If you haven’t watched the animated Netflix series Big Mouth, then you need to. Especially if you were a fan of BoJack Horseman. I feel that both of these shows are surprisingly profound and insightful, while also being funny and entertaining. Also the meaningful themes within both shows seem to sneak up on you and catch you with your guard down in a way that really allows them to make an emotional impact.
While Big Mouth is about the trials and tribulations of adolescence, puberty, and growing up, it is also much more than just your every day “coming of age” story. No matter what age you are (hopefully 18 or older if you’re watching this show) you will be able to relate to each character on a personal level. To me, nothing is better than having complex, dualistic characters that truly reflect what it’s like to be a real person. These characters make huge mistakes, they act selfishly, they act cruelly, but they also learn and grow, they have personal struggles that go unseen by the others around them. Ultimately they are just trying, and often failing, to be good people. Just like we all are.
The reason I wanted to write about this show today though is because of a specific new character in the latest season, Tito. In previous seasons we were introduced to Kitty Beaumont Bouchet, the personification of depression. However, in the season four, we are finally given the personification of anxiety. Tito is a nasal voiced, pathetic, buzzing mosquito. He is both portrayed on his own and in a swarm depending on the intensity of the anxiety being experienced.
I am not sure why exactly, but ever since watching this new season, I have been obsessed with and excited by this character. It is one of those things that you see and can’t believe you never thought of it yourself. Tito is the perfect physical manifestation of how anxiety feels. The voice, the behavior, the insect chosen. All of these things are so accurate. Anxiety is just as annoying and persistent as a mosquito buzzing around your head, making more and more itchy little bumps on your skin and driving you insane despite countless attempts to swat it away. From this day forward, I am definitely going to be imagining that anxious voice in my head as Tito the Anxiety Mosquito.
I think that being able to visualize these aspects of ourselves as separate entities can be so helpful. It gives us space between ourselves and our anxiety or depression. It helps us to remember that we don’t have to take it so seriously. I have been getting a laugh out of imagining Tito chomping onto my neck while apologizing nervously. It’s a welcome relief when I am feeling overwhelmed by anxious thoughts.