The Howard Thur-Manchego Burger

| March 14, 2018 | 0 Comments
photo credit: jfingas Mmm, neon burger via photopin (license)

photo credit: jfingas Mmm, neon burger via photopin (license)

You wouldn’t think a TV show with original songs like “Butts, Butts, Butts” and “The Diarrhea Song” could warm your heart, but you’d be surprised.

Bob’s Burgers is the delightful story of a family that runs a small burger restaurant in a coastal New Jersey town. Bob Belcher, the mustachioed chef, and Linda, his overenthusiastic wife, struggle to manage their three kids: Tina, 13 years old and boy-crazy; Gene, lover of music and fart noises (often at the same time); and Louise, the diabolical mastermind with the cute pink bunny ears.

What really stood out to me right away was the fact that this family is actually nice to each other in a way that’s almost unheard of in modern sitcoms. Bob gets depressed when Linda gets another part-time job, not because he’s resentful of her independence, but because he misses her when she’s not there. Tina, Gene, and Louise hang out and eat lunch together even when they don’t have to. Their friends know that hanging out with one Belcher kid means hanging out with all the Belcher kids. Bob and Linda may be exasperated by their out-of-control children, but they respect and support them unconditionally, even when that means getting involved in their crazy schemes.

Of course, since they’re animated, the Belchers can get into some larger-than-life situations, but the core of the show is anchored in reality. Despite the exaggeration, each of the major and minor characters could be real people you meet in school or in a restaurant. Part of the beauty of the show is its focus on the mundane, like The Office or Parks and Recreation. Sometimes the most interesting content comes from real life; it doesn’t need to be far-fetched to be funny.

I’m partial to the kids myself, if only because they’re so true to what it’s really like to be a kid. The dialogue might be a little advanced—it is an adult show, after all—but at its heart it captures the fun-loving spirit of childhood. Even as adults, we can relate to Tina’s hormone-fueled boy craze, Gene’s passion for making up inappropriate songs, and Louise’s ongoing feud with the straight-laced guidance counselor. It’s not afraid to show childhood as it really is, in all its disgusting, fart-filled glory. If I had to pick a favorite, it would have to be Gene, if only for his passion for feminism and body positivity; after all, his favorite Halloween costume was Queen Latifah.

In terms of the production, Bob’s Burgers comes with a stellar voice-acting cast and snappy writing that leaves you pausing the show to laugh to make sure you don’t miss any of the dialogue. There are also plenty of original songs sprinkled in, most of them as ridiculous and off-beat as the show itself, but still undeniably catchy. It also doesn’t pigeonhole anyone as the “straight man” of the ensemble; Bob might be the most sensible member of the family, but he’s still prone to fits of irrational rage and impulsive decisions like keeping a cow into his living room.

Take a visit to Bob’s Burgers: the restaurant might be poorly run (and the waiters are children), but you’re guaranteed to have a good time.


featured photo credit: Skley I love Burger! via photopin (license)

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Category: featured, Poetry, Prose and Comedy, Reflections, TV and Movies

Charlie Scanlan

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Charlie is a journalism major in the College of Communication.

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