Tuesday, December 8, 2020

REVIEW: 'Big Mouth' - Nick's Future May Forecast Complete Global Destruction Amidst Personal Isolation in 'Nick Starr'

Netflix's Big Mouth - Episode 4.06 "Nick Starr"

Thirty years in the future, rich but lonely game show host Nick prepares to flee a dying Earth. But first he has to track down the perfect plus-one.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Big Mouth.

"Nick Starr" was written by Victor Quinaz and directed by Dave Stone

Nick's anxiety wasn't left behind at camp. He may have hoped for that. However, he is still plagued by Tito the Anxiety Mosquito. The creature doesn't even have to appear and constantly pester him into concocting these greatest fears of what could happen. That's where his mind goes. It's only in the end that he is forced to confront this symbol of anxiety. He essentially fears being all alone. That's his mentality as a young child. That's what he believes his life will be like as an adult. Even if he is willing to acknowledge that he has a crush on Jessi, he fears it is too late for him to do anything about it. They have just had a fight in New York City. Connie has left to be Jessi's hormone monster while Rick is back to guide Nick. Nick feels untethered. He seeks comfort in the technology of the future. He sees all the ways his life can be full of luxury thirty years down the road. He always sees a life of wealth and prosperity for him. He doesn't particularly care how his friends will end up. Moreover, he believes they will be exactly as they are now. They will be like their parents and stuck in this town not really doing anything. He doesn't even want to continue these friendships. He doesn't want a connection with Andrew as an adult. He would rather fantasize about their childhood together. The Andrew robot is just a stand-in for his teenage best friend. It's not a relationship that has developed beyond that. This is clearly an important and influential dynamic in his life. He just sees it as being easier to push away everyone. That also means he is an elitist monster who doesn't care about anything happening to the planet or the people who inhabit it. He is given the luxury of escape as well. He knows that the world is ending and is given the opportunity to survive. His life is given more value than those he is meant to cherish. He doesn't even want any contact with his parents. That's sad and destructive too. It's isolating behavior that only reinforces just how lonely Nick is as a person. He believes he doesn't actually fit in anywhere. That has allowed this anxiety to fester and grow. He was ridiculed and bullied throughout the summer at camp. He has found peace once more with Andrew. But now, his friendship with Jessi has imploded. That has made him realize just how much he cares about her. And in the end, he believes that she'll never reciprocate those feelings. She may join him on this venture to escape the destruction of the planet. It's only for her to make a political statement. It's something he doesn't understand either. He isn't passionate about things in the same way she is. Missy and Jessi are trying to make a difference in the world. Their aspirations are clear. They achieve them in Nick's perception of the future. Meanwhile, Nick and Andrew are still gross and obsessed with sex. They are perfectly frank about that and are even rewarded for that enthusiastic support. Their lives are fine. Nick is forced to confront the ugly reality of the life he has chosen though. It's one wherein he has no close relationships. He doesn't feel about anyone the same way his parents feel about each other. He believes he will die all alone. And yet, this vision of the future is not even about his death. He doesn't project that. He doesn't view that as the inevitable outcome to all of this. He is still too selfish in that regard. It's more disparaging in his mind if everyone else dies. He fears being the last person alive in the universe because of the destruction that has incentivized so many people to take action. He doesn't get why people care about the Earth and who gets to wield power and influence. He operates from a place of privilege. He never truly confronts that. It's all driven by his personal ego. That's what all of this boils down to. He believes his relationship with Jessi is ruined. She may be the one and he has lost that connection. It may be all downhill from here because of this agonizing mistake. He can no longer engage with his peers on the bus. He can't embrace that reality. Instead, he simply finds himself consumed by a swarm of Tito and the anxiety that has begun to crush him.