Follow @Mr_McCrackelz

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

CRACKPOT THEORY: Bob's Burgers is The Simpson's First Worthy Sucessor.

Sometimes a show wins you over so gradually its hard to remember that you were ever against it. I'll say up front I never got “Home Movies” and I was way too young to catch “Dr. Katz” so when Loren Bouchard got a prime time Fox pilot my opinion, shared by many viewers, was a little more than a shrug. But I gave it a shot. The first episode wasn't bad, but it left me cold. If it wasn't for “Archer” and my weekly need for a Jon Benjamin fix I never would have stuck with it. And as you can probably guess, everything I’m about to write can be summed up by saying I'm glad I did.


Its obvious the show's biggest sell is how similar it is to the Simpsons in concept, but the two are night and day. For one it comes from a background of improvised conversational dialogue and the biggest laughs for me always come from how something is said rather than what. Conversations erupt and and die down at unpredictable times blurring the line between script and performance just enough to keep things interesting as well as to set it apart from Fox's other animated offerings. Plus the tangents it goes off on are fun to listen to by themselves. Its a fun show grounded by dark, snarky realism that somehow makes it more savory than bitter.


I'd seen her around the Daily Show, her Comedy Central special, and a few other places. I thought she was ok, never really stood out to me the way Samantha Bee or Chelsea Peretti could. But once I heard her voice coming out of a ten year old girl, I got it. Something just clicked and I’d now call myself a fan. It is weird to think shes the only woman in the main cast that’s actually played by one, but that’s beside the point. As Louise, the maniacal mystery wrapped in an enigma and covered by rabbit ears, Schaal kills. Her background antics are always highlights and her central stories are amongst the best so far. In fact "Ear-sy Rider," in which her beloved rabbit ears are stolen, may be my favorite.


The show has a heart and her name is Tina. Maybe the voice of  a 32 year old man doesn't sound right coming from a 14 year old girl. But it works hilariously well and despite the fact she is mostly played for laughs, when Tina becomes a focal point, you'll see the most brutally honest look at teenage sexuality I've ever witnessed. It's brutal, I feel I need to mention that one more time. Erotic zombie dreams, butt fixation, flirting with anything vaguely masculine, (including steer) she is routinely betrayed by her hormones. When the stories dive into her achingly pathetic quest for love they become greater than the sum of their parts. She's proud of herself and doesn't take any crap from the world. In many ways she's a much braver romantic than I, even though it kills me to admit it.


There have been a metric butt ton of guest stars on Bob's Burgers but I’d only caught half of them before the credits started rolling. More often than not I'd read the cast list and yell “that was him/her?! I had no fu**ing clue...” Both Sarah and Laura Silverman were regulars, (took me a year to figure that out) Kevin Kline was their land lord, (again, could have fooled me) and Jon Hamm was a talking super toilet. It's rare a show lets a guest's performance breathe and more importantly avoids the toxic influence of them actually playing themselves...The Simpsons is a dark cautionary tale in that way.


But if there is one thing I’d like the show to be remembered for it's their admirably dumb musical numbers. They're too legitimately funny to ignore, too hastily put together to stand on their own, and yet so genuine that I grew to love them. They've started putting together a promotional cover series called “Bob's Buskers” and I really hope they stick to it. I actually have some new found respect for “BadTina.” So in summation, this is best animated family comedy since 1989. It may not ever reach the towering heights of The Simpson's first four years but come on, no one has. Its edgy, its sweet, its funny as hell and I look forward to it every week. I hope eventually some of you will too.

First Season Standouts

Crawl Space

Sexy Dance Fighting

Sheesh! Cab, Bob?

Art Crawl


No comments :

Post a Comment