Netflix's Big Mouth is a show about growing up, so its writers regularly use childhood experiences for story material. When the show's staff writer and Miami native Victor Quinaz pitched a spring break episode set in Florida, he had some detailed ideas about how to present his home state.
"[The members of the writing staff] were very open to me speaking very truthfully about my experience there, and sort of the Florida logic and how it aligns with puberty," Quinaz tells New Times. "Part of me wanted to show the Florida episode to my friends and family almost as a teaching tool in how insane Florida is."
Without divulging too much ahead of the episode's premiere at O Cinema South Beach Thursday night, Quinaz suggested taking the show's animated cast to spring break hot spots such as Daytona or Walt Disney World, but the characters ultimately wound up in Lakeland.
"I pitched them going down to Florida with the expectation that the state is the spring break destination of the world," Quinaz says. "Or at the very least, the East Coast."
The writer says he couldn't believe the attention to detail that went into executing the episode, from manatees to the dangers of building a housing development too close to the Everglades. There will also be a heavy metal musical number dedicated to Florida's bonkers history. Quinaz describes it as an "anthem for the Florida Man."
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Quinaz reached out to O Cinema to premiere the episode because of his long-standing relationship with the independent theater company. He premiered his feature film, Breakup at a Wedding, at Wynwood's now-defunct O Cinema location back in 2013.
Miami's independent film scene has grown vastly since then, with theaters such as O Cinema, Coral Gables Art Cinema, Bill Cosford Cinema, and the Tower Theater rolling out unique programming on the regular. Says Quinaz, "When I was growing up in Miami, I don't even think the Bill Cosford Cinema had opened up yet. So the idea of independent cinema wasn't readily available. Knowing [O Cinema was] sort of down for odd events, I prayed they were fans of a perverted cartoon like ours."
The full third season of Big Mouth premieres Friday, October 4, on Netflix.
Big Mouth. 8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 3, at O Cinema South Beach, 1130 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 786-471-3269. Tickets cost $11 via o-cinema.org.