29 March 2011

I'm Just Here To Say I Love Bob's Burgers

N E body wit me?

photo courtesy FOX.com
Bob's Burgers, Loren Bouchard's latest gem, follows Home Movies and Dr. Katz in the Bouchard Arsenal of Greatness. I remember when I first heard about it, I got so excited that I wrote an article about it for that Gather thing. "Oh wow, H. Jon Benjamin AND Eugene Mirman AND Kristen Schaal together on a show?! OH GOSH OH WOW," I thought. And I had no idea how much my future self would agree with me.

Throughout the pilot and next 8 episodes, I went on a journey unique to cartoons that reward those determined to love it. The first episode, "Human Flesh," introduced some solid characters (like the mom, Linda) as well as some unsavory jokes that never really went anywhere (like that child molester burger with the candy on the side). I was delighted by Eugene Mirman's character (Eugene) and his Kevin McCallister* brand of tomfoolery.  I was like "I don't know, but I trust you!" about young Louise, Kristen Schaal's character. FOX's website described her as something like "the most enthusiastic of the bunch," although I can't find that anywhere on the website now. It seems they didn't know what to do with her back then.
*"McCallister" is spelled basically the same way as "Mc A-Lister." Is that its Scottish meaning or something?
It was like FOX was learning with me. As the show progressed, so did my understanding of Louise's character. Her wheeler-dealer behavior was justified by her position as the youngest and thus most vulnerable member of an unlucky family. She's just too smart to suffer for it. Plus, no morals. At the same time, Linda's maternal ditziness started feeling less exaggerated and more bittersweetly realistic. Eugene got more adorable in direct proportion to getting grosser and fartier. And, oh God, Tina.

Tina is probably the best new television character of 2011, and that pool includes Deena from Jersey Shore, who is pretty great so please let that provide you with some sense of the scale I'm working with. Tina, voiced by Dan Mintz, gets her heart broken basically every minute of every day. She's completely awkward and hormonally imbalanced. She looks like a monster, like if Chutnie were thinner but more masculine. But every so often she gets her dream come true, and it's like watching a miracle. In episode 6, "Sheesh! Cab, Bob?," she desperately wishes for a birthday kiss and actually gets it, against all odds. It sounds like a predictable ending, but the Belcher family (yes that is their last name) is so ragtag, it's like watching the Mighty Ducks win. WE LOVE IT!!!

And I would be completely remiss not to spend some time talking about Jon Benjamin's ridiculous voice talent. He's insane. It's not just his gravelly Boston-lite tone. His timing is perfect and he plays characters with the voice range of real people who joke around sometimes but can also be deadly serious or assily petulant at other times. Have you seen Archer? I would recommend that too.

Judging from the wikipedia page, it looks like season 1 will have 13 episodes. So far we've only gone through 9, so you're in a good place to start watching if you haven't already. It airs Sunday nights at 8:30, right after Simpsons. I wish Bob's Burgers paid me to write this but they did not. I don't know if I have to write that or if articles like this are usually just overcautious about avoiding legal trouble. Personally I invite legal trouble because then more people would be reading my blog. But seriously, I don't even know anyone that works at Bob's Burgers, I swear. I have one of Mirman's comedy albums and that's it. No legal trouble here.

I just love Bob's Burgers, that's really all I'm trying to say.

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