Netflix show special embodies awkwardness of adolescence


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‘Big Mouth’ is an American adult-animated sitcom created by Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett.

The “Big Mouth” Valentine’s Day special nails the overwhelming struggles of Valentine’s Day, and the accuracy of it is both hilarious and painful. No other television show comes close to emulating the hardships of puberty we all go through.

What’s made “Big Mouth” so successful is the concept of having a hormone monster that guides the teenagers through their problems. Much like puberty, the role of the monsters in the show is not very enjoyable. The show is chaotic, and the Valentine’s Day special is no exception.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve blocked out old memories of my experiences of adolescence in middle and high school. “Big Mouth” has managed to remind me of all the moments I try to forget — especially the Valentine’s Day special. The episode starts where it left off in season two: Nick is newly paired with the Hormone Monstress, Andrew is still deeply in love with Missy, Jay is experimenting with different ways to use pillows and Jessi deals with loneliness.

Unlike season one and two, the special takes a closer look at Matthew, a character who deals with the loneliness of being one of the only gay kids at school.  He copes with this by celebrating an anti-Valentine’s Day date with Jessi, which results in him finding a real potential date towards the end of the episode.

Meanwhile, Andrew has the worst Valentine’s Day ever. Since Valentine’s Day has always been an awkward mess for Andrew, he decides to switch it up by wearing a fancy French beret to appear romantic and artsy in order to impress his crush, Missy. However, like most things in adolescence, nothing goes as planned.

Andrew quickly gets jealous when Missy hangs out with another boy and decides his best option is to impress her by showing off his physical masculine prowess by trying to jump to the top of the door frame. This resolves in Andrew failing miserably and being carried away by his Hormone Monster.

I remember the stage in my life when I thought such displays of masculinity were effective. I witnessed other guys with the same mindset at that stage of life. Seeing this thought process mocked by Andrew’s hormone monster induces both laughs and tears at the level of accuracy.

What “Big Mouth” does so well, especially in this episode, is take on the many complicated storylines of multiple characters. Although some plots such as Jay’s come off as strange and somewhat disgusting, the episode continues to switch focus on different characters throughout the 45 minutes. While doing this, the show also incorporates multiple musical numbers. And who doesn’t love a good musical number?