Adult-oriented animated programing is rarely praised for its tastefulness and maturity. In fact, the genre has garnered a reputation for baseless vulgarity due to the popularity of shows like “South Park” and Seth MacFarlane’s television trifecta, which are notoriously crude and violent. While Nick Kroll’s entry into the genre — “Big Mouth” — is often just as crass as its cable counterparts, its second season is one of the most shockingly progressive, grounded pieces of television released this year. This might come as a surprise to those who have caught a glimpse of the proudly uncensored subject matter, but if there is anything to take away from this refreshingly funny and honest series, it’s to not judge a book by its cover.

Or a new student by her figure. The second season of “Big Mouth” deals primarily with the arrival of new student Gina (Gina Rodriguez), whose good looks and prematurely developed body attract the attention of every boy in school, including protagonists and best friends Nick (Nick Kroll) and Andrew (John Mulaney). The two, along with friends Jessi (Jessi Klein), Missy (Jenny Slate) and Jay (Jason Mantzoukas), are still coping with the embarrassing trials of puberty, no thanks to the guidance of their assigned monsters Maury (Nick Kroll) and Connie (Maya Rudolph). This season sees the introduction of a new manifestation of pubescent confusion added to the cast — the Shame Monster, voiced with whispery glee by David Thewlis. With the hormone monsters more or less allied with their respective preteen charges, the Shame Monster establishes fresh conflict by haunting the young cast in the wake of their every mistake and humiliation.

“Big Mouth” can come off as an unpalatable program, no thanks to its dull animation, fish-lipped character designs and unceasing torrent of body fluids that soak every episode. It is certainly far from perfect, but the show’s second season finds its footing early on and manages to tell a compelling narrative about the trauma of puberty in a frank, endearing manner. Nothing is left to the imagination: We get to see every juicy bit of these characters’ development from squishy preteens into awkward, troubled adolescents.

That journey might sound unappetizing given just how terrifying it may seem to relive puberty, but “Big Mouth” mines humor from every square inch of universally hellish middle school experiences. Creators Nick Kroll and Adam Goldberg are no strangers to comedy — Kroll is an experienced comedian and Goldberg previously wrote for “Family Guy”and they pack every episode with enough gags to maintain its momentum even when the more childishly raunchy material fails to land a laugh. They smartly dip into every well of middle school mythos and pubescent anxiety instead of merely relying on pop culture references or mindless vulgarity, giving the show a refreshingly novel angle and a sharper sense of direction than most shows in the genre.

Where the show really shines is its talented vocal cast. The series is stuffed with absurd characters and situations that could easily fall flat, if not elevated by pitch-perfect delivery. Kroll is serviceable as a younger version of himself, but his real standout performance is as Maury, whose despicable, yet earnest suggestions are lent real credence by Kroll’s gravelly delivery. Every line that John Mulaney reads is absolutely dripping with self-loathing, and his talent for making any turn of phrase sound delightfully ridiculous translates well to the world of voice-acting. Jordan Peele’s turn as the ghost of Duke Ellington, the fatherly advice-dispensing phantom who lives in Nick’s attic, is just as howlingly funny as it was last season. Wherever a bizarre premise emerges — often involving the anthropomorphization of some taboo item, such as a contraceptive or a pillow used exclusively for self-pleasure — a familiar voice is waiting to make the scene work and help bring the punchlines home.

Although the first season of “Big Mouth” was certainly forward-thinking with its candid portrayal of how puberty can affect both genders, this season pushes the envelope by devoting an entire episode to topics such as Planned Parenthood and safe sex. Framed as a “Saturday Night Live”-esque series of skits, the episode shows some real bite by dispelling the rumors surrounding these subjects and demonstrating how effective they can be in keeping society healthy and safe. It even ends with the characters assuring the audience they know they’ll receive backlash on Twitter for “pushing their liberal-elite agenda”. Throw in a musical sequence in which naked, middle-aged women show off their naked bodies to help young Jessi and Missy feel more secure about their own and a hearty dose of sex-positivity, and you get a surprisingly liberating story of growth, friendship, and adolescence that is just as crudely sweet and surreal as puberty itself.