REVIEWED: MY FURRY VALENTINE (SEASON 3, EPISODE 0) | WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX
For its first two seasons, Netflix's Big Mouth has explored the trials and travails of a group of junior high kids as they deal with their puberty monsters. That's not a euphemism, either: there are literally monsters pushing these youngsters' hormonal buttons! After the big changes and reveals of Smooch or Share and The Department of Puberty at the end of Season 2, Big Mouth returned recently with this Valentine's – or is it Valentime's? – Day special. In it, viewers are not only treated to a double-length episode, but there's also three musical numbers and it's structured around a framing device that's essentially When Harry Met Sally.
The framing angle sees Andrew (John Mulaney), Nick (Nick Kroll), Jessi (Jessi Klein), and Matthew (Andrew Rannells), all talking about they met their hormone monsters, Maurice (Kroll, again) and Connie (Maya Rudolph). With most of the various pairings having pretty much disintegrated at the end of the second season, all the kids are essentially miserable on Valentine's Day, and as per usual, their parents aren't helping. Even the ghost of Duke Ellington (Jordan Peele) is stuck in a love triangle with Whitney Houston and Nina Simone. One would think that the double length of the special would cause things to lag a little, but everything moves along just as fresh and evenly-paced as a regular season episode.
What makes Big Mouth so appealing is the fact that it's relentlessly vulgar and hilarious, but also really touching. The kids' reactions to the changes they're going through are frighteningly accurate in the way they're depicted, and even though they're exaggerated to farcical lengths for comedic effect, anyone with even the faintest memory of puberty and its ravages will see some echoes of their experience in the series. That means that in My Furry Valentine, Jay (Jason Mantzoukas) learns about trying to balance relationships, Andrew learns about toxic masculinity, Nick learns to embrace his growing sensitivity, and Jessi and Matthew learn the meaning of platonic friendship. There is also something in the realm of a metric tonne of dick jokes, as well as profanity (specifically, “bussy”) which might make the Urban Dictionary blush deeply.