The Sugar Bowl
The Deli Guy
The Sex Bugs
The Open House
The New Bird
The Jelly Lakes
If Bojack Horseman is the TV equivalent of a meat feast pizza, it’s hedonistic, wacky cousin Tuca & Bertie feels closer to ham and pineapple. There’s a good amount of content here but it certainly comes at the cost of an acquired taste. If you can warm to this wacky, psychedelic medley of electronica, trippy visuals and slapstick, Tuca & Bertie really settles into a consistent groove and delivers some interesting content. Whether it’ll have the same broad appeal as Bojack Horseman remains to be seen but there’s enough here to make Tuca & Bertie another very strong animated comedy offering nonetheless.
The story here sees best friends Tuca and Bertie navigating the complications of life whilst struggling to maintain their same close bond together. Living in the same apartment building, Bertie grapples with her own insecurities at work and her self-loving boyfriend moving into her apartment while Tuca’s flamboyant eccentricity keeps their relationship interesting and close to home, even more so given she’s moved into the apartment upstairs. Across the 10 episodes, Bertie grapples with her mundane work life, dreaming of a life spent baking whilst dealing with the fear that comes with embracing the unknown.
Admittedly, Tuca & Bertie does take a while to warm to. From a naked plant-lady surrounded by turtles to an episode flirting with the idea of bird porn, there’s some pretty outrageous ideas explored here. Under this facade of shock and nudity though are an interesting set of themes set around chasing your dreams and the value of friendship. As the episodes progress, both Tuca and Bertie learn they need one another in their lives and it’s something that’s reinforced time and again, especially late on when one of the later episodes sees Tuca alone without Bertie.
Visually, the show looks great. Some of the scenes are beautifully composed and really take advantage of the outlandish ideas throughout the series. From hedonistic colours and surreal imagery through to a talking breast and Bertie visiting her own brain, there’s a great amount of content here that’s as weird and metaphorical as it is aesthetically pleasing. Not everything hits the mark though but for the most part, Tuca & Bertie is definitely more hit than miss.
Of course, given the material that’s here, Tuca & Bertie won’t be a show for everyone. Those going into this expecting the next profound animated offering like Bojack Horseman will be left a little disappointed. There’s a good amount of content to hammer home the ideas presented and the themes that crop up throughout the picture are coherent and consistent throughout too. Still, despite all this, some of the comedy doesn’t always hit and a few of the early episodes are a little heavy-handed and full on. If you can look past that though, Tuca & Bertie is a solid offering and one that’ll be interesting to see develop further in the future. Whether the audience take to this one as fondly though is still up for debate.