Down the Ballot

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Go Screen Yourself: Bob's Burgers (Seasons 1 & 2)

The first Go Screen Yourself of 2014 is Bob's Burgers! My sister introduced me to this show back in 2011. I must say, at first I wasn't sure about this show and then I watched the episode Sheesh! Cab, Bob? and fell in love. The first season was only 13 episodes and the second season was 9 so the show took a little bit to find its footing with the audience. Season 3 and 4 both have over twenty episodes.

The basic plot of the show centers around Bob Belcher and his lower middle class family that run a burger joint. The family features the classic rule of three when it comes to kids. Oldest (Tina), Middle Child (Gene) and youngest (Louise). They play well off each other and the various adults and other kids in the show. Linda the wife rounds out the eccentric family.

Bob's Burgers takes place in some fictional coastal town on the east coast. It has all sorts cool secondary characters popping in all the time. Kevin Kline lends his voice to the wealthy local businessman who has his hands in every financial pot (including owning the building the Belchers live and work in). Many times Bob comes to Mr. Fischoeder asking for ways to make extra money and extensions on the rent. Gary Cole, Ken Jeong, Andy Kindler, and Samantha Bee have all voiced characters that have made one or more appearances.

The main cast are voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, John Roberts, and Kristen Schaal.  They've taken part in live script readings in front of audiences. They look like they have a lot of fun doing this show and you can see it in the finished product.

The humor of Bob's Burgers is very different from the other animated shows that dominate Fox on Sunday nights. It is both whimsical and awkward. When it is offensive, it's more like, the adorable offensive you often find in your parents, grandparents or older folks when they discuss race, politics or some other subject that people born after 1965 are trained to be much more diplomatic and socially understanding about. It is almost shocking at how UN-offensive it is compared to a show like South Park or Family Guy (don't get me wrong I love those shows, but Bob's Burgers is just playing at a different level).

Some great songs have come out of the show, including the one out of Sheesh! Cab, Bob?. The song is called 'Lifting up the Skirt of the Night'. It is a hilarious spoof on late night driving in the city music. You find more of the great songs written for the show at Vulture. Electric Love is also pretty good. Another neat thing about the show is every episode features a new burger for every day featured during the episode. Here's an entire tumblr account for them.

The first two seasons can be accessed on Neftlix currently. My guess is the first three seasons are all on dvd by now. I think they are also accessible on Hulu, Amazon, and Youtube. If you're looking to try something different; head out and watch Bob's Burgers. Other great episodes from the first two seasons include: Art Crawl, Burger Wars, Lobsterfest, Burgerboss, and as someone who lives in the Portland Metro area, Food Truckin is pretty great.

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