Season two of the Netflix original, Big Mouth, has officially been released on the 5th of October 2018, and with it, the spur of controversy surrounding the show itself. The series follows pre-teens in the seventh grade and their everyday lives; however, the way in which the material is presented is where the uproar comes in.
Since the students are classic pre-teens in middle school, the humor the show revolves around must be conveyed through inappropriate and perhaps over-the-top jokes. Every episode follows the characters Nick Birch and Andrew Glouberman, two best friends, and their friend group in general. The main focus of the series is cryptically depicted since the show itself is animated. Such episodes revolve around issues like birth control, depression, sexual reproduction, and other subjects of that nature that may come up in the lives of early teens. Expectedly, the subject matter has brought up many questioning viewers alone; however, the portrayal of said themes is truly vivid and leaves little to the imagination. Sparking the so called “flame war” that has been thrown on the comedians who create and produce the show.
One major argument is how this is in fact a Netflix original, meaning any young child has no censorship to this show that may come off as appropriate due to its animated style. This upset many parents who believe that such content should not be displayed on Netflix’s homepage itself. Which ties in to another issue the show ran into where some viewers saw these young and pubescent characters and what they were doing to/with themselves and each other and labeled it as “too far”. This eventually led into the debate on whether or not this show was practically becoming child pornography to its viewers because of the subjects it revolves around.
Various one-off jokes in comedy sketches now a days seem to go a bit too far from time to time, yet the show, some argue, gets away with much more due to its animated style. The final argument for the controversy was how the animated style of the show was the one factor that gave the show the validity to pursue all its raunchy humor. The issue is how through that medium, children and parents alike will see the show and associate it with something safe for children and allowed on Netflix. In a sense: how far is too far? Well the rebuttal that various comedy fans and new viewers alike seem to agree upon is how parents should be monitoring what their kids are viewing. Ashley Payne (11) agrees with this statement in thinking that, “the show talks about topics that are not appropriate for younger ages but…if you are not comfortable with the show you do not have to watch it”. It is not up to the creators of Big Mouth to censor themselves, but rather parents to be more aware of what their children are viewing.
In the end it is a simple question of whether or not Netflix is becoming too open and loose with its content or if parents are simply not doing their job in parenting and need a scapegoat, in this case Netflix, to blame for their lack of attention.