Tuca & Bertie: Tuca & Bertie Go Through A Lot
May 28, 2019 12:01 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

At the start of Season One of Tuca & Bertie, the titular tucan and song thrush are getting used to living in separate apartments, and that Bertie’s (perfect) boyfriend Speckle is now a third wheel in their friendship. Over the course of the season they test their relationships, deal with harassment and sexism, earn money, improve their jobs, revisit Bertie’s past, and plot some bold new courses for the rest of their thirties.

BERTIE (sweet jam plays)
  • Gets a promotion at work, realizes she doesn’t want it.
  • Gets an apprenticeship with Pasty Pete
  • Becomes a master baker
  • Feels nervous about getting a house with Speckle
  • Invents the choquetti
  • Breaks up and makes up with Tuca
  • Wrestles with a sense of complicity with Pastry Pete
  • Confronts childhood trauma
  • Beats Pastry Pete at his own game
TUCA (air horn noise bra bra bra braaaaap)
  • Has a bunch of jobs
  • Goes on her first date after getting sober
  • Breaks ties with her auntie
  • Gets a Jaguar and gives it up
  • Breaks up and makes up with Bertie
  • Starts a cult, and also abandons it
  • Helps Bertie beat Pastry Pete at his own game
SPECKLE (Seinfeld bass line bounce)
  • Eats his Gamby after she becomes a ghost cake
  • Becomes the bad boy of architecture
  • Wins an Archie award
  • Gets rather good at a prostitution-themed online game
  • Stands up for his own needs to Bertie
  • Buys a fixer-upper
  • Is generally perfect
PASTY PETE (thbbbbbpt)
  • Gets pooped on by a bird
posted by Going To Maine (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
There's so much about the design of this show that I love. I'll need to rewatch to be sure, but I think Tuca's flashbacks are all done using stop-motion or puppetry (although that one might be a lie rather than a flashback) while Bertie's remind me of Peter Kuper, high abstraction, limited color, deep blacks, and sometimes airbrushed. I also really loved the cartoony reality, which I think helps buffer some of the darker conflicts. And it's not a puzzle-box show, conflicts develop about how you would expect given the first two establishing episodes.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 5:51 AM on May 28, 2019 [6 favorites]

The amusement park scenes in particular -- the neons on the black were perfect.

I'm watching it for a third time (watched once, tried to get my partner to watch it, gave up and started rewatch, and now he came back and wanted to try it) and I am still catching things I didn't see before. It's very visually dense.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:38 AM on May 28, 2019

I was so excited for this show but I couldn’t get through the first episode, twice! The hyper-kinetic clatter of it was just...stressful. Does it slow down at all as the series progresses?
posted by freya_lamb at 4:52 PM on May 29, 2019

I felt like it did (I also skip the title sequence each time, which helps). Despite how it seems at first it isn't really a sitcom-style show where the characters' basic situation is mostly static throughout; there are plot threads and arcs that run through the episodes, and some of the content is pretty sad or dark. It's treated with a combination of the energy/humor of the first episode and a more serious and sometimes wistful energy, and I found the juxtaposition pretty effective. YMMV, but it's worth watching further, I think.

The use of different animation styles was absolutely beautiful (and effective), and Tiffany Haddish is an incredibly impressive voice actress. I really liked the attention to detail and the continuity in the details (like how the hole in the ceiling didn't just magically go away at the end of an episode). A lot of what seemed like throwaway jokes were lovingly incorporated into later episodes, and it was nice to see how Speckle became a Netherfield fan. I noticed that Isabella Rossellini had a cameo (I loved her character, who was the opposite of hyper) and it reminded me of this comment. Also, I watched it over the past few days and today I heard a lot of energetic bird chirping outside and turns out the show provides an entirely new dimension to that experience...

This felt like a show where everyone involved in making it cared about it very much.
posted by trig at 6:20 PM on May 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

It's just so good. A million brilliant little jokes, real pathos, true character development, mind-blowing animation, and buildings with boobs.

And snake trains.

And Sex Bugs.

I am mostly a Bertie but I make up songs about what is happening like Tuca. I admire people like Tuca but understand that they are often carrying hurt under their wackiness.

I will probably watch the season again next week.
posted by emjaybee at 10:49 PM on May 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I will definitely be doing a rewatch to take a closer look at the background details and blink-or-you'll-miss-it jokes. My personal favourite is Speckle featuring in Tuca's list of fantasy crushes, but even in her imagination he politely sits to the side during the orgy. This Instagram account is helpfully collecting screenshots.

Isabella Rossellini was my favourite cameo (her laugh!).
posted by Rora at 5:22 PM on June 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

This Instagram account is helpfully collecting screenshots.

It also helpfully points out there are post-credit scenes, which I just finished watching.

Ooh ah eee! Rou! Rou! Rou! Boxer versus Raptor! Nananananana! Whoosh. Badung!
posted by zamboni at 5:57 PM on June 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

I went in watching this due to the BoJack connection, which turns out to be quite tenuous. This turns out to be a very different show, but I quite enjoyed it.

This would be ideal if it came out just after a season of BoJack because it feels like it could cancel out the existential horror.
posted by Marticus at 8:34 PM on June 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was waiting for the episode post but I'll post it here instead... As soon as Bertie shared her recipe with Dakota ("The New Bird", E08), I thought, "No, Bertie! Dakota's going to steal your idea and pass it off as her own!" That didn't happen, and I wondered why I was surprised, till the penny dropped. "Oh, God. It's because all the other versions of this plot were written by men."
posted by trotzdem_kunst at 4:16 AM on June 9, 2019 [7 favorites]

Right? RIGHT? This feels like a disastrously bad decision and I can't help but feel like it is at least partially due to the show not having a male lead
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:22 PM on July 24, 2019 [4 favorites]

God damn it. That's awful.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:23 AM on July 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

you GUYS!!! It's BACK!! and the first episode of the new season is even on YouTube!
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:42 PM on June 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

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