In September, Netflix released the trailer for a new animated series titled Big Mouth.
The series would be about seventh graders experiencing puberty and all the awkward, embarrassing moments that comes with it.
Due to the inevitable graphic content that comes with depicting this subject, the trailer was released to polarized reactions. Those offended accused Netflix of child pornography, demanded it be pulled, and some even threatened to cancel their Netflix subscriptions.
Despite the controversy, the show was eventually released, and received acclaim from critics and audiences alike, including myself.
However, there are still critics trying to denounce the show as filth, but they are wrong, and I want to talk about why.
As stated before, the majority of criticism is coming from offended people trying to say the show is child pornography, and it is not that in the least.
One, they are not actually using child actors, but animated characters voiced by adult actors. There are still some who say it’s pornography even if it is animated, but the issue with this argument is while we do see depiction of genitals on screen, it is never done for the purpose of sexually arousing the audience. This only happens occasionally, and there is always a good reason behind the moment.
An example of this is one of the most controversial scenes in the trailer, when the lead female holds a mirror to see what her genitals (wonderfully voiced by Kristen Wiig) looks like. I will admit that, out of context, it seems incredibly strange, but in the context of that episode, it is a humorous and honest depiction of a girl trying to understand her emerging sexuality. This is why the show is so controversial, but is so brilliant; it confronts the awkwardness of puberty head on and refuses to sanitize it.
In a world that tries to ignore this subject and sweep it under the rug, this is a show we never wanted, but it is a show that we need. It is a show that is both accurate scientifically and accurate in the intense level of hell you go through in that time.
We are too resistant in talking about this subject, and because of this, the experience is made even worse because the kids experiencing this do not know how to handle the changes their body is going through.
The biggest thought going through my head when watching the series was: I wish this show had been made when I was thirteen. This leads to the other controversy; whether kids should be allowed to watch this series.
The answer is the age group this show depicts should be allowed to watch this series. While this show is graphic, it is not any more graphic than what that age group is going through. The show does a way better job at sex education than any school, and to deny that age group understanding of what they are going through is criminal. We need to stop being a society of prudes, and be more honest about this subject.