How 'Human Resources' Expands the Emotional, Inclusive World of 'Big Mouth' (Exclusive)

Plus, watch an exclusive clip from the new season, which premieres March 18 on Netflix. 

After five seasons of Big Mouth, Netflix’s acclaimed animated comedy about kids being guided through puberty by various creatures, the series is expanding its emotional and inclusive world with Human Resources, a twist on the workplace comedy that pulls back the curtain on the lives of these mentors. The spinoff follows familiar faces – Maya Rudolph and co-creator Nick Kroll as hormone monsters – and several newcomers – Aidy Bryant as a lovebug, Hugh Jackman as an addiction angel and Randall Park as a logic rock – as they navigate helping humans at all stages of their lives while trying to stay atop of their own problems.  

“We think of Human Resources as being a show that we can tell stories from birth to death. And I think that canvas is very exciting,” showrunner Kelly Galuska tells ET. “There’s always something new being presented to you in your life. And therefore, your creatures are having to respond to those different moments, oftentimes for the first time,” Kroll adds. “And so, that felt, like, very exciting and really interesting stakes to delve into.”

While the spinoff seems like a natural progression for the series, especially as it expands the scope beyond puberty, the idea was first sparked at the end of season 2 when Big Mouth takes a brief detour through the creatures’ world with a visit to the Department of Puberty. “We saw the creatures in the workplace,” Kroll says, noting it was the first time a new character, a shame wizard voiced by David Thewlis, was introduced in that space. “And I think once we started to dig in with him and that character, we realized this felt like the perfect venue to learn more about the side characters from Big Mouth.” 

Following his introduction, Thewlis’ character quickly returned as a recurring staple on Big Mouth before becoming one of the leads on Human Resources. “The idea of carrying this character on and developing it was smashing,” the actor says. 


“There are, like, an infinite number of creatures that we can explore here,” Galuska says, noting that the perspective of the series is seen through the eyes of the creatures, who “have different goals from one another.” And despite whatever confidence they may display in front of their human clients, viewers quickly realize that these creatures “don’t know what they’re doing either, because there’s always a new experience to be had.” 

When it comes to those new creatures, Galuska says that they wanted to introduce logic and ambition (seen here as a gremlin voiced by Rosie Perez). “Those ones were very powerful to explore.” Additionally, there’s a sweater from the Grief department voiced by Henry Winkler and spider receptionist voiced by Harvey Guillén while Pamela Adlon voices a new lovebug named Sonya, and Helen Mirren and Lupita Nyong'o join as two different shame wizards. 

They are tasked with helping various humans voiced by Ali Wong, Janelle Monáe, Tim Robinson and others who are going through experiences very new to the series – but all of which were drawn from real-life moments shared in the writers' room. One example, Galuska points out, is a pregnant woman about to become a mother for the first time. “We started writing this right after I became a mother for the first time,” she says. “So that scene of her giving birth, there are lines in that scene that were said while I was delivering.” 

And because of the diversity of the writers’ room, there are stories that deal with race, gender and sexuality, building off the increasingly inclusive, nuanced storytelling that’s been seen on Big Mouth over the course of the series. “Those kinds of stories often come naturally in both of these shows because of the people who are in the rooms,” Galuska says. “Because we’re telling stories about our own lives constantly, there’s so much in Big Mouth and again, in Human Resources, straight out of one of the writers’ experiences.” 

Another example of that is seen later in the season, when an episode focuses on two senior high school girlfriends who are deciding where to go to college. “It’s a story about ambition and love. And it’s about a girl who maybe could go to one college, where she’s always wanted to go, or another college, where her girlfriend is going,” Kroll says. “It’s really a story about like, ‘Do you follow the person you love to college or do you go on this new adventure?’” 

“One thing that I learned from the Big Mouth room is how important it is to create an environment that’s really safe for your writers to share those stories,” Galuska adds. “So, that’s something that we hopefully have done again on Human Resources. And it’s the reason that these things hopefully will feel authentic.” 

The end result is a kaleidoscope of emotions and experiences that will take viewers on very unexpected journeys. And Kroll gives all the credit to Galuska for making a space “where we could tell these new stories. While they’re obviously connected to Big Mouth, it’s really a new universe that’s being created.” 

Human Resources premieres Friday, March 18 on Netflix.

Reporting by Stacy Lambe and Will Marfuggi