The release of Netflix’s Tuca and Bertie came shortly after the Broad City series finale (R.I.P.) and I couldn’t help but compare the two shows. Both feature two outlandish yet relatable adult women trying to navigate their way through life, while stumbling and tripping over hilarious (and sometimes more serious) obstacles.
Creator Lisa Hanawalt stresses the importance of female friendship in this series. Voiced by Allie Wong (Bertie) and Tiffany Haddish (Tuca), the BFFs are the perfect balance; Tuca reminds us to live our best lives and break societal rules when it comes to “normie life plan bullshit,” while Bertie resembles our internal struggles and insecurities.
However, this is not just a show for women. Men, listen up: Women need you to watch and support shows like this so you understand what we go through on a day-to-day basis.
Although Tuca and Bertie may appear to be your next “smoke and binge” show on the surface, it’s actually an educational animation that addresses the #MeToo movement in ways that both women and men can sympathize with.
The characters deal with important themes like sobriety and sexual harrassment in the workplace. The show gives light to some of the problems women face that men might not be aware of, like Bertie’s struggle with safe sex: “I should go back on birth control, but it makes me crazy!“
Or in episode six, Bertie wants to wear a cute new romper, but her fears of being catcalled or bringing unwanted attention to herself makes her retreat and put it back in her closet. It’s all super relatable to how women think every day.
The characters go through serious growth in this series, together and apart. At first, it’s Tuca and Bertie against the world, fighting the patriarchy and setting goals for themselves. Throughout the epiosdes we watch their friendship slowly become more and more strained as they head in different directions in life.
Tuca has a hard time coming to terms with becoming an adult. She’s watching Bertie and Speckles progress in life and is unable to deal with her inner demons over it. In episode eight, she starts a riot at a sanctuary because she’d rather make noise than sit with herself and her thoughts. She and Bertie aren’t on speaking terms in this episode, which creates even more tension as we watch her unravel.
Bertie has a sex dream about her boss, Pastry Pete, and develops weird feelings for him, except he’s a total creep and puts his hands on her at work. Bertie tries to normalize it because she believes he’s the key to fame and success in her career. A new girl gets hired at the bakery and Pete does the same to her, too. She asks Bertie if this kinda stuff happens, and Bertie defends him by saying, “You don’t understand, it’s just a part of the job, it’s how he teaches, he’s very passionate.” The new girl calls Bertie out for not warning her and suddenly Bertie feels shame for something that never should have happened in the first place.
It’s all pretty heavy, but these are situations we sometimes have to go through while growing up. The animation helps lighten the emotional load.
Not to mention the animation is nuts. This is not a show you wanna be scrolling Instagram while watching. Look away for two seconds, and you could miss a trippy scene of their faces, claymation version, intertwining in outter space to become yin and yang. Or this shot of a chilled out plant smoking weed with her top off.
The two characters push each other to be their best selves, which is something we should always be aiming to do with our friends in real life. Tuca and Bertie are supportive and thoughtful of each other, and their ability to communicate allows them to call each other out (and themselves) when necessary. Everyone could learn a thing or two from these fictional creatures.
And can we talk about how amazing Bertie’s boyfriend, Speckles, is? He creates space for Tuca in his relationship with Bertie because he understands how important Tuca is to Bertie, and if that ain’t goals, I don’t know what is.
Honestly, the soundtrack ALONE is enough reason to watch. It’s the summer soundtrack you never knew you needed:
This show is for all millennials who find themselves a little lost in life. It’s fresh, socially concious, and downright hilarious. Plus each episode is like a 26 minute therapy session if you really take in what the characters are saying. Win, win.
Stream it today on Netflix.