The Buzz: Bob’s Burgers Season 10, A Well-Done Treat

Ten seasons in and Bob’s Burgers is still going on strong. The series originally debuted in 2011 and has yet to feel stale. While not as long-run as other cartoon classics like The Simpsons or South Park, Bob’s Burgers has it all: heart, humor, and hamburgers.

In the season ten premiere, “The Ring (But Not Scary)”, Bob Belcher (H. Jon Benjamin) has – for once – prepared ahead of time for his anniversary to the spunky and sassy Linda (John Roberts). After various episodes where Bob has failed to impress Linda, “Adventures in Chinchilla-sitting” or needs time to come up with a last-minute gift, “Eat, Spray, Linda”, Bob finally has it in the bag. Or box would be a better metaphor since his gift is a thrifty diamond ring meant to be the engagement ring he was never able to afford in the past. But even the best laid plans face challenges; in this case, the challenge being Bob and Linda’s three inquisitive children: Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Louise (Kristen Schaal). The day prior to Bob’s big surprise, the children manage to accidentally lose the ring in a water park and they – along with Bob and former limousine driver Nat (Jilian Bell) – spend the night trying to find it. Meanwhile, Linda spends her time stuck with her cat obsessed sister, Gayle (Megan Mullay) who needs to have her pink eye treated with eye drops. Linda must try everything in her arsenal from patience to going out to pay for wine to try and help an uncooperative Gayle.

In comparison to some of the other whacky plotlines featured in the show, this one is rather tame, but fans of Bob’s Burgers will not be disappointed. There is enough of the patented Bob’s Burgers charm to go around. Highlights of the episode include several yelling matches between Linda and her sister Gayle as well as between Bob and Teddy (Larry Murphy). The ending of the episode is rather sweet in what appears to be a sequence of events that may or may not be inspired from the “Feed the Birds” scene in Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson 1964).

If the plot feels a bit rushed, it’s excusable. Loren Bouchard, the creator of Bob’s Burgers, is a fan of music in animation. So, it comes as little to no surprise that in the season ten premiere, there would be not just one musical montage, but two. While visually entertaining, it does speed up the storyline where there could be more spoken humor in its place. But part of what makes Bob’s Burgers so special is in the family friendly dysfunction, and the montages help showcase this.

But aside from montages and mayhem, the success of the show lies in its subject matter: a family. There’s plenty of comedies, animated and live action alike, that depict families, but few that have the relatability and good intentions of the Belcher family. For one, it’s refreshing to have a family that loves each other even if they irritate one another. There’s no Peter Griffin style farting on the kids or degrading their self-esteem, but there is plenty of Bob’s exasperated “Oh my God” throughout the series. Secondly, it’s a show that makes the regular into the remarkable and the plain into pleasant. Yes, at times, the escalating shouts can be bothersome or some of the references fail to pack a punch, but that’s life. Some burgers are grilled to perfection, and others are not quite there yet. Likewise, some episodes are comedy gold, and some are just a-ok.

“The Ring (But Not Scary)” isn’t the best Bob’s Burgers episode, but it’s nowhere near the worst. Previous characters come back in this episode, namely Nat the limousine driver who was first seen in “V for Valentine-detta”. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence for the series. Celebrities from Bill Hader to Sarah Silverman to Kevin Kline have all had their time to shine and are often repeat performers. Even with the addition of a character from an earlier episode, the season ten premiere is still easy enough to understand and follow.

While not the American classic that The Simpsons is regarded as, Bob’s Burgers has its own timeless appeal. Its growing fan base has fostered and cultured a stable and dedicated viewership. If this season is anything like those prior, then season ten will be just as satisfying as the rest.