Bob’s Burgers: A Refreshing Adult Cartoon
In a time when adult cartoons rely heavily on crude and shock comedy, Bob’s Burgers gives us a lighter alternative
Most people remember a time from their youth when they were consumed by cartoons. Shows like Rugrats, The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, and Spongebob Squarepants were great companions to our favorite breakfast cereals every Saturday morning. Adult cartoons, however, continue to rise in popularity and now constitute some of the best shows on TV. In fact, the top five animated TV series on IMDB are all geared towards an older audience. Of course there are staples like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park, but newer adult cartoons are continuing to expand the genre. One of these is the Fox original series, Bob’s Burgers.
Bob’s Burgers was created by Loren Bouchard (known for the animated sitcom Home Movies) and stars H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, and John Roberts. Originally airing in January 2011, Bob’s Burgers has six seasons and 107 episodes.
The show focuses on the Belchers, a working class family, and their attempt to run a struggling hamburger restaurant. Bob (Benjamin), the owner of the restaurant, is also the husband of Linda (Roberts) and father of Tina (Mintz), Gene (Mirman), and Louise (Schaal). The family’s luck and sometimes questionable actions often lead them to trouble or end up costing them money, but their love for each other is unconditional.
Unlike many adult cartoons, Bob’s Burgers doesn’t rely on shock comedy or crude humor to entertain its audience. In fact, the show has never used a word that needed to be censured by the network. Don’t get me wrong though, this show is just as funny as its animated counterparts like Family Guy and The Simpsons. The difference? Bob’s Burgers humor comes from its well-developed characters and its perfect blend of family and workplace comedy. Whether it’s Bob and his love of cheesy puns, Tina and her pubescent awkwardness and obsession with butts, Gene’s youthful wisdom and passion for everything, or Louise and her perfectly timed one-liners, this show definitely knows how to produce a laugh.
A great example of what Bob’s Burgers brings to the table is from the first scene of the very first episode. Bob is giving his family, the only employees of the restaurant (because why not exploit child labor!) a pep talk before their grand re-re-re-opening. Between his hesitance and Gene’s playful fart machine, Tina casually proclaims her crotch is itchy. Bob then asks if she is telling him as his grill cook or as his daughter, but then decides he shouldn’t know either way.
Other priceless moments include when Tina hit the only car in a huge parking lot learning to drive, Gene chasing a chicken around to get its “nuggets”, Linda’s catchy songs that always get stuck in my head, and Tina’s suave pickup line, “Your ass is grass and I’m going to mow it.”
Between the lovable but unquestionably “off” Belcher family, it’s quirky recurring characters, and the relatable problems everyone puts themselves into, Bob’s Burgers has proven to be a refreshing take on what’s seen as a stereotypical genre.
Adult cartoons are some of my favorite shows on TV, specifically because they have no qualms with crossing any lines and offending people. Bob’s Burgers, however, is expanding the genre and showing they can attract a wide range of fans. Parents should have no problem watching this with their kids. As long as the writing stays crisp this show can continue its long and successful run.
Season seven of Bob’s Burgers premiers on September 25th on Fox.