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Bob’s Burgers: A Double Quarter Pounder of Hilarity and Heart

For my first blog post ever, I thought I would start out with an introduction to “Bob’s Burgers”. Airing on Sunday evenings as part of Fox’s Animation Domination lineup, Bob’s Burgers is a throw back to the early days of the Simpsons with an added splash of more recent cartoon comedies such as “Family Guy” and “Archer” (Bob is voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, who also voices Sterling Archer). The show is simple: Bob Belcher, his wife Linda, and his three kids (Tina, Gene, and Louise) own and operate a burger shop in a small, unidentified town. Each episode they deal with the trials of owning a small business, interacting with the eccentric clientele, and, of course, the pains of growing up.

On first glance, the premise might sound pedestrian and beaten to death. However, within simple show concepts (i.e. a local art crawl or in-laws coming to town) the show goes off the deep end without losing its humble base. Perfect example: In “Art Crawl”, Bob and the kids are walking around town observing the “crap art” and basically mocking the entire concept of an “art crawl.” The kids and Bob are shocked that there is a store “that, like, sells art. All. The. Time. Not just during Art Crawl.” Although Bob is indifferent to the entire event, the burger shop plays its part by allowing Linda’s oddball sister, Tina, (voiced by Megan Mullaly) to display her, often times, questionable art. To Bob’s horror and the kids’ joyous satisfaction, Tina has decided to paint only animal anuses, which have been hung up all over the restaurant. As Gene celebrates and Louise points out every type of anus, Bob begs Linda to convince her sister to take down the paintings. However, Bob changes his tune when the local art store owner and “Art Crawl President” demands that the art be removed. Displaying the heart which is core element of the show, Bob not only refuses to take the paintings down, but he displays the biggest one in the front window of his store just to spite his newly found enemy. Bob’s Burgers does a great job in escalating the wacky plot line in a such way that it remains plausible. He ultimately ends up painting anuses on every painting in the crawl.

I used the “Art Crawl” episode because, besides being my favorite, it does a lot to introduce the motivations of the characters. Bob is a loving but stubborn father. Tina cares for her sister and children but also acts as the moral compass for the family (she ends up painting underwear on all of the animals but is not willing to admit it). Louise, the youngest, views the Art Crawl as an opportunity to make a quick buck and employs the local dimwits to paint “crap art that the parents will gobble up” and is even willing to cut her brothers ear off (a la Van Gogh) believing that will make him a real artist. It is important to highlight Louise: she might be the perfect blend of a more intelligent Bart Simpson and a less evil Stewie Griffin. She is always scheming and playing jokes on people who she feels are less intelligent than her. Gene, the middle child, is as exuberant a character you will find on TV and loves almost everything. He will dive head first into something without thinking and will do so to a soundtrack provided by a mini synthetic keyboard he carries around. Tina is the oldest and reminds me of the MTV throwback, Daria, in the sense that she is the show’s moody, angst-y and hormonal teenage character but plays out as anything but a stereotype.

Give Bob’s Burgers a shot. The writing in recent episodes has shifted away from Bob a bit and focused more on the exploits of the children, who are really the highlight of the show. It has recently been renewed for a second season.

Thanks for reading and hopefully I will get better at this “blogging” thing as time goes on.


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