The Netflix animated puberty comedy has found a way to tackle serious conversations about sexual misconduct in a unique and intelligent way in its third season, says Adrienne Westenfeld. "Remember after school specials? Informative and educational, they ruled the after school television block for a quarter of a century, aiding thousands of young people in fine-tuning their developing sense of morality," says Westenfeld. "Groundbreaking as they were in tackling thorny subjects like eating disorders and substance abuse, they earned a reputation as preachy, prescriptive, and sometimes hokey. In Netflix’s Big Mouth, after school specials have finally found a worthy successor. Yet there’s nothing preachy about Big Mouth—instead, it’s an after school special for the twenty-first century, sucking the moralizing out of the formula to instead combine insightful commentary about formative, zeitgeist-y challenges with side-splitting humor. In its home run of a third season, Big Mouth lasers in on the #MeToo movement, delivering stories at once thoughtful and uproarious about issues familiar to anyone who’s ever been a middle-school girl, including toxic masculinity, rape culture, and internalized misogyny. Yet in a crowded field of television shows wrestling with the #MeToo movement, Big Mouth doesn’t stop there—it also considers the male side of the equation, investigating how men can feel at a loss to understand the conflicting desires of women."
The Season 3 premiere explains why we're so messed up about women's sexuality: "In the space of a half hour, writers Hayley Adams, Joellen Redlingshafer and Kelsey Cressman demonstrate in remarkably nuanced detail how cultural ideas about women’s sexuality can make people of all genders miserable. And they keep you laughing the whole time," says Judy Berman, adding: "Where many other shows would be satisfied with that tidy moral, Big Mouth keeps zooming out to examine how the adults’ mixed messages about female sexuality—and the kids’ own miscommunications—affect each of the characters."
Season 3 takes a broader view of puberty: "In all of the episodes, there is an abundance of jokes about boners, orgasms, and various sexual activities, including having sex with roast turkeys, obviously," says Jen Chaney. "But the latest season also addresses the broader change that happens when kids reach puberty: how they start to shed their childhood selves and adopt new identities. In its story lines and its genre-hopping approach to season three, Big Mouth the series goes through its own version of that same process."