Saturday, October 6, 2018

REVIEW: 'Big Mouth' - Coach Steve Gets a Major Opportunity While Jessi Continues Her Rebellion in 'Steve the Virgin'

Netflix's Big Mouth - Episode 2.04 "Steve the Virgin"

Coach Steve finally gets his chance to do sex on a lady. Nick and Andrew go on a double date. Jessi's rebellious streak leads to big trouble.

In 2018, it makes no sense to provide full-length reviews of each individual episode for shows released all at once on the streaming services. Sure, there are some shows out there that value the power of the episode. They do make a point in differentiating each episode to ensure it's not just one big slog to the finish. However, the ability to watch the entire season at one's own viewing pace has largely changed the way we consume and discuss these shows. So, some brief summary thoughts are really all that's actually necessary with these seasons. As such, here are my latest thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Big Mouth.

"Steve the Virgin" was written by Joe Wengert and directed by Bob Suarez

Obviously, the biggest thing to happen in "Steve the Virgin" is the reveal that DeVon may actually be an old man. That's huge! At first, it seems like nothing more than bullying from Devin because she very much wants to make him jealous and get back together with him. Nick is more than willing to go along with the teasing. But than Jessi and the local pharmacist also have their doubts about DeVon's real age. It's just a really solid running joke throughout this episode. Of course, it's not the biggest thing to happen. It's just something very specific and really funny. Instead, this is the episode where Coach Steve loses his virginity. Now, I'm definitely a believer in a little bit of Coach Steve can go a long way. This episode overindulges on him a little bit. Your mileage may vary though. He's a character that Nick Kroll obviously loves playing. He can be so absolutely ridiculous and oblivious. It's a bitting condemnation that he is the sex ed teacher at this school and yet he knows absolutely nothing about sex. He refers to ejaculation as a peanut sneeze. That's just such an unusual phrase that nevertheless really works for his situation. In fact, it's surprising just how quickly the show has moved when it comes to this story about Coach Steve. It was only discovered that he was a virgin a couple of episodes ago. And then, the Bad Mitten teased that this moment was going to happen in this episode. And now, Jay's mom finds him completely arousing. She is more than willing to accommodate him when he doesn't know what he's doing. In fact, it seems like the show is cheering on Coach Steve as he is losing his virginity. He even has a playful metaphor about a train going through a tunnel - with it being warmer than he was expecting. It's wonderful for him and for Jay who gets a bunch of illegal fireworks out of the deal. Of course, the Gary metaphor ends in tragedy because Gary killed himself. That may be a dark tease of what's to come. And yet, Coach Steve doesn't seem like a guy who could ever be depressed either. So maybe things will have a different outcome if this continues to be an ongoing relationship for him. Jay's dad is out of town a lot. Moreover, it's fascinating to see which of the kids are tormented by the Shame Wizard. Right now, Andrew is the only one who has him regularly in his life. That's not inherently a bad thing either. The show is exploring how someone can feel both ashamed and horny at the same time. That seems to explain why Andrew suddenly finds Lola so enticing. It's this messy and abusive relationship. And yet, it's something that Andrew embraces fully. Meanwhile, Connie is able to fight off the Shame Wizard when he comes to make Jessi feel bad about getting caught shoplifting. That may prove that girls are better at fighting off shame than boys. But it also makes all of this seem like it is building to a tragic ending because she can't avoid these feelings forever. She is still just processing how complicated her parents' marriage really is. And finally, the Shame Wizard doesn't even try to target Nick even when he is caught on a zip line with his pants down. He is exposed to the world and it still feels like an impossible approach because Nick's parents have filled him with too much self-esteem. Of course, he's still embarrassed when they are there for this moment as well - with his dad getting arrested for exposing himself in front of bunch of teenagers. Plus, Nick's life is further complicated by Rick deciding to retire after his longest running client loses his virginity. But that also means he won't be there to guide Nick through puberty - even though he wasn't all that helpful to begin with.