Two of Netflix’s newest shows couldn’t be more different—one’s an absurd cartoon about two best bird friends and one’s about two women in grief—and yet it feels strangely easy to talk about them in the same breath.
Both Tuca & Bertie and Dead to Me both arrived on the streaming service on Friday. Both have casts filled with stars. Both were created primarily by women. Both have some insane jokes that made us laugh very hard within the first five minutes. Both have weird and fun side characters, and both focus heavily on some intense female friendships. Both are shows you should watch! And this is why!
Dead To Me
Dead to Me stars Christina Applegate as Jen, a grieving widow who joins a support group, where she meets fellow griever Judy (Linda Cardellini). Judy’s a bit quirky while Jen’s very much not, but they quickly bond and become unlikely pals in a tough situation. That is, of course, not the end of the story, but we won’t tell you what the rest of the story is. You will have to watch to find that out.
James Marsden also stars, and we’ll just say we very much LOL’d at a line about a woman dying by falling down the stairs. (Shoutout to Keong Sim, who plays our new favorite pastor.)
Aside from the morbid humor and the unlikely friendship, this show is all about the performances from Applegate and Cardellini, who are delightful. This is Christina Applegate like you’ve never seen her before, and this is nearly-middle-aged women on TV like you’ve never seen them before, and that is certainly worth a watch.
Tuca & Bertie
It’s like if Bojack Horseman found joy. That is not to say Bojack Horseman is not good, because it is. It’s just not a joyful show, because it’s about a depressed horse trying to survive in show business. This show, created by Bojack production designer Lisa Hanawalt, is is a joyful show about two birds, Tuca (Tiffany Haddish) and Bertie (Ali Wong), who are best friends and have been living together for years, but now have to live apart because Bertie’s moving in with her boyfriend (Steven Yeun). It’s like Broad City, but they’re birds.
Nicole Byer voices a whole bunch of random female characters, while Richard E. Grant, John Early, Reggie Watts, Tig Notaro, Amber Ruffin, Jermaine Fowler, and Tessa Thompson also add their voices.
In the first episode, we laughed at a talking cake, a talking cake stomach dance party, a video game visual, a whole bunch of turtles, a list of stuff on turtles, a list of stuff in a box, a list of stuff neighbors do, Tiffany Haddish singing (there’s a lot of that), a dying cactus, a croissant bakeoff, a topless plant, a character who’s not a part of this show, and several other things.
Like we said, watch both shows, and have a very good weekend.
Both Dead to Me and Tuca & Bertie are now available to stream on Netflix.