Why Do I Love Lola From ‘Big Mouth’ So Much?

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I’ve watched a whole lot of Big Mouth over the last few years, but the Netflix animated sitcom—which was created by comedians Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett, and Nick Kroll, and seems to perennially tackle the question “How disgusting can we make this show about teenagers while still remaining on the right side of heartwarming?”—still manages to surprise me. In particular, as I made my way through the show’s fifth season (which hit Netflix on November 1), I found myself inexplicably falling in love with the always-angry, sublimely gross middle-school bully Lola Ugfuglio-Skumpy, voiced by Kroll.

In general, I’m of the opinion that male actors shouldn’t voice female animated characters; not because it’s as problematic as a white actor voicing a Black character (a mistake that Big Mouth corrected in Season 4, replacing Jenny Slate, the voice behind adorkable biracial teen Missy, with Ayo Edebiri), but because there are so many, many talented female voice actors that using a guy seems, well, lazy. (In Bossypants, Tina Fey recalls being chagrined when SNL writers put Chris Kattan in a dress instead of giving his character to a female cast member.)

There are unquestionably a lot of female actors who could have voiced Lola, and done it beautifully, but once you hear Kroll spitting out such lines as “I want to be the first chick to shit on the moon!” and speculate about placing eggs into unmentionable body parts, it’s impossible to imagine anyone else brining her to life. (Kroll is no stranger to actually funny parodic representations of women, as he proved with his “amee-zing” portrayal of Liz G., one of the co-founders of the PR firm Publizity on Kroll Show.)

Casting aside, Big Mouth’s portrayal of Lola wowed me precisely because of how unbelievably disgusting the show has always allowed her to be. Lola has grown a lot since she was first introduced as a sidekick to queen bee Devin (June Diane Raphael) in Season 1—we’ve seen her mourn her fractured family situation, worry relatably about how her body looks, and strike up an on-again, off-again, always-perverted relationship with bisexual amateur magician Jay (Jason Mantzoukas)—but at her core, she’s portrayed in a manner so crude that the rest of the show’s female representation (which hardly pulls any punches) is outmatched. Why, then, am I so obsessed with her?

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