Tuca & Bertie Season 1 (Netflix)
Written by Lisa Hanawalt, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Lee Sung Jin, Rachelle Williams, Nick Adams, Karen Graci, Gonzalo Cordova, Shauna McGarry
Directed by Amy Winfrey, Aaron Long, Mollie Helms, James Bowman, Adam Parton
At first glance, Tuca & Bertie looks like an Adult Swim reject show that was influenced by the style of Bojack Horseman. The first two episodes were challenging for me to get into as they settled me into their universe. Tuca (voiced by Tiffany Haddish) is outgoing, loud, hard to focus, while Bertie (voiced by Ali Wong) is the more cautious, anxious, soft-hearted of the two. It’s the story of two best friends who are adjusting to the changes in their lives.
Bertie moved in with her boyfriend Speckle (voiced by Steven Yeun) in the same apartment complex and used to room with Tuca. Thanks to the default narrative, the immediate thought that crosses your mind is that Tuca will get in a lot of trouble, and Bertie will have to explain or tag along. Sort of a Sarah Silverman Show scenario.
Except this goes a little bit deeper than that. It’s a show of friendships, and I am entirely on board with it.
Female-led comedies tend to focus on those friendships, on how they each make each other better. In male comedy duos, it’s more in the thought that they’re the Opposite Couple or two guys trying but fucking it up, and one will get better because he fell in love.
Over the course of the first season we learn why Tuca & Bertie complement each other and also want the best for one another. There’s talk of sobriety, anxiety, sexism, insecurity, subjects that a lot of times we skip through. It’s thoughtful with added humor within it. There’s a fantastic cast of comedic actors voicing different characters. Isabella Rossellini guest stars in one episode!
If you’re thinking of picking up a new show that’s got an exciting cast, good story, and humor as your new “comfort show,” I would suggest this one.
- It talks about the struggles of being sober & being a woman working in a highly male work place.
- Bertie’s boyfriend happens to be very supportive of her friendships and plans.
- There are ongoing storylines that build through the whole series. Love it!
- The first few episodes are hard to get into. So if you’re a person who needs to be sold by the first one, this ain’t it.
- They have a diverse cast of voices, but almost all of the cartoons are animals in humanoid shapes. This is just in case you were hoping to see BIPOC on display.
- Not all the jokes hit, but this could just my pickiness.
- There’s a small part of me that wishes there were more people in the cast. We do get side characters, however they never stick around a lot. There are plenty of comedians who are used over and over again, I just wish they could give me something more solid.