REVIEW: ‘Human Resources’ Season 1 Has the Nerve to Go There

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Human Resources - But Why Tho

From the (filthy) minds that brought us Netflix’s Big Mouth comes Human Resources. This spin-off series takes the action out of the familiar every day and into the fantastic world of the remarkable creatures that walk alongside humans on their life journies. There are the familiar faces of Hormone Monsters, Shame Wizards, and Lovebugs/Hate Worms alongside exciting new embodiments of everything from basic human needs to logic, empathy, and more. Human Resources builds on the humor and insight of Big Mouth with a bold and broadened exploration of the human condition, packaged in the personal dramas of an ensemble of extremely lovable characters.

Human Resources is co-created by Nick Kroll, Kelly Galuska, Andrew Goldberg, Jennifer Flackett, and Mark Levin. Reprising many beloved Big Mouth characters, the cast includes the vocal talents of Nick Kroll, Maya Rudolph, and David Thewlis with the addition of Aidy Bryant, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Keke Palmer, Randall Park, and many other exciting new cast members.

In Human Resources, viewers are offered a behind-the-scenes peek into the lives of the creatures that make us, well, human. As the creatures navigate office romances, promotions, and their own personal demons they are helping their human clients to navigate loss, first loves, starting a family, and the occasional stupid life choices. More times than not, the personal turmoil of an individual human’s “team” of creatures finds funny and chaotic ways of trickling over into the choices that human is making.

For those who may be asking, “What’s the need for Human Resources if there’s already a Big Mouth?” let me put those concerns to rest. Big Mouth is able to go into hilarious depth on the all-too-relatable awkwardness of puberty and sexual development, but it is equally limited in that sense. Human Resources has the unique opportunity to not just cover the full spectrum of human experiences and emotion—from all perspectives and from any moment in a person’s life—but can extend its commentary to the farthest reaches of human imagination. The result is as profound and heartbreaking as it is hilarious.

Human Resources leaves no stone unturned and uses every minute of every episode to push the edges of the universe, and our comfort zones as viewers, out a little farther. As recognizable life experiences play out between the creatures and their human clients, vignettes of the creatures’ world grapple with concepts of religion and superstition from a surprisingly grounded place. The brilliance of Human Resources is that it has the nerve to entertain any possible notion and to illustrate every bit of messy humanity from a place of absolutely no judgment. This audacity comes in especially handy as the show unflinchingly turns its focus onto extremely uncomfortable topics. From laughing out loud one minute to an emotional gut-punch in the next, Human Resources continues Big Mouth‘s tradition of absolutely stellar writing and whip-smart storytelling.

Somewhat predictably, love appears to be the theme of Season 1. After all, what subject could be more compelling? That being said, Human Resources dissects love with the same surgical precision that Big Mouth has done with jerking off. The show explores first loves, true loves, fleeting loves, loves that push us to our limits, love built on respect, love that is corrosive in nature and so much more. While the season’s ten episodes are not nearly enough to encapsulate all that there is to say on the subject, Human Resources strikes a great balance between quick asides to get a point across and season-long arcs that allow more complex relationships to develop and play out.

Season 1 of Human Resources comes bursting out the gate, throwing everything it has at the viewer. Whether or not this can be labeled as a flaw or not remains to be seen. Season 1 puts in a great deal of legwork in establishing the far reaches of its massive universe and, as mentioned previously, crams a ton of exploration, commentary, emotion, narrative, characters, and stakes into very little time. While this is incredibly exciting and offers a viewing smorgasbord, it does leave the viewer feeling a little stretched and craving more.

This is definitely an introductory season, teasing just enough of each new character and leaving behind a few dangling threads for an audience to ponder. Will upcoming seasons of Human Resources be as far-flung and broad, or will the stories become more focused and intentional now that the necessary introductions are out of the way? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. (I can’t wait!)

Human Resources miraculously manages to out-do itself from one episode to the next. Simply outstanding, instantly addictive, and absolutely fascinating. Wherever Human Resources goes, I’m ready to follow.

Human Resources premieres globally on Netflix on March 18, 2022.


Human Resources Season 1
  • 7.5/10
    Rating - 7.5/10
7.5/10

TL;DR

Human Resources miraculously manages to out-do itself from one episode to the next. Simply outstanding, instantly addictive, and absolutely fascinating. Wherever Human Resources goes, I’m ready to follow.