As expected from a show like Big Mouth, there’s a lot to take in. Pun absolutely intended. Make no mistake, the crude humour is still very prominent, and it’s still, in my opinion, hilarious. There are a lot of themes explored in this season and I absolutely loved all of it.
Mental health was one of the most explored topics, with anxiety taking centre stage as throughout the entire season, several characters come into contact with Tito The Anxiety Mosquito (Maria Bamford), anxiety personified. Tito, who occasionally appears as a swarm of herself, harasses the main cast by listing off what-if-scenarios that we as an audience will see as ridiculous, a genius metaphor for explaining what it’s like to have constant anxiety.
The first few episodes take place in a summer camp setting immediately after the end of the last season with two of the lead characters, Nick (Nick Kroll) and Andrew (John Mulaney) having a falling out. Tito first appears to Nick after he is bullied by most of the other campers and she immediately sets the precedent for season by making Nicks camp experience as realistically uncomfortable as possible. Later in the season we see Tito combine efforts with the depression kitty to make life hard for another one of the lead characters Jessi (Jessi Klein), revealing that they’ve been working together for ages. Not only are these good metaphors for debilitating mental illnesses, but also they’re really good characters with personalities that stick with you even when they’re not onscreen. There were also other subplots during this arc, the most notable introducing a transgender character who used to be friends with the boys at the camp, but was subsequently shunned after coming out.
As well as this there was a story line where Andrew couldn’t poop for weeks because of his angry feelings toward Nick, creating a talking angry turd, symbolic of his inability to let things go. Another theme that was touched on was code-switching in the young African-American community. For those who are unfamiliar, the textbook definition of code-switching is the practice of alternating between two or more different languages. For some young black people though, code switching is a way of navigating through life making certain that you’re never perceived as a threat or less than reputable by talking to people in different vernaculars and cadences. This wasn’t as in-depth as the other themes explored but it definitely grabbed my attention with the hilariously accurate musical number. As a young black man, I’m excited to see a topic like this discussed because before watching this episode, I hadn’t realized that I’d never seen it talked about on ANY show before and it makes it feel slightly more relatable.
About midway through the season, we were introduced to the main villain of the season, Nick Starr who is the adult version of Nick with all of his good qualities stripped away, leaving him with nothing but himself. He’s depicted as a sociopath who literally only cares about himself, and is only defeated after young Nick embraces parts of himself that he hid away and becomes vulnerable. Overall, season 4 of big mouth was the best one yet and some characters pretty much confirming that a 5th is planned, I’m VERY excited to see what’s next for this very funny show.