I review a whole season rather than individual episodes, so there is a chance of spoilers. If you haven’t watched the whole season yet, stop reading now!
Someone at Fox, the network which airs Bob’s Burgers, didn’t understand what quality they had. They didn’t cancel it but infuriatingly, they didn’t give it the full 22 episode season that The Simpons or Family Guy enjoys. Unfortunately, Season 2 of Bob’s Burgers is a measly 9 episodes. Luckily, it uses these to deliver more quality and fantastic animated comedy to at-least match the first season.
All the foundations they laid with the first season are developed and built-upon perfectly. The characters are not only as well-rounded and funny as they were in the first but now develop further; H Jon Benjamin’s Bob becomes more than just a restaurant owner, trying his hand as synchronised swimming instructor; Dan Mintz’s Tina becomes a “bad girl”; Kirsten Schall’s Louise falls for a man made of Taffy; John Robert’s Linda tries to match-up Bob with her sister and the ever brilliant Gene, played to perfection by Eugene Mirman, becomes a TV sensation. These are just a small taste of the crazy stories which feature in the second season and make it such an entertaining series.
The secret to what is so appealing about Bob’s Burgers is that the stories start small and escalate to incredible lengths without feeling too contrived or ridiculous. A perfect example is the episode called Bob Day Afternoon, which riffs on the Al Pacino film of a similar name, and finds Bob involved in a bank robbery. The different amount of characters involved, from inept bank robber Mickey played by Bill Hader to hardline cop Sergeant Bosco, again played by a perfectly guest cast Gary Cole, add to the humour of the episode. With just a 22 minute runtime, the story is great, involving all the family, loads of varying characters and homage to the film well. It is the best of animated TV and just an example of the quality the show delivers each episode.
The writing is the key. Not just the episodes over-arching story but the dialogue, call-backs to past episodes and plays on what we already know about the characters and their traits. It feels like it is growing too, with characters like Kevin Kline’s Mr Fischoeder, becoming more regular, even if it is to fill a small cameo, like The Simpsons and Family Guy would do.
Overall, Bob’s Burgers second season is more like the second half of the first. It is a measly 9 episodes but these are used to great effect. It features some brilliant stories which escalate and develop in strange ways including great guest stars to flesh-out the show. The secret to the shows success is still the regular characters and their voice-cast, which still deliver at the top of their game.
Best Episode – Bob Day Afternoon: A perfect way to take a movie premise and adapt it to a crazy TV episode.
Best performance – H Jon Benjamin as Bob Belcher
Should there be another season? – There wasn’t enough of this season so definitely!
Season Rating – 5!
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)