Review: Big Mouth Season Four Tackles Gender Identity and Anxiety

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Annette Vaipulu, Reporter

 Big Mouth is a show that’s still going through changes, even as it reaches its fourth season. 

Like the past three seasons, Big Mouth continues to represent sensitive subjects through comedy such as gender, race and mental health, all through the lens of middle schoolers experiencing changes in their bodies, families, and lives. The season begins with the main and side characters going to summer camp and dorming with other people.

Through Natalie, a new character this season, viewers can have a better understanding of the transgender experience. Before transitioning, she thought she was a gay male, but the title didn’t fit her, later on discovering that she’s in the wrong body. So she started taking hormone blockers to feel comfortable about herself. 

At the beginning of her transition, the boys Natalie was dorming within her cabin were weirded out about Natalie’s identity, representing one of the tougher parts of her transition into womanhood. Although I can’t speak for the whole trans community, I was happy to see the representation of the whole experience.

Mental health is represented in this season through the character of Tito the Anxiety Mosquito.

Tito demonstrates how anxiety affects the choices the characters make by saying his signature phrase “what if…” in his victim’s ears, making them doubt themselves in any situation.

 The show and the problems it addresses are mainly targeted to teen audiences experiencing anxiety and depression. But the way they put it for viewers to understand mental health is helpful; it teaches us to look at situations in a different way instead of the way you think you’re seeing it.

Racism is brought up in the season with one of the characters, Missy. Missy is biracial but wasn’t exposed to her dad’s side of the family, thereby contributing to a disconnect with her Black ancestry. For example, she didn’t understand the blatant racial discrimination that often happened to her father. At the airport, her mother got away with having an Exacto knife in her bag while her father was pat-down for seemingly no reason at all.

Big Mouth has a way of balancing out humor with human experiences. Maybe we were in a certain character’s shoes at one point—but regardless, we learn from all of them.