Bringing back its trademark humor and raunchiness, “Big Mouth” returns to the screen in a big way with its third season. However, in its surreality and dedication to pushing boundaries, the show may have gone too far with its humor.
The series continues to explore the lives of its middle school characters as they learn more about sex and hormones — with help from the Hormone Monsters that guide them along the way. This season takes a deeper look at the relationships between these characters — testing their strength and resolve.
As always, props should be given to the show’s main stars, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, for their excellent portrayals of characters Nick and Andrew, respectively. The life they give these characters fuels the show and makes for a more dynamic season because of it. Kroll deserves special praise for voicing half of the characters on the show — from several of the Hormone Monsters to the crazy gym teacher to a random ladybug offering commentary on current situations. The show could not function without Kroll, and much of what works about it is thanks to him.
Season three also manages to continue the show’s unique brand of humor. It comprises some of the show’s funniest jokes to date, and continues to push the boundaries of what kinds of jokes it is allowed to tell with often humorous results.
However, it is this exact quality of the show — in its willingness to keep pushing boundaries — that it begins to falter. Many of the jokes the show offers in this season fall flat, and come off as strange and misguided. In many cases, the show goes for humor that — instead of getting huge laughs — leaves a strange taste, making for many uncomfortable moments.
This season of “Big Mouth” in particular also lacks a strong through-line for the story it is telling. Season one revolved around the Hormone Monsters and how the characters dealt with and adapted to the appearance of these creatures in their lives. Season two focused on the Shame Wizard and how these characters deal with the shame this being inflicts on them. Season three, however, lacks a central idea to concentrate on — instead reading more like a series of events that happen to involve the show’s characters. It lacks guidance and does not seem to know where it is going.
Ultimately, “Big Mouth” gives a third season with the same lewd and wit viewers have come to expect, but pushes its jokes too far and lacks true direction. The season is most certainly still worth watching, but a course correction may be needed for the show going forward.
Final Grade: C+
Joseph Marz is a TV columnist for the Daily Cardinal. To read more of his work, click here.