It took me a while to gain any interest in checking out Bob’s Burgers.
When it first debuted on FOX, I didn’t tune in mostly because the animation wasn’t appealing to me. But also, I was burned out on cartoon sitcoms.
I grew up on The Simpsons, lived off of South Park, and laughed hard with Family Guy. And that list is not close to comprehensive.
I noticed Netflix added season one of Bob’s Burgers. I noticed it with squinty eyes, like, you’re not slick. I see what you’re doing here. You want me to WATCH YOU.
Still, no spark of interest happened until I was browsing Reddit one day and someone posted a short clip of Bob’s Burgers. I kind of chuckled. Later that day, by coincidence, I watched another clip and that one was slightly funny too.
OK, I thought, time to give it a go. It took me by surprise.
First of all, I love getting into a series on Netflix because you get to watch everything at your own convenience. Usually I’ll watch one to two episodes a night right before bed, but I had a hard time keeping it at that with Bob’s Burgers.
This show is deceitfully good.
The series is about the Belcher family. Bob Belcher owns a hamburger restaurant which his family helps him operate. He seems to have never really aspired to do anything except run the restaurant.
I’d say Bob is the normal cartoon sitcom dad, but he’s surprisingly eclectic.
You see some of his varied character in episode 6, “Sheesh. Cab, Bob?”, where he takes a job as a night time taxi driver to raise money for his daughter’s 13th birthday party.
He befriends three transvestites.
Is it odd? Oh yeah. He gets drunk with the three gender benders and I’m pretty sure he tried crack. But he carries out a promise to Tina just in time to save her party. So you get the good dad Bob and the night owl fringe culture Bob in the same episode.
His family (wife Linda, daughter Tina, son Gene, daughter Louise) is an all star supporting cast. I’m not sure Bob’s humor alone would carry this show.
The family structure is somewhat reminiscent of Family Guy. Awkward oldest daughter, overweight slightly dumb middle son, and a deranged youngest, which in this case is a girl. But that’s where the similarities end.
And that even felt like a stretch to write.
Louise is the youngest of the three kids. She is my favorite character so far, but by far. Season one only gives her the spotlight every so often, but she’s usually the highlight of any scene.
Episode 7, “Bed & Breakfast”, features her in large part and shows her maniacal side.
Linda turns the house into a B&B and tells Louise that she can keep her room while Gene and Tina have to bunk with mom and dad. But Linda goes back on her word and offers Louise’s room to Bob’s friend Teddy, which doesn’t sit well with the young deviant.
Louise loses her mind and threatens Teddy. When he doesn’t leave, she sprays his pillow with beetle pheromones that she stole from another house guest and unleashes that guest’s beetle collection on the bed.
Teddy woke with an infection covering his face, but claimed he was unaffected. He said that the only thing that could ever really get to him is seeing costumed characters, because he caught his ex wife cheating on him with one. And so Louise calls a mascot company and requests the whole crew.
Bottom line for Louise, she kept me drawn to Bob’s Burgers.
Gene is my next favorite. He’s not hilarious, but he’s worth a laugh on about every other comment.
Gene’s the star of some of the best episodes. Episode 9, “Spaghetti Western & Meatballs”, has Gene and Bob bonding over a classic TV spaghetti western. The show inspires Gene to stand up to a bully at school.
Since he has a passion for sound effects, his plan is to approach the bully, give the thousand yard stare, and own the situation by playing Louise’s electronic guitar over the bully when he tries to speak.
The bully goes into rage mode, takes off his shirt, and tries to fight poor Gene. Bob comes to his aide, but somehow they both end up hiding in a tube slide. They’re hiding from the kid and his father, who’s an even bigger bully.
Like father, like son.
And then there’s Tina.
Tina is the awkward oldest child. She has this insecure, nervous groan that’s pretty funny. She’s going through puberty, so she’s experiencing puppy love, growing unwanted mustache hairs, and over dramatizing everything.
Her inelegance is entertaining to say the least. It was a clip of her that I originally watched to become interested in the show.
Linda, Bob’s wife, surprisingly shows some depth. She’s always dreaming up some way to reach for the stars.
In episode 5, “Hamburger Dinner Theater”, Bob agrees to let her host a dinner theater at the restaurant. During the show they get robbed. Curiously, the thief realizes they’re doing a show and starts singing and dancing. He turns out to be a natural.
He returns the next night to be a part of the act, but Linda’s so taken with her dream that she stops Bob from calling the cops so that she can put on a decent performance. He steals the show and their money. Again.
It wasn’t the only time that had me thinking, “Damn Linda, get it together”.
All in all, the characters are entertaining and the first season sat well with me.
Bob’s Burgers isn’t the laugh-a-minute show that will have you recapping jokes at the water cooler.
It follows the plot for the duration of an episode and relies on the quirkiness of the family to provide laughs. If you’re interested in watching, give the first episode a whirl. If you like that, chances are you’ll enjoy the rest. It gets better throughout the season.
For the best, check out episodes 7, 9, or 13.
Bob’s Burgers is refreshing. Thanks to Netlfix Instant, this show finally got its well deserved play. I’m looking forward to watching the next season.