Of all the many Sanrio characters, none speak to me quite like Gudetama: a genderless, aimless egg that wants nothing besides some soy sauce and to be left alone. Same. The character makes for adorable stickers and T-shirts, and now it’s being stretched out into its own series on Netflix. It seems entirely unnecessary, and it mostly is — we don’t really need to know any more about Gudetama other than its distinct lack of motivation. Even still, the show — dubbed Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure — manages to be just charming enough to justify its brief run. Whereas many TV shows can be exhausting, Gudetama is instead viewing for when you’re exhausted.
The premise is, naturally, pretty goofy: Gudetama and a baby chick both somehow hatch from eggs in a carton inside of a restaurant’s fridge. The chick then decides that they must be siblings and becomes intensely focused on finding their mother chicken. Gudetama, who isn’t all that thrilled at becoming sentient, doesn’t see the point. But the chick is kind of like that one pushy friend who is always forcing you out of the house, and it manages to pull Gudetama into an adventure despite its objections. The two make a good odd couple; the chick, perpetually upbeat, and Gudetama, who says “the future is bleak” when asked about its dreams.
The series is short. There are 10 episodes, but they’re all less than 15 minutes long, so the gag doesn’t have a chance to overstay its welcome. And to amplify the surreality of a listless, talking egg, the show uses a mix of animation and live action. So this goopy cartoon egg is hanging out in the real world, talking to actual humans. There’s a TV producer desperate to get Gudetama on camera and a prime minister flagging in the polls who takes Gudetama’s clear-eyed view of the world as a source of inspiration.
Perhaps the most fun thing about the series, though, is all of the food jokes. Gudetama and chick are just two parts of a surprisingly deep and secret culinary world, with eggs at the center. On their adventure, they meet elderly tamago sushi rolls who impart wisdom; hardboiled eggs who are, well, hardboiled; and century eggs who are shut-ins that hate the light. At one point, Gudetama and the chick attempt to steal some desiccant packets in order to keep the egg from spoiling, and they end up pulled into a criminal underworld led by a giant omelette, a bit like if Jabba the Hutt was edible. It doesn’t make much sense, but it doesn’t need to. It’s a story about a talking egg.
As cute and silly as the show is, though, there’s a strong current of pessimism running through it. Gudetama isn’t just lazy: it’s defeated. It looks at our world, with all of its many complications, and wonders what, really, is the point. Better to do nothing or go with the flow than deal with the headache. At one point, the egg even runs for prime minister with the platform “eight days off a week.” Now that’s something we can all get behind.
Much like Aggretsuko, the Gudetama show had the potential to be little more than a one-note joke that doesn’t justify its existence. And while it’s mostly disposable, its relatability also makes it an ideal diversion for all of the other lazy eggs out there. Look, we’re halfway through December already, and though the holiday break is close, it still feels miles away as I type this. We all need a little help to get over that hump. If that help happens to be a little yolk who loves to say “meh,” so be it.
Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure is streaming on Netflix now.