TV Review: “Bob’s Burgers” – A Nutritional Wallop of Comedy

Written by Spencer Sterritt March 10, 2013

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Though it got off to a rough start, and it seems like it might perennially be the black sheep in the Fox animation block on Sunday night, “Bob’s Burgers” is a classic cartoon comedy, and will hopefully be remembered with the same reverence that is bestowed upon the first dozen seasons of “The Simpsons.”

“Bob’s Burgers” is all about the titular restaurant, and the family that runs it. There’s Bob (voiced by the unmistakable H. Jon Benjamin) the leader of the Belcher clan that runs his nearly bankrupt burger joint. Joining him is his wife Linda and their brood of weird ass kids, but weird in the best of ways. There’s Louise the crazy young one, Tina the hopelessly awkward oldest one, and Gene the overweight dumb middle one. Having a wacky family of five isn’t exactly revolutionary, since “Bob’s Burgers” does air in the same block as “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy,” but there’s more than enough to set this series apart from the rest.

“Hold on. Let me get comfy. Evaluate your wife.”

On “Bob’s Burgers” bankruptcy and financial woes are a constant, unlike on many of the other cartoon comedies that never really touch on. I mean seriously, how does Homer possibly have a job? On “Bob’s Burgers” the going ons of the restaurant are critical and the threat of losing the restaurant is a constant threat. I mean, they can’t, unless maybe in a season finale, but the added dose of realism gives “Bob’s Burgers” some real heart. Episodes will still end with some sort of moral, and a feel good moment, but they mean so much more on “Bob’s Burgers.”

To counter that added dose of heart, to make sure that it doesn’t get too mawkish, the show gets weird. The most recent episode had a super expensive toilet that was voiced by Jon Hamm which Gene found, and turned into a caper. That’s an extreme case, but it shows how far the show can stretch it’s premise. Louise (voiced by Kristen Schaal) is the crazy scheming younger sister and she nails it with every weird ass delivery. My favorite is “if you teach me to shoot, I’ll teach you to regret teaching me to shoot.” She’s crazy and I love it!

“I decided I don’t wanna be like you. A 60-year-old man, still battling his bully.”

It’s impossible to not like a show this weird, but there’s some actual merit to it. If you’ve got weird kids then “Bob’s Burgers” is practically a tutorial in how to keep your kids under control, and how to celebrate their weirdness. The show takes a warts and all approach to the kids, celebrating their weirdness. Have a son desperately seeking attention? Throw him in a costume and have him do advertising for your restaurant! Is your youngest daughter psychotic in a charming way? Use her to make the people you don’t like uncomfortable! Everyone has their place.

And for the parents, well, absinthe. Or painkillers (in moderation of course. But let loose every now and then).

“It’s not a lie if you tell it to vegetarians. You taught us that!”

Everyone records their lines together on “Bob’s Burgers,” which is an anomaly in the cartoon world (which seems strange to me). Normally every one records their voice separately, and you can tell that “Bob’s Burgers” is doing something different. The interplay is so quick that way more jokes can be put into the show, everything from the quickest zingers to bizarre little background details, usually from Gene quipping away in the background.

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“Bob’s Burgers” is just the kind of show that you have to watch. I can espouse all I can about quips and weirdness, but it needs to be seen to believe. The interplay between all of the characters is so good, and the show is so quotable, that merely saying the lines does them no justice. Ten years from now, when everyone is talking about how great “Bob’s Burgers” was (since I can only imagine it being cancelled after maybe one more season due to ratings), there’s no reason that you can’t be the person who has memorized every line and gets to be the cool kid.

My Rating: 9/10

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About Spencer Sterritt

Spencer Sterritt

Spencer Sterritt: former Editor-In-Chief for We Eat Films, future President of the Men With Beards Club, and hopefully candidate for ruler of the world.

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