The beloved bird buddies are back with laughs and trauma unpacking for a third go-round of Adult Swim’s animated comedy.
Tuca & Bertie Season 3 finds Tuca (Tiffany Haddish) and Bertie (Ali Wong) rebuilding their lives in the season two Bird Town flooding and moss infestation aftermath. They’ve got promising leads professionally with new jobs on the horizon. Plus, they’re both in solid relations. Bertie with adorkable long-term boyfriend Speckle (Steven Yeun) and Tuca’s new beau Figgy (Matthew Rhys). The two bird besties might be leveling up in careers and personal life, but there’s always some drama waiting around the corner to pounce in and disrupt their technicolor dreams.
Dealing with trauma after a catastrophic event? Tuca & Bertie are back and better than ever, ready to help us laugh, cry, and process the trauma around us.
One of Tuca & Bertie’s strengths has always been its ability to lean into trauma, making it a part of the show. Previous seasons tended to focus more on Bertie as she processed the events from past abuses. Season three shifts the focus slightly to Tuca as she recovers from addiction and a toxic relationship. She’s figuring out her life without drugs or alcohol while rebounding from her gaslighting girlfriend Kara (Sasheer Zamata) with new love Figgy, a tall (and dare I say sexy) tree. It’s a nice change of pace to have a comedy show deconstruct the outlandish best friend character.
Even for a show tackling some heavy traumatic themes, Tuca & Bertie Season 3 has lots of comedy. For example, the third episode finds Bertie getting eaten by a snake. She’s fine, minus that she can’t see or be seen other than an outline of green in a snake’s belly. However, she finds herself treated differently when people see her disguised as a snake. She’s not harassed on the bus, her boss sees her as more confident, and even her bedroom activities with Speckle are improved. It’s a clever commentary on social anxiety and external appearances. Sometimes, you have to get into the belly of the beast to become a beast.
Other highlights of the season include the squad of guest stars. Matthew Rhys as the dreamy tree Figgy is fun. He’s the tall, confident tree ready to sweep Tuca off her feet, even if he’s dealing (or denying) his alcohol abuse tendencies. Rhys walks the line of irresistible charm and pitying self-destruction. Justina Machado as Chef Garcia, Bertie’s new boss, is another great addition. She’s the no-nonsense chef who convinces Bertie to close down her business to join the Garcia kitchen. Chef Garcia might be an inspirational female chef and guiding light for Bertie. Still, something nefarious lurks below the surface, and Machado plays the cards close to her chest as Garcia.
Tuca & Bertie are back and better than ever.
Tuca and Bertie may be alive and thriving after the catastrophes of season two. However, they also seem to be in denial of what’s it costing them to get to level up. Bertie’s got a creative job with Chef Garcia, but it’s at the expense of her dream of opening her own business. Tuca’s recovering from addiction but struggles with Figgy’s alcoholic behavior. Still, part of the joy of Tuca & Bertie is watching our heroines overcome their obstacles, revealing the catharsis in the comedy.
While season one of Tuca & Bertie originally premiered on Netflix, it feels at home in Adult Swim, with episodes hitting HBOMax the next day. Netflix’s abrupt cancelation of the show was always a bit surprising, but lucky for us Adult Swim swooped in and rescued the series. Much like its protagonists, the show seems to hit its creative stride in season three, flying between subversive comedy and heartbreaking drama.
Tuca & Bertie Season 3 is now available on Adult Swim and HBO Max.