'Big Mouth' Valentine's Day Special: Bitter But Not Sweet

On a cold and dreary February afternoon, I found myself eagerly reaching for my laptop and blanket so I could finally tune in to the special that all “Big Mouth” fans have been waiting for: “My Furry Valentine.”

On Friday, Feb. 8, “Big Mouth” fans were pleased to exercise their right to “Netflix and chill.” The writers of the popular animated comedy released a much-needed fix of the awkward lives of a group of pubescent teens from Westchester County, New York.

Instead of gracing fans with the classic nonstop raunchy humor that “Big Mouth” is known for, “My Furry Valentine” takes a more depressing approach. The episode addresses the brutally honest aspects of what Valentine’s Day is like for young teens whose bodies are frustratingly “going through changes.”

The episode opens with a mockumentary style shot of protagonist Andrew and his hormone mon episode, which consists of Andrew’s quest to make Missy his valentine, whether she likes it or not. Nick’s battle to deal with the pain of his sensitive nipples and suffocating affection of his parents.

Andrew and Nick get overwhelmed by their emotions while their hormone monsters try to get them through it all. Jessi is nauseated by her mother’s intense lesbian affair with Dina and shares her hatred for Valentine’s Day with Matthew, who struggles to find a special someone for himself. Jay has the opposite problem in his sexual relationships with his female pillow and male couch cushion, as they fight for his attention.

Although the episode’s contents reflect the frank and embarrassing nuances of an adolescent’s love life, the humor is often underwhelming. Instead of laughing over the generous visuals of Nick and Andrew’s sexual mishaps, I was left feeling sorry for them. When Andrew attempts to channel his inner Billy Crystal and schmooze Missy, he loses his temper along with most of his hair.

big mouth nick and connie.png

Nick lies next to Connie, his hormone monstress. Photo courtesy of Netflix

After watching the season 2 episode, “The Shame Wizard,” where Andrew is caught pleasuring himself to Nick’s older sister’s bathing suit, I was rooting for Andrew to find a valentine and finally be happy. Instead of being the innocent yet misunderstood awkward teen we love and adore, Andrew is depicted as an aggressive dunce who pressures Missy into being his valentine and pushes his handicapped classmate, Lars, out of his wheelchair.

Nick is also troubled as he takes out his anger on Connie, his hormone monstress, who was only trying to help him and his sore nipples. Adding on to the episode’s despair and frustration is Jay, who gives up his love of jerking off to inanimate objects. I was desperately waiting for Jay to find a valentine that is human. However, the episode did not cater to my hopeful wishes.

The sadness does not seem to end when Lola is upset that her mother is out of town and spent all of her money on Sephora products, and Devin emotionally abuses her boyfriend Devon into proposing to her.

The episode finally begins to lose its gloomy tone, when Nick apologizes to Connie and Jessi reconciles with her mother. However, it serves as the episode’s conclusion. Instead of leaving me laughing, “My Furry Valentine,” left me emotionally exhausted. Besides Coach Steve introducing Jay, whom he refers to as his “child best friend” to his new girlfriend, “Reese’s Werther’s Spoons,” I expected the Valentine’s Day special’s plot to address less serious issues and be more of the lighthearted treat I had been anticipating.

“Big Mouth” is a popular Netflix series that accurately depicts the struggles of growing up that not only make you squirm but make you laugh and embrace the humor behind life’s embarrassing hiccups. Although “My Furry Valentine,” misses the mark, my optimistic outlook on life leaves me hopeful for season 3. There is always next year.