Continuing with the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the FOX Television Network, we take a look at another cult show, Bob's Burgers. If you have never watched a quirky episode of Bob's Burgers, you may be wondering "what is it about Bob" that those in the know can't get enough of.
Bob's Burgers has been gracing the presence of the FOX lineup since 2011. Each week, the show's creator, Loren Bouchard, invites us into the lives of Bob and Linda Belcher as they try to keep their burger shop afloat and simultaneously detangle the antics of their three kids: Tina, Gene, and Louise. The "parents trying to keep tab on their kids" thing is nothing new in the world of animation, but the way the show goes about it is. What we see is not the dysfunctional family dynamic that has worked for other FOX favorites; rather, we see an all too real dynamic of loving parents and small business owners just trying to make it all work.
So what really makes Bob's Burgers special? The nuances, of course. The elements of the show all combine together like an amazing seasoning. Each element is present and part of the whole. The little things, such as the new business that shows up next door to the burger shop in each week's opening sequence, the ever changing (and mostly unappetizing) daily specials, and the end credits which show the Belcher family getting funky in the kitchen entice fans back each week.
Each character brings a unique personality to the table. Business rival Jimmy Pesto and shop regular Teddy Francisco offer up stress and support (respectively) to the Belcher family, but the kids are really where the fun happens.
The monotone, boy-obsessed, horse-loving eldest child of the family, Tina Belcher, brings calm and imagination to the table. She has a secret butt obsession ... need I say more? Tina is bad at math, writes erotic fan fiction, and was originally written as a boy. Daniel Belcher was quickly swapped out for Tina when the network felt that he just wasn't going to be a strong enough character.
Eugene Belcher has shown no sign of "middle child syndrome." He enthusiastically inserts himself into the show with his special brand of naïveté that makes him oh-so-lovable. He has no athletic prowess and can usually be counted on for some unique observations. His electric keyboard is never far away, and he will sometimes treat viewers to a song as only Gene can.
The littlest Belcher is identified by her ever present rabbit ears. Louise is the most precocious of the three with a real knack for planning and scheming. Daddy's little girl (really ... she is much closer to Bob than she is to Linda) is the most intelligent of the Belcher kids and, as a result, is typically responsible for getting them in and then out of trouble. She treats both adults and children with equal attitude and is not one to let others take advantage.
Mom Linda is a steadfast supporter of her family. She loves dancing, musicals, and synchronized swimming and will use all three to guide her family through the trials and tribulations they face each week. All this so that the unassuming and often stymied Bob can flip his burgers in anything but peace and quiet.
To fill in the gaps, one needs to watch. Any parent with more than one child can appreciate the Belcher parents in their struggle to provide for their family. The younger fans will appreciate the witty banter and the sometimes subtle -- sometimes not -- humor that plays out in the background. So what are you waiting for? Truck on over and check out an episode or two and see what the quiet fuss is all about. The show has developed a cult following for a reason.