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In Season 5, Big Mouth has found yet another way to make raunchy cartoons feel empowering

  • "Big Mouth has never been afraid to push boundaries," says Kayla Cobb. "After all, this is a comedy that started with a preteen boy learning about masturbation. Nick and Lola (both Nick Kroll) repeatedly talk to their pubic hair. Jessi (Jessi Klein) has full, episode-long conversations with her vagina (Kristen Wiig). We’ve seen these kids naked at a Korean spa, penis out at mini-golf, stage a full-on photoshoot for a dick pic, and in a hundred other supremely awkward yet funny scenarios. But for all of these well-crafted moments, there have been others that feel just a bit too close to animated exploitation. One of the most jarrings examples of this happened in Season 4 with Jessi and Michelangelo (Sterling K. Brown). 'Four Stories About Hand Stuff' used Jessi to tackle some of the sexual pressure women can feel in relationships, especially young relationships. As well-intended as that message was, it still involved a child’s talking penis and a character who, in spite of their one year age difference, felt uncomfortably older than Jessi. It was a sexual encounter that always felt more creepy, than fun. Season 5 corrects these missteps while retaining its mature themes thanks to Leah (Kat Dennings). Nick’s older sister has always been a welcome side character, a simultaneously sarcastic yet honest voice who often cuts to the core of Nick’s deepest worries. Before, she’s been used in sketches about more adult themes, like when she starred in a Bachelor parody about finding the right birth control. But in Season 5, Big Mouth finally gives her something more to do when she introduces her family to her new boyfriend, Val Bilzerian (Mark Duplass). And they’re the conduit through which Big Mouth finally explores sexual intercourse." ALSO: Kumail Nanjiani sends himself up in Big Mouth Season 5.

    TOPICS: Big Mouth, Netflix, Kumail Nanjiani