can be (nonetheless a natural one to which everyone can relate).
The fact that this show is animated is also a big reason as to why it is innocent. For instance (the show itself breaks the fourth wall and makes a reference to this), making the program animated allows the depiction of all these awkward moments — like ejaculating into your trousers by accident and exploring your vagina as a teenager — acceptable to show on TV.
One point which I found bizarre (almost a point of conflict) is when one of the female middle-school characters looks at her vagina using a mirror in order to learn about it and explore it. One video responded that it was "borderline child pornography" due to the fact that the actual vagina was shown.
I disagree with this for several reasons. For starters it is animated, and the vagina is not at all realistic (it has a mouth and eyes and talks). There have been countless TV shows in which teenage boy characters masturbate, have sex and do many other inappropriate things; however, when an animated character talks to her animated vagina to learn about it, it's suddenly a complete outrage. What this really boils down to is the fact that puberty is considered a taboo topic, especially when going into detail.
What If The Children See It?
After reading countless YouTube comments and reviews, it is clear that some people are concerned with children and teenagers watching #BigMouth. However, the show does is not intended for young people; it is a show for adults to laugh at and reminisce over all the awkward times they experienced when going through puberty. Series creator Nick Kroll says that he wants adults to look back and think: "That's what I was going through."
Countless TV shows — animated ones included — cross the line into inappropriate territory, yet they are accepted because the shows did not focus specifically on all aspects of puberty.
Big Mouth is indeed a slightly inappropriate show, though its intent is innocent. The show is aimed at adults only, and is full of clever humor. It makes you cringe and doubt whether you should be laughing and it probably offers the best, most raw demonstration of puberty.
Puberty isn't simply a nice and neat process where we magically mature into fine adults. It is gross and awful, and that's exactly what Big Mouth demonstrates. It also adds humor to it all, allowing you to laugh at these experiences and shows that puberty is different for boys and girls. Big Mouth is a show about discovering yourself and your body, and it is hilarious and realistic. The show may be controversial but many also see the funny and innocent side of it as well.
As I said at the beginning, this show may not be for everyone. If you are easily offended or sensitive towards things of this nature, Big Mouth probably isn't for you. However this show is not in any way one for pedophiles, nor does it sexualize children any more than any other show out there. Instead, it shows how disgusting and awkward puberty experiences can be, while keeping it lighthearted and funny.
What do you think? Is Big Mouth an innocent comedy, or has it gone too far? Comment below.