Human Resources is a spin-off of the adult animated coming of age sitcom, Big Mouth. On the main series, we’ve seen how different creatures guide and influence the early teens. But what are the Hormone Monsters, Depression Kitties and others doing when they’re not around humans? Human Resources further develops the universe by exploring the Monster World.
The show boasts a cast of all-star voice talent with Nick Kroll, Maya Rudolph and David Thewlis reprising their Big Mouth roles. Joining them are new additions Aidy Bryant, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Keke Palmer, and Randall Park. Recently, AIPT had the opportunity to speak with co-creator and showrunner, Kelly Galuska, and co-creator and executive producer, Andrew Goldberg, ahead of its March 18 release on Netflix. We discussed what fans can expect from the upcoming workplace comedy and how it ties back in with Big Mouth.
AIPT: Human Resources is a spin-off the of the popular and critically acclaimed Big Mouth. At what point during the initial series did the idea of the show seem feasible? Can you describe the evolution of its development from an idea to an actual series?
Andrew Goldberg: Yeah, I think the first time it sort of occurred to us was pretty early on. The final episode of the second season of Big Mouth involves the kids going upstairs to where their hormone monsters work. It was this idea that Gil Ozeri had and he wrote that episode and every since then, we’ve kind of been like, that’s an interesting place.
There’s something very fascinating about what do these monsters and creatures do when they leave the humans and what are there lives like is sort of the genesis of the idea. When we asked Kelly to join us, it really crystallized how much it was just a show about being human and the whole gambit of human experiences. Kelly had this great idea for season one that it would start with a birth and end with a death and sort of show the whole scope of things we can do.
AIPT: With the show, you’re expanding the Monster World side of the universe and in the trailer, we see creatures we’re familiar with such as Hormone Monsters and Shame Wizards. Are there any new creatures we’ll be introduced to in the series and are there any ones in particular you’re excited to show fans?
Kelly Galuska: Yeah, we’re definitely expanding quite a bit. We meet Hormone Monsters and Anxiety Mosquitos and Shame Wizards in Big Mouth. Then in season five of Big Mouth, we introduce these Love Bugs who become a major part of HR as well as a Logic Rock named Pete. We’ve got an Ambition Gremlin played by Rosie Perez who I’m very excited for people to meet and I mean a host of others.
Basically, as we started expanding this universe and telling specific stories, we created creatures along the way to go along with those stories. So, when we meet a baby for the first time, the only creature that baby has is a Need Demon because need is the only sort of emotion that they’re experiencing when they’re very first born so we kind of went from there and expanded as we needed to.
Goldberg: Two of my favorite newer creatures that you [Kelly] haven’t mentioned are Dante the Addiction Angel who Hugh Jackman plays. You can tell how one could be addicted to a being such as Hugh Jackman as Dante. Also, Keith from Grief who Henry Winkler plays is also a really fun and beautiful character.
AIPT: In the description of the show, it mentions how it’s adult-ier. Some could interpret this by pushing the envelope more. Being more outlandish and obscene. But from watching some of the episodes, I think it’s more regards to the themes and topics. Whereas Big Mouth revolves around these kids during puberty, HR explores these different stages in one’s life. Can you compare and contrast developing stories for the two shows and how HR covers older and more mature themes?
Galuska: Yeah, you know Big Mouth is very focused on a specific time in our lives as human beings. Going through puberty. Being 12, 13, 14 years old. All of the humiliating and embarrassing and disgusting things that happen during that time and that in itself is such a wealth of stories. So, to be able to expand that from birth until death and everything in between just meant that we could, you know, go even further with all of that.
And like you said, adult-ier in that we’re dealing with things that come up when you get older. Not only past your puberty years but into your twilight years as well. And all of these things, like Andrew said, that make it difficult to be human, we’ve really enjoyed being able to explore on this show. Some things we wanted to tell on Big Mouth, I would say, we didn’t get a chance to, we’re able to tell more thoroughly here.
AIPT: In the previous question, I mentioned how HR can be edgy. For this first season, you have quite a talented voice cast and some impressive guest stars. Are you ever surprised by who comes on board considering the profanity and vulgarity involved?
Goldberg: Yes. I mean like Helen Mirren was a good example of like, she’s not really going to do this, right? And then she did and I think she had a blast. And she was perfect because, you know, who could do such a number on their child that he turns into Lionel the Shame Wizard? It’s Helen Mirren.
Galuska: Yes. Hugh is another good example. He’s such a likeable human being.
Goldberg: Yes, he’s so lovely.
Galuska: An Addiction Angel played by Hugh Jackman, like you [Andrew] already mentioned, was a way to get what could be a nasty character become this very charming seductive character. He has some wild stuff that he does and says in this show and it was very exciting that he said yes and was so game to do it.
Goldberg: It was exciting and surprising too when Rosie Perez said yes to being Petra the Ambition Gremlin. It turned out it was because her sister was such a Big Mouth fan and she was like, you gotta do it.
Galuska: Thank God for her sister.
AIPT: I’ll leave off on this last question. One of the “it” things in entertainment right now are shared universes. There’s already one spin-off to Big Mouth. Do you see any areas in either Human Resources or Big Mouth that you’d want to explore in another show?
Goldberg: Maybe? I don’t know, I think we’ve got our hands full with the two right now. But I think in terms of the shared universes, there is something fun. There’s a couple of really fun surprises for Big Mouth fans in Human Resources both in terms of characters from Big Mouth making an appearance.
And certain instances with Natalie in particular who we met in season four in the context of being Jessi’s friend at camp. To get to know her whole family was a really cool opportunity in Human Resources. And then, I don’t want to spoil it, but there’s a big event in the lives of Maury and Connie at the end of the first season of Human Resources that we will carry forth into the next season of Big Mouth.
Don’t miss Human Resources when the entire first season is available to stream beginning March 18 on Netflix.
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