Episode Grade: B
“Are we bad?” “We’re not great, but we mean really well.”
This week, Bob’s Burgers turns in a fine episode whose only real issue was not being quite as good as it’s premise might’ve indicated. A Wagstaff-focused episode featuring the kids all writing competing songs would seem to hit several of Bob’s sweet spots and end up in A-territory pretty easily. That this doesn’t happen is a bit disappointing, but enough here works that we can still consider the episode a success.
Counter-intuitively for an episode centered around songwriting, Tina is the Belcher child who gets the focus tonight. Maybe the writers thought making this a Gene-episode would be too obvious? In any case, Tina is spurred into participating in the school’s songwriting contest not out of any artistic or mischievous drive, as Gene and Louise are, respectively. Instead, Tina is motivated by a desire to create a legacy for herself at Wagstaff, which… yeah, OK, I guess. Suffering from writer’s block, she ends up teaming with Mr. Frond in his effort to produce an appropriate school song, presenting his lyrics as her own. At this point, Tina’s a-plot starts to resemble “The Hormon-iums” on a surface level, a comparison that does this episode no favors. In that episode, Frond’s scheming and Tina’s reluctance were deployed to address some important lessons about personal agency and misinformation. Tonight’s episode lacked any equivalent weight since, as Louise points out in the last act, only Frond and Tina really care about any of this, so she should probably just keep going with it.
Some shakiness in the a-plot aside, this episode resembled “A Fish Called Tina” in that Bob’s was otherwise pretty much in the zone. Great moments from most of the prominent Wagstaff students balanced out any unevenness with Frond and Tina. Jimmy Jr. and Zeke were especially on point tonight (they deserved their win!), as were Rudy’s efforts to give Wagstaff its own “Love Shack”. Back at the restaurant, the b-plot made good use of Teddy, Trev, and even Jimmy Pesto. As a bonus, we got some maniacally determined Bob (at least until he almost blinded poor Trev), which is always fun. Overall, a solid episode, only slightly disappointing for what could’ve been rather than any major flaw in what we actually got.
- Storefront: Hannah and her Transistors Electronic Parts
- Exterminator: Ant Acid Exterminators
- “Hah! Male Pattern Baldness” I’ve got it too I think.”
- “Gene, do you think you could come up with a really idiotic melody to go with dumb words?” “Have you not heard my song ‘Diaper Day Penis Parade’?” Seriously, this probably should’ve been a Gene episode. Sometimes thing are obvious because they’re right.
- Anyone else kind of wondering what else is on Rudy’s dad’s date-night mix?
- “You’re a feisty little ewok.”
- “There was a three-minute standing ovation when they finally scored. Coach Blevins cried.” If Jimmy Jr. and his weird running made the team, Wagstaff basketball has got to be in a pretty dire state.