Big Mouth Season 2

So I finished Big Mouth Season 2 last night. I am not sure why I am watching this show. Honestly, I am not sure who this show is for. I think it's trying to tackle the social issues of going through puberty this day in age, but it also feels like it is written by someone with experiences with the time where I myself went through puberty, but is trying to talk about modern days.

Also some of the characters are... I don't know. I don't know if they're bad stereotypes or trying to break stereotypes or being insensitive or what.

I don't remember season one having as much in terms of penises, pubic hair, breasts and vaginas on screen - although I think the vaginal stuff is still more implied than implode, but hey, the world is a tricky place. Anyway, there were arcs that felt really questionable (Like is this one adult character actually mentally challenged or just supposed to be a stupid fool? The characters in the show actually call this out at one point but again, I don't know exactly how I'm supposed to feel about it.)

The season’s main story seems to resolve around shame in the form of a character called the Shame Wizard. The kids each have their own experience with the Shame Wizard and the various things that life as a pubescent teen entails. Having sexual thoughts about people you might consider “out of bounds”, doing things with people not because you like them but because the opportunity is there, kiss-and-tell, slut-shaming, masturbation shame, questioning sexuality, inexperience, experimenting with drugs, fear of future loneliness, depression, and more.

But there's also pillow fucking and a grown man living in a storage unit that sometimes gets taken on a diaper barge because... I’m not really sure I follow that one.

It hits home on a few personal notes. Depression and shame especially. I know I was ashamed of myself as a teenager and still carry a lot of that shame with me today. Depression is of course a thing I deal with daily.

But at the end, I just don't know about this show. I realize it is supposed to make me feel uncomfortable, but I’m unsure if it is doing the things that it wants to do as well as it wants to do them. I’m not even sure if that makes sense, but it can be as confusing as going through puberty is, and perhaps that's the point.

I don't know.

Disenchantment

I hate having access to Netflix.

Well, I like it. When I was in a real bad funk last year, watching Rick and Morty over and over at least gave me something to chew over in my mind. And I enjoyed it. Plus living in Japan allows me to not be oversaturated with it popularity. Plusses.

But the “binging” is a bad thing from time to time. But is it preventing me from doing what I want or am I just using it when I am in a state that I wouldn't do anything anyway? I suppose that's another story for another time.

So, I finished watching Disenchantment yesterday. First, my apologies to John DiMaggio for somehow misreading his name as H. Jon Benjamin. I was really confused why I couldn't pick out the one actor.

Anyway, when I was back in the states this summer, I was watching the Pro Tour on Twitch and every break they showed the advertisement for Disenchantment at least twice. It was kind of annoying by the end, but I was still curious.

So it was on Netflix a few days after I got back from Japan and I squeezed it in over the past two weeks.

I liked it.

I think the trailer did it a disservice because it felt like the show would be about Bean running off during the wedding and exploring the world. That's not what happened. She spent a lot of time at home. And her husband to be spent a lot of time with a sword in his head.

But after I got over that I just took the show for what it was, and it seemed to be dealing with someone who “has it all, including depression”. And that, while not a completely unique thing, touched with those flavors of Simpsons and Futurama humor did work for me. The episodes were up and down and I was okay with it. Until the end.

The last two episodes (spoilers?) hit me just as hard as some of the best episodes of Futurama. You know the ones. I hadn't realized how attached I had grown to all of the cast.

So I hope there's a season two. I hear it's not getting the best reviews, but when you've got The Simpsons and Futurama on your resume, making anything has got to be hard. I like where it went and want to see more.

I hope we get to.

Speechless

Back in 2014 or so I watched Twin Peaks. It was on Netflix at the time. I don't think Netflix was available in Japan at the time so I gasp used a VPN or something like that. Netflix is available in Japan now, but if Twin Peaks is still available on Netflix, it is not in Japan.

Then there's Showtime and Twin Peaks: The Return. Or, "No Season" as iTunes likes to categorize it. I think I also saw something to the tune of "A Limited Series Event" or somesuch. Anyway, I bought it. It was worth it.

I can't quite put my feelings into words right now. But I know it captures exactly the kind of thing I have been enjoying in various forms of media over the past few years. I need to reflect on this a bit before writing more.

Damn fine TV, though.

Dirk Gently Season 2

It took me some time to warm up to this one.

The returning characters were mostly good, the new characters were nice. Even though it's a weird show with weird stuff going on, the whole "fantasy world" angle felt like a bit too much. Yes, they did time travel in season one, but this fantasy world felt a little... too weird for a show that gets a lot of humor out of being weird about normal things.

That and they spent too much time on everyone beliving in Dirk and Dirk not beleiving in himself. Yes, a flip on the first season's way of doing things, but we all knew how it was going to end, i.e. Dirk figuring it out, so him being all mopey felt like it dragged a bit. Yes, the realization that he was "responsible" for deaths should weigh hard on a character, but it felt like it was just delaying the inevitable.

Mostly enjoyable, though. I do think I like the first season more just because the fantasy world didn't really do it for me and the "mystery" just wasn't as fun to think about.

Big Mouth

Netflix suggested Big Mouth to me and having watched the ten episodes... I'm not entirely sure who it's for.

Although it features kids going through the harrowing stages of puberty, it takes it at such an adult tone. (Seriously, one of the "Hormone Monsters" rips off the head of an NPR host and then skull-fucks it. Or at least claims to have. You do see the decapitated head, though.

The show is gross, but it is not without it's decent points. It touched on some of the subtleties of sexuality at such a young age. Questioning one’s sexuality. (I grew up in an era where the “common wisdom” was “If you have to ask if you're gay, then you're gay.” Which I just can't agree with.) Dealing with overly pushy partners. Dealing with one’s sexuality and urges while not trying to ruin things with those who are close to you or want to be close to you.

It was a bit of a mess, but so is puberty.

I can't say I liked it all that much. I think Netflix has offered better animation and shows in general. But it was an interesting topic to tackle and I’d probably watch another season. Although I’m not eagerly awaiting one.

Bojack Horseman Season 4

Fuck.

I already wrote about Episode 6, which really captured depression and self-loathing. I just finished the season and don't know what to say other than "Fuck".

The whole season pulled no punches. All the characters got arcs that were just rollercoasters of emotions. I feel a bit off just thinking about it. It's easy to scoff at a cast of characters for which money is ignored. (As with most stuff. I never understood scenes with characters at a bar after losing thier job. Uh, you're kind of going to need that money, right?) But it still manages to hit home with just how terrible people have been and how terrible people can be. And what that all means.

Not so strange things

During my three week trip back to America I kept getting recommended to watch Stranger Things. Everyone seemed to sell it to me on the idea of kids solving a mystery with the help of their D&D supplementary material, and instead I got a slightly less-weird Twin Peaks with Winona Ryder talking to a ball of Christmas lights.

I’m not complaining, I’m just saying.

I’m currently halfway through episode 6 (life calls, as it often does) and with two episodes left I kind of get that vibe I got from Heroes before it went on for Way Too Long. Knowing that there’s only about two and half hours left makes it a bit more interesting than seventeen and a half, so at least there’s that.