Bob’s Burgers: S09E06 “Bobby Driver”

bobbydriver

Grade: B-

Good evening, Avocados! TheFunBoy3Version here, ready to kick off whatever discussion you want to have about tonight’s Bob’s Burgers. This is my first time making a post on this website, so I’ll start by begging forgiveness/asking for patience with any formatting issues or what not (though if you want to blast me for my ill-conceived opinions or analysis, have at it).

Bob’s Burgers doesn’t really do “bad guys”, at least not in the way most other shows (animated or otherwise) do. Sure, characters like Tammy, or Mr. Frond, or Mr. Fischoder can cause problems for the Belchers, but the writers are always careful to keep them from becoming full on antagonists by giving them enough recognizably human emotions, and then (usually) bringing them around by the end of the episode. Consider Tammy stepping aside so Tina can go out with the BFOOT last season, or the various hints over the years that Mr. Fischoder actually really likes Bob (at least enough not to evict him. We all love the Belchers, but they’re not ideal tenants). This is a show that ended up bringing Millie around, for crying out loud.

To this point, there have been three major exceptions: Jimmy Pesto, Hugo, and Edith. Jimmy will probably never change; hating Bob is basically his only function on the show. Hugo is in a similar boat, and honestly increasingly feels like a relic from an earlier incarnation of the show. Kind of like a vestigial tail. Then there’s Edith, the cranky old woman from up the street whose primary function up until now has been to be cranky and old.

After tonight? Well, as Bob points out early on, “she’s always awful”, and this episode doesn’t really try to change that. What she is is funny, and watching her and Bob rob a bunch of elderly ladies (and Frond, who is an elderly lady in every way apart from being middle-aged and a man) of their quilt squares was easily the most enjoyable part of this episode. Bob gets stuck with the straight man role a lot of the time, but one of this show’s great strengths is that he can easily get swept up in whatever craziness is going down around him, especially if he doesn’t have to worry about containing Teddy, Linda or the kids.

… which brings us to Teddy, Linda, and the kids. I’ll start with the kids: I found their birthday party subplot to be oddly lifeless. Gene and Tina both got a few good lines off, but overall the whole thing seemed like one long set-up to a joke that didn’t land. (The birthday boy’s parents are really into social media. Ha-ha?) What seemed especially odd was the lack of any of the kid’s Wagstaff classmates, typically the show’s deepest bench of great supporting characters. Rudy, Andy and Ollie, or even Wayne could’ve livened up the proceedings substantially. Linda and Teddy’s sushi c-plot was fine, but didn’t really have enough room to develop. That said, Teddy freaking out on Mort over nothing will never not be funny to me.

Overall, I’d place this on the lower end of Bob’s Burgers average range. Bob and Edith’s plot was fun, but the kids’ was a drag, and that’s typically the show’s strong point for me. Additionally, Sgt. Bosco (one of the show’s best side characters) gets disappointingly little to do.

Alright, time to get this post up and let them who want to comment do so. Going forward, I’ll plan to try and get these up earlier and get a bit more in-depth (spent a good chunk of this evening getting set up on WordPress).

Next week we get a Bob’s Burgers Thanksgiving episode. Those are usually pretty good.