Big Mouth, a popular 10-episode (so far), half hour Netflix Original and animated comedy about “the glorious nightmare that is teenage puberty,” according to the streaming site has made headlines and rightfully so across social media, and for good reason. While Big Mouth may be about puberty and the struggles you may face when going through it, the humour is very adult and humorously so.
The popular series was originally created and executively produced by Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett, and which also featured a number of amazing actors. John Mulaney voices Andrew and Kroll voices his best friend, Nick, among other characters throughout the series. The voice cast also features big names like Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, Jordan Peele, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate, and Jessi Klein.
According to Jennifer Flackett, who executive produced the series with her husband Mark Levin, the man-to-woman ratio in the writer’s room was about 55/45. Flackett explained that even though the show was the brainchild of two men, Kroll and Goldberg — it was always going to span gender experiences and touch on important topics. “From the very beginning, we knew the second episode would be about Jessi getting her period,” Flackett said. “We knew the tampon would sing ‘Everybody Bleeds.'”
The producer insists this was an effort from the entire staff of Big Mouth — this was going to be a show about women’s puberty just as much as men’s. “There’s a lot about girls and puberty and sex that doesn’t get discussed in the way that boys talk about it,” Flackett said. “We really wanted to give a voice to it.”
During a number of interviews with writers, the men involved in the series would discuss topics like puberty and/or masturbating to the public, openly discussing the matter. Women writers would then recount their own horror stories about getting their periods. Coming-of-age and generally sexuality for women, especially in today’s pop culture, is usually displayed in a some-what daunting and horrific manner, in a sense where the female sexuality is typically treated like a monster or “bad guy” instead of being portrayed as a natural point in a woman’s life. Big Mouth now challenges that.
“This idea of women’s purity is just an ongoing thing — of people wanting to protect them,” Flackett said. “There’s something kind of scary about it.” Flackett expressed. “There was this sound that kind of came up through the group.” According to Flakett, Andrew Goldberg addressed her, stating “I’ve never heard a sound like that before,'” Flackett explained in a statement to Bustle. She then allegedly described the noises as “this little emotional laughter.” “It was all these women being like, ‘I recognise that. This thing that I’ve never seen represented before is being shown.'”
The show captures a new level of awkward and seemingly relatable moments that we all grew up experiencing one way or another, and that itself is allegedly the animated sensations goal for it’s viewers. “making everybody feel less alone and really laughing about it, too.”
“Obviously, it’s important because women are 50 percent of the world, right? So you can just start right there. Those stories all need to be told,” Flackett continued, before adding, “In fact, if you ask me, they should be told 75 percent of the time” to make up for the lack of doing so over the years.
Additionally, Flackett also explained that the writers’ room is a place where they “talk about all of our horrible stories” from adolescence. The forward and openness of the discussions and topics behind each episode, which stemmed from the writers’ themselves has also opened up a new way to talk about the otherwise sensitive topics to those who share a love for the series, and will continue to do so in future seasons as more topics are widely addressed throughout it’s duration.