The Buzz: 'Bob’s Burgers' Is Still Fun And Charming 8 Seasons In
The best way to describe the season eight finale of Bob’s Burgers is endearing. It isn’t the funniest episode ever, but it’s thoughtful, fun and very enjoyable. It proves that, despite running for eight seasons, Bob’s Burgers has only solidified itself as the best animated show on Fox right now. Family Guy and The Simpsons, while giants in the past, have suffered greatly from seasonal decay and have become shells of their former selves. While The Simpsons and Family Guy are trapped trying to figure out how to one up the craziness of their previous episodes, Bob’s Burgers is content to keep its storylines smaller and more grounded. Much like King of the Hill before it, Bob’s Burgers’ episodes, while still silly, never feel as if though they couldn’t happen in the real world. It’s this down to earth nature combined with the consistency of the character writing in Bob’s Burgers, that allows this series to retain quality, despite its long run.
The episode "Something Old, Something New, Something Bob Caters for You," opens with Bob relenting that his career of running a restaurant isn’t as meaningful as compared to something like that of a medic in a war zone. It’s a relatable feeling that a majority of people who work nine to five jobs have most likely struggled with at least once in their lives. Linda does her best to get her husband to stop thinking about it, but Bob can’t shake his self-doubt. The next day while at the restaurant, a couple comes in claiming to have had their first date at Bob’s Burgers three months prior. Seeing it as an important part of their coming together, they ask Bob to cater their wedding. Bob is ecstatic at the thought of being responsible for bringing these two people together and jumps at the opportunity. Meanwhile, Linda is hesitant in thinking the couple is moving far too fast. Soon enough, Linda is proven correct as the wedding is just about a complete disaster. The day is plagued by horrible wind and dead butterflies, but worst of all, the wedding cake is inadvertently destroyed by Bob. The just as it looks like the couple is about to break up, Linda comes in to save the day, saying that if the couple could take so much of the day in stride without falling apart, then they can take on anything. The couple is reassured and Bob is content once again with the life he chose.
Despite being one hundred and fifty episodes in, the characters remain one of the strongest staples of Bob’s Burgers. Bob is very much still the straight man, but dynamic enough that even he sometimes gets caught up in his own head. Linda is the more outspoken crazy one, but is still a thoughtful and loving mother who is only looking out for everyone’s best interests. Lastly, the kids act like kids not really caring all that much about what’s going on. Instead, they’re more interested in their own contest of seeing who can be in the most pictures to decide who must do the worse of the chores. Each character is flawed, but each remains very likable and fun to watch. Despite the easy jokes that could be made by making each of the characters act more jerky, Bob’s Burgers always knows when to reel its characters back in. No matter how much of a mess the characters get themselves into you still find yourself rooting for them. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Family Guy, where characters have become so despicable and unlikable for the sake of countless easy jokes that you want to see them fail. Once again, Bob’s Burgers success lies in its restraint.
Besides the great character work, this episode also features a great new duet by Bob and Linda. It’s catchy and fun and it perfectly captures how the two characters are feeling. Bob wants nothing more than to see the wedding succeed so that he can feel some self-worth. Linda on the other hand, laments on how the wedding is a mess and that Bob shouldn’t feel so much responsibility to try to save it. Despite the off-key singing by H. Jon Benjamin as Bob, you can really hear the desperation in his voice and it only serves to make the musical number that more genuine and charming. The importance of music is too often overlooked in a TV series. However, it’s is a great way to express the mood of a scene other than through dialogue. Not to mention, the re-watchability that comes with a catchy and fun enough song, it’s just another reason for viewers to revisit an episode.
The humor of the episode remains strong as well. Although it’s not the most laugh out loud episode because it focuses more on the emotion of the characters, there’ still plenty to chuckle at. The dialogue of the episode is top notch and the delivery from the voice actors and actresses is dead on. There probably doesn’t exist a better cast at deadpan delivery than that of Bob’s Burgers. Even comedian guest star Pete Holmes gets a few good lines in here and there. Additionally, the humor of Bob’s Burgers stays more timeless with it largely stemming from character interactions rather than more topical humor that will lose its edge in a few years. Even when a setup is super obvious, like for example Bob destroying the wedding cake, the show still manages to find a way to subvert audiences’ expectations by having Linda be the one to save the day in a hilarious monologue. It’s the quirks of the characters of Bob’s Burgers that keeps it afloat. This proves that a show doesn’t always have to be in your face to make you laugh and smile. A hundred fifty episodes down and I couldn’t be more content with where Bob’s Burgers is as a show. It may not be the most exciting or most daring of shows, but Bob’s Burgers knows what it is and plays to its strengths. It’s a show in which I can see some real longevity and for which I actively anticipate the expected film release. Fans can rest assured there’s plenty more Bob’s Burgers to come besides the theatrical film, as the series has already been confirmed for its ninth season which will likely begin airing in the fall of this year.