Big Mouth’s premiere in September 2017 feels like yesterday, yet somehow here we are, five seasons in with no signs of slowing down. Now two seasons into the three season renewal news that came out back in 2019, season five brought with it everything viewers have come to expect from Big Mouth.
In the chaotic world of depression kitties, shame wizards and hormone monsters, the kids this season dealt with all the terrifyingly hilarious creatures of puberty that came in past seasons, along with the new core additions of love bugs and hate worms. It really is just a fantastic concept that the creators of the show continue to deliver on.
Big Mouth also continues to approach hot button and taboo topics with ease in season five. The show is truly comforting, in an oddly uncomfortable way. It’s not something to screen for an audience of kids, but it’s certainly one for teens and adults alike. It’s a series that simply tells everyone it’s okay — anything we may have gone through as we grew up, or are currently going through, is normal. Instead of hyper-focusing on embarrassing memories, Big Mouth allows anyone to be able to laugh at not only the show but their own related moments in life.
That said, the show might be better off ending sooner than a lot of fans would want it to.
The series has clearly gotten more comfortable in its own skin as the seasons have passed by, and even season one was comfortable tackling plots that most shows wouldn’t go anywhere near. By the time you get to season five, though, it’s clear there’s no fear from the show-makers at all and that they’ll cover anything and everything that has to do with puberty, growing up and just life in general.
The thing is, as wonderfully as the show is doing right now, it’d be a shame to see it veer off from the purpose that’s driven every episode. While there aren’t any issues present yet, Big Mouth needs to be sure not to get too comfortable and end up in a place where it continues to rehash plot threads or up the shock value simply for the sake of a laugh.
It’s an issue that seems to be prevalent especially for adult animated series — just look at shows like The Simpsons or Bob’s Burgers. The fans have obviously stuck around and they’re fun to put on from time to time, but later seasons have kind of fallen off after the novelty and uniqueness of earlier ones. Long-running adult animated shows run the risk of becoming not particularly bad, but tired and repetitive instead, which is where Big Mouth needs to be careful.
It’s staying the course for now, and I’m not suggesting season six be it — in fact, I’d still say to give them a few more after that. But they need to make sure they’re holding true to the purpose of the show while continuing to explore new ideas, formats and scenarios.
The creators ought to keep up the ridiculousness and the laughter, but they should also be sure to maintain the idea of normalizing puberty and the awkwardness of life for viewers while doing it. The show can’t just become another Family Guy; it should remember where it comes from and maybe even have an end goal in mind. It’s always better for shows to end on their own terms anyway than to run out of steam. It’s not usually what fans want, but it’s ultimately more fulfilling in the long run.
Another solution might be to really reimagine the format. Big Mouth could definitely take its characters into high school and beyond, so there’s the opportunity to hone in on that idea when it’s time. It doesn’t have to be as drastic a reimagining as something like Rugrats becoming All Grown Up!, but some rebranding or restyling might keep the show fresh and alive past these turbulent middle school years for our beloved cast of hormonal characters.
Everything that’s been done so far, though, has only gotten better as the seasons have gone by, including this latest one. And with some caution and planning ahead in mind, it’s clear we can trust the entire Big Mouth team to continue to deliver. If you haven’t seen season five yet, it just dropped last week on Netflix so be sure to check it out.
Viewers should get ready for season six and whatever may come next. This show has earned enough trust to not be too worried as it continues on and goes through changes.
Jackson Horvat is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.