Not many shows get it so right so quickly but from the pilot episode, Bob’s Burgers iss brilliant. A lot of other shows in the same ilk as Bob’s Burgers, for instance animated shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy, take a little while to establish their characters, their flaws, their foibles and overall character traits. From the moment the characters appear on-screen in the great pilot episode, it is clear who they are and what their characteristics will be.
This is because the characters are so distinct and each very funny. There are no characters who drag the show or become the general butt of the jokes because they are the “straight” character (like Lisa Simpson or Meg Griffin). Instead, each character carries their own weight and contributes something to the family set-up.
Of course burger restaurant owner Bob is the primary focus and his panicked, desperate and often exasperated character is brought to life perfectly by the croaky tones of H. Jon Benjamin. He is paired well with John Roberts’ Linda as his wife. Linda is the enthusiasm that Bob lacks and her songs and excitement bring something fresh to the show.
The kids are the real stars though. The immature but strangely wise Gene, played by Eugene Mirman, the creepy and very sexually aware Tina, with the perfect, monotone voice provided by Dan Mintz and the best of them all, calculating, scheming and slightly villainous Louise, brought to life by the ever recognisable voice of Kristen Schaal.
The first season also starts to introduce the supporting cast and they are just as great. From strange mortician Mort who owns the morgue next door, restaurant regular Teddy who has the boring stories and the Italian restaurant rival Jimmy Pesto: the support does exactly that, holding the stories together well.
For the characters to work, the situations and stories that each episode places them in have to be funny too. This is luckily the case and from the first episode which deals with a jealous food inspector to a wig wearing cow and through to the cheating antics of an inappropriate role model: every episode has something hilarious. It is all slightly surreal but with a foot strongly in the more realistic side of the animated shows.
The major complaint is that the season is over far too quickly. Only 13 episodes comprise the first season and it feels like it is hitting it’s stride when it stops suddenly. Hopefully success will lead to more episodes for a second season as I could watch at least double what we get in the first season.
Overall, Bob’s Burgers is exactly what you need from an animated series. It is very funny, with great characters and no “duds” who manage to stall the series. Show “star” Bob is rounded out well with a well cast family, who with added support, help the show feel fresh and interesting. The stories are strange in some cases but never too surreal and offer something slightly different to the more “traditional” prime time animated shows.
Best Episode – Art Crawl: The picture that Linda’s sister paints are worth the watch enough but the way it escalates is classic Bob’s Burgers.
Best performance – Kristan Schaal as Louise
Should there be another season? – Definitely. I could watch so much more of this season. It has great potential too.
Season Rating – 5!
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)