In keeping with animation tradition, “Big Mouth” co-creator Andrew Goldberg assumed that — like “The Simpsons” or “South Park” before it — the adult-geared series would remain stagnant in time. So much for Charles Bradley’s “Changes” theme song.
Thankfully, though, no one else agreed: The crux of the in-your-face, earnest and raunchy Netflix show about puberty is just that — the rapid changes that occur in adolescence, from the pesky zits to the growing emotional maturity that stops everything in its tracks.
“Puberty is a defined time of life, and our kids are getting older in the show,” fellow co-creator Mark Levin told TheWrap in an interview. “Bart Simpson has been the same age for 30 years or whatever, but for our show, we really want to progress them through time, and they’re moving through eighth grade now. We want to be able to tell the story of puberty as a time of life, and when we move through that time, we’ll see where we’re at with the show, but we’re definitely still in it. We got a lot of stories left to tell.”
With a writers room already open for “Big Mouth” Season 7, executive producers Levin, Goldberg, Jennifer Flackett and Nick Kroll expect to move beyond that goalpost, though they’re not exactly certain how many additional seasons that would entail.
“We would like to see our kids in high school,” Goldberg said. “I think that would be really interesting and fun just because, like you said, it is unusual — one of the things about animation is usually they remain the same age. To be honest, that was my assumption when we first started. I remember [Levin and Flackett] were like, ‘I disagree.’ And I remember Victor Quinaz, one of our writers, really vehemently disagreed. What really convinced me was Victor said, ‘The show is all about changing. How could they not change?’ And I was like, ‘Well, OK, yeah, you’re right.’”
The comedy has already toyed with notions of the future, exploring a post-apocalyptic scenario where the future wealthy and lonely version of Nick (Kroll) has to choose the perfect plus-one with whom to flee Earth in the self-titled Season 4 episode “Nick Starr.” In a brief post-credits clip in Season 6, older and jaded iterations of Nick and Jay (Jason Mantzoukas) make good on their promise to complete the final two notches of the Rice Purity Test the latter wasn’t able to check off back in middle school.
“Part of the flash forwards, to me, are about this idea that your future is not fixed, and that everything you do when you’re 13, 14 weirdly does impact what you become and you have all these different paths to go down at this age,” Goldberg explained.
As for what else is in store for the sprawling world of “Big Mouth” (which now includes the workplace comedy “Human Resources”), the co-creators tease another special in the vein of the show’s previous Valentine’s Day and Christmas shenanigans.
“One could call it a Fourth of July episode,” Goldberg said — at which point Flackett chimed in, “One could, yeah” — “in a future season that we’re working on, that is not what you would expect for a Fourth of July episode. Should I leave it at that? Is that tease-y enough?”
All episodes of “Big Mouth” Season 6 are now streaming on Netflix.