Film / TV
spend memorial day healing with tuca & bertie
By Awa Gueye
May 24, 2019
You can do a lot in two days. I for one, watched the entire first season of Tuca & Bertie on Netflix. Thank you so much, but please hold your applause till the end.
Tuca & Bertie is a binge-watch you brag about. The adult animated sitcom follows the lives of two 30-year-old bird women who live in the same building. One of them, Tuca, a “cocky, carefree, toucan” and the other, Bertie, “an anxious, daydreaming songbird”.
In what experts are calling a Mental Health Month miracle — this heartwarming adult cartoon, stars two women of color, Tiffany Haddish & Ali Wong. The best part? Their characters do not have their shit together and it’s okay. They fall, they build themselves back up, they grow apart, they find their way back.
The show, though instantly recognizable by the drawing style of Bojack Horseman as the two shows have shared creators, is one of its kind. I can’t recall another show that focuses on the sometimes stable sometimes turbulent friendship between two women through their unique mental health journeys. The show is sensitive to the fact that mental health problems can be difficult to describe using animation to explain some of the nuances words could never.
Adding to the checklist of reasons this show is great is its diverse cast. In addition to the shows stars (Tiffany Haddish & Ali Wong) it also features Steven Yeun as a series regular and appearances by Tessa Thompson, Reggie Watts, Nicole Byer, Laverne Cox, Jenifer Lewis and more. It feels good to watch people who look like me discuss anxieties and real life fears, something that has mostly been assigned to white people on television.
In case you need more convincing I would implore you to begin with episode four, “The Sex Bugs” to get you into the show. In this episode we experience a day high in anxiety for Bertie followed by an anxiety attack. Something that is often dismissed or misunderstood in society is treated with compassion and understanding. We see Tuca support her friend, encouraging her that there is no shame in taking a day off of work if its what she needs. The show teaches the audience some good practices in being there for a friend who may suffer with anxiety. It is not preach-y providing you with both to do’s and not to do’s.
Each episode is like this, finally giving me a fun show about growing up that I can really relate to. I no longer have to choose between a show with accurate portrayals of women, a show about mental health or a show with people of color. It all exists in one.
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