By Ryan Grant-Khailani, Third-Year, History
Big Mouth (2017-) finally returns with its sixth season and, since season five, all we’ve had is a spin-off to satiate us. With a strong legacy, their formula is tried and tested and a Big Mouth style has been established; this season does not disappoint in either of these regards.
Where I find fault, I find through the critical lens of a devoted fan. What I praise falls in line with similar sentiments I expressed in my review of the previous season; the expansion of a stellar cast, with Peter Capaldi entering as an elderly Scottish grandfather.
The content of the show and its purpose has always been to offer insight into contemporary discussions around social issues and sexual health-related matters. This season, the conversation expands to topics of gender neutrality and asexuality. For this navigation between comedy and more serious queer discussions which are rarely addressed in media, I will continuously praise this show.
My criticism is reserved for two main points. The first is a disappointment with the show for a lack of integration with the characters that entered in the spin-off. Characters such as The Logic Rock (Randall Park) and The Addiction Angel (Hugh Jackman) are absent in this season. Considering the fact that in order to keep up with the plot of The Hormone Monsters, Maury and Connie (Nick Kroll and Maya Rudolph), one has to watch Human Resources (2022), I do not believe this a tall order.
I would also have liked to see a return to the show’s typical format: an introduction to a new theme and chaotic plot device is expected, one that creates conflict followed by comedic resolutions within the final few episodes. In season 5, for example, the children of Bridgton Middle struggle with feelings of love and hate, animated in the way of Lovebugs and Hateworms, respectively.
This season lacked such an outlined point of antagonism. By doing this, however, the agency and story of each character is given different narrative treatment than the show has seen before.
Despite these minor hiccups, the plotlines still follow the slapstick fun that audiences expect from Big Mouth. One focus of the season is climbing the family tree of Nick Birch (Nick Kroll), and discovering his nipple-twisting grandfather, Seamus McGregor (Peter Capaldi). Together, the audience unpack a woeful story of intergenerational trauma and the impact of masculine identities on the Birches, one piss-can at a time.
The show has always had a musical element, but season 6 returns that element to the foreground with possibly the most musical numbers per episode. In episode 7, 'Dadda Dia', Lola Ugfuglio Skumpy (Nick Kroll) reconnects with her three potential fathers. This takes shape as a colourful parody of a 00s boy band, BOYZ 4 LIFE, with one member being voiced by Maroon 5’s now infamous Adam Levine.
Throughout the season, the songs play a crucial and often hilarious role when dealing with huge conversational undertakings, such as gender neutrality. While maybe not infectiously catchy, it did cross my mind whether or not to add some songs to a playlist. If you have enjoyed earlier seasons of Big Mouth or even Human Resources, this is not a a season to miss.
Featured Image: Netflix and IMDB
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