Well, it’s a little late to the game (the next episode is tomorrow), but it’s better late than never! So basically, I’ll be covering “adult cartoons” for the site from now on. So if any of you out there have a specific recommendation, I’d be happy to take a look. Now that Rick and Morty is done for probably like a year and a half and Archer doesn’t start till February, I’m looking to fill my roster with shows that deserve a spotlight. But for now: Bob and his burgers.
The season premiere has the Belcher family speculating on what would have happened if Bob and Linda had never met after it’s revealed that Bob is losing his mustache hair. And Linda
really likes his mustache.
Here are some thoughts.
1. This format is getting a little old
It was last used in the season four episode The Frond Files, where the kids each wrote essays (ripped off from famous movies) that made Mr. Frond the bad guy. Each kid gets about a third of the episode to tell their own story, with them as the main character. Same format here, except the kids are each fantasizing about what would have happened if Linda had never accidentally slapped Bob and fallen in love… with his mustache.
2. This show has a habit of breaking format for season premieres
It seems like for the season premieres, there is a tendency to break the format of a normal sitcom episode. Last season it Work Hard or Die Tryin’, Girl, which was basically a musical episode (with even more movie references). The season before that was A River Runs Through Bob, which was a camping episode that goes horribly wrong. It seems like they could do a little better with format breaking than basically rehashing the format they’ve already used!
3. Bob’s mustache has been the focus of this show so many times
Remember that time Jimmy Pesto wouldn’t let Jimmy Jr. go to Tina’s birthday unless he shaved his mustache and gave it to him in a baggie? Or Mr. Fischoder’s fascination with the famous upper lip hair? It’s a fun running joke through the series. Although this episode may have taken it too far.
4. This is a rather slow start
There was not a lot in the way of plot. It was all kid storytelling. There were no stakes to the relatively sleepy stories and I found my mind wandering. I know Bob’s Burgers can do better than this. It’s one of my favorite shows! It’s done some remarkable stuff in the past. With almost a year in between episodes, you think they would have been able to come up with something a little more engaging.
5. I’m a little tired of famous movie parodies
It kind of feels like every famous movie from the eighties (Die Hard, Working Girl, RoboCop, etc.) has been referenced in one way or another on the show. It’s great when they do movie references that are sort of veiled, like The Deepening (which was a Jaws spoof) or The Oeder Games (which was a Hunger Games spoof). They’re funny and clever and veer enough away from the actual movies to be interesting. But when they do short form movies parodies, it just feels like retreading well worn ground.
6. Bob exercising is always hilarious
He’s seen on an exercise bike at the beginning of the episode, looking like he literally might die. It was hilarious. Also the cause of his mustache hair loss!
7. Ron really needs his own episode
He’s always totally deadpan, but you can tell underneath he’s a really sweet guy. With his ridiculous hair and his easy going demeanor, I’d love to see Ron thrown into some sort of wacky, Belcher family initiated situation.
8. There’s an interesting philosophy about health inspecting here
Bob is a health inspector in one of the kids stories and hates his life. Hugo becomes Bob and loves his life. Perhaps health inspecting KILLS YOUR SOUL? Kind of seems like it would.
9. Jeez, there’s some nihilistic philosophy you don’t often see on sitcoms
The consensus that the family eventually comes to is that fate is random and not preordained. Life is chaos, basically, but they’re doing okay. That’s a far cry from the sitcoms of old that would set-up a plot that eventually led us to the conclusion that there is a god/santa claus/easter bunny/tooth fairy/magic. It’s that kind of treacly feel-goodery that drives me crazy. I’m glad there’s a level of realism to the Belcher family’s outlook.
10. Let’s hope the season gets better
Because this is not the Bob’s Burgers I know and love. It wasn’t terrible, but I know it can do much, much better.
Tags: bob's burgers, Fox, h jon benjamin, premiere, season 6