Fine feathered friends: 'Tuca & Bertie' premieres on Adult Swim

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Kyla Brewer / TV Media
Tuca and Bertie as seen in "Tuca & Bertie"

Tuca and Bertie as seen in "Tuca & Bertie"

Second chances are rare in television. Most of the time, once a series has been cancelled, it's gone forever. However, every once in a while a show gets another shot, much to the delight of its fans. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, an offbeat cartoon about a couple of birds is about to make its triumphant return to TV.

Tiffany Haddish ("The Carmichael Show") lends her voice to brash toucan Tuca, while Ali Wong ("Always Be My Maybe," 2019) voices Tuca's anxious bestie, Bertie, in the second season of the animated series "Tuca & Bertie," premiering Sunday, June 13, on Cartoon Network's affiliate, Adult Swim.

Recent Oscar nominee Steven Yeun ("Minari," 2020) voices Bertie's architect boyfriend, Speckle, and rounds out the cast of the show that originally aired on Netflix. While viewers can still take in the first season of "Tuca & Bertie" on the streamer, the service cancelled it after Season 1 ended in 2019.

Luckily for fans, the story of feathered female friendship has found a new home, and creator Lisa Hanawalt ("BoJack Horseman") is pleased.

"We're so excited to be on Adult Swim!" Hanawalt explained in a article in May. "I can't wait for the world to see our girls, Tuca and Bertie — and our main man, Speckle — getting into some fresh nonsense this season."

When audiences first met Tuca, she was newly sober and missing her former roommate Bertie, who had decided to move in with her boyfriend Speckle. Forced to work odd jobs to make ends meet, Tuca often relies on her wealthy Aunt Tallulah (Jennifer Lewis, "Black-ish"). Meanwhile, Bertie frets about snagging a promotion at work, all the while dreaming about becoming a baker.

For his part, straight-laced Speckle struggles to convince Bertie that he really does want to be with her.

Like many other animated series geared toward adults, "Tuca & Bertie" features an eclectic mix of characters that, in this case, range from a misogynistic rooster named Dirk (John Early, "30 Rock") and Bertie's oblivious blue jay boss, Holland (Richard E. Grant, "Can You Ever Forgive Me," 2018), to a "ghostcake" -- a cake containing the ashes of Speckle's beloved grandmother, Gamby (Nicole Byer, "Nailed It!").

In the first season, Bertie ran afoul of penguin pastry chef Penguin Pete (Reggie Watts, "The Late Late Show With James Corden"), who takes her under his wing. Other recurring characters include a lizard named Lady (Kate Berland, "Sorry to Bother You," 2018) and a neighboring houseplant named Draca (Shamir Bailey, "Dear White People").

In Season 2, Bertie enlists the help of a therapist as she tries to deal with her "inner ghouls," but Tuca takes a different approach. While Tuca hides her troubles away, she is more focused on finding a mate. Elsewhere, Speckle gets to work on building a new house, but finds himself driven to the brink of insanity.

Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish, the voices behind "Tuca & Bertie"

Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish, the voices behind "Tuca & Bertie"

It's been quite a ride to get to Season 2. First announced in 2018, the show is based on Hanawalt's webcomic series "Tuca the Toucan," which ran from 2013 to 2014.

Haddish, who also serves as an executive producer for "Tuca & Bertie," signed on to the series in 2018, the same year she won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress for her gig hosting "Saturday Night Live." Her other credits include "The Carmichael Show," "The Last O.G." and the movie "Girls Trip" (2017), along with her standup special "Tiffany Haddish: She Ready!"

Fellow standup comedian Wong was cast in "Tuca & Bertie" shortly after Haddish and also serves as an executive producer for the series. Known for her Netflix comedy specials "Baby Cobra" and "Hard Knock Wife," Wong also starred in the 2018 film "Always Be My Maybe" and appears on ABC's "American Housewife."

Almost a year after Wong's casting was announced, news broke that Yeun had joined the cast. The actor first rose to prominence on AMC's zombie drama "The Walking Dead" before becoming the first Asian-American actor to earn an Oscar nomination, for his work on the film "Minari" (2020).

Sadly, the combined star power of Haddish, Wong and Yeun still wasn't enough to convince Netflix to keep "Tuca & Bertie."

The show's cancellation just three months after its May 2019 premiere came as quite a surprise, considering the positive response from fans and critics. At the time of the first season's release, "The A.V. Club" and "The Huffington Post" heralded the series as one of the best shows of 2019. Now, Season 2 has already made another list — Indiewire's "Most Anticipated Shows of 2021."

The first season of "Tuca & Bertie" earned industry recognition at the 47th annual Annie Awards, which recognize outstanding work in animation. Also nominated for Best General Audience Animated TV/Film and Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting for Wong, "Tuca & Bertie" writer Shauna McGarry took home the Annie that year for Outstanding Achievement for Writing for the episode "The Jelly Lakes."

The show's unique quirkiness and previous cancellation has given it a rough start leaving the nest, but given the cult popularity of other offbeat Adult Swim programs, such as "Rick and Morty" and "Robot Chicken," "Tuca & Bertie" just might fly this time around.

Check out the Season 2 premiere of "Tuca & Bertie," airing Sunday, June 13, on Adult Swim.