Season Analysis: Nine episodes were not enough for Bob’s Burgers to have developed much beyond its idiosyncratic beginning, but it’s not like that’s a bad thing. The bad thing is just that there weren’t more episodes!
After two short seasons of Bob’s Burgers, Tina Belcher has already become one of the best characters on the FOX network, and her devoted, prolific interest in erotic fan fiction and erotic friend fiction is a significant part of what makes her such an interesting character. But as great a character as she is, it was a good idea to introduce a foil for her in the form of new girl Tammy (voiced by Jenny Slate) for the sake of mixing up Tina’s world. Tammy made Tina even more anxious than usual, but also loosened her up a bit, leading her to expand her vocabulary with such phrases as “boob punch,” “crap attack,” and “snoregasm” and also indirectly leading her to read aloud her erotic friend fiction to the whole school, leading to mass butt touching and one of the best – and certainly most unique – parodies of Apple’s “1984” ad ever. The B-plot of the Stomp knockoff Cake (based on “Patty Cake”) was funny and appropriately small-scale, because there are not too many laughs to wring out of such a concept other than the fact that such a show exists and that Bob, oddly, becomes obsessed with it.
The setup for Bob’s Burgers does not seem too different from any other family sitcom: a dad whose wife is just too good to him and who is overwhelmed by his wacky kids. But these are not your standard wacky sitcom kids. The kids of Bob’s Burgers are more akin to Statler and Waldorf of the Muppets than they are to any other wacky sitcom kids, in that their dialogue tends to act as a running commentary on the plot action, as opposed to normal conversation. They are, though, still in fact ensconced in the world in which they inhabit, but they bring their own wacky perspective to their family’s situation such that the only way to make sense of them is to think of them as inhabiting their own weird worlds through which they observe everyone else. When a documentary filmmaker pulls the stunt of leaving a cow out in front of Bob’s restaurant, his children react in ways that could in no way be considered supportive. Louise lambasts him with cries of “Murderer!” and then encourages his disturbing crush on “Moolissa,” Tina believes that Moolissa is sending her messages through her (actually his – Moolissa turns out to be a bull) feces, and I don’t remember exactly what Gene’s reaction was, but I’m sure it was strange and unhelpful. The children of the Belcher clan are ultimately so lovable because they are so confident about themselves, despite inhabiting their own strange little worlds.
Next up: Family Guy