Bob’s Burgers S10E18: “Tappy Tappy Tappy Tap Tap Tap”

Episode Grade: B

Confession time up front: I don’t really care for Josh as a character on Bob’s Burgers. It’s not that there’s anything objectionable about him, he just doesn’t really register at all for me. Part of the issue is that the show has previously presented him as the preferable alternative to Jimmy Jr.: the dancing young man who actually pays attention to Tina, and would seem on the surface to be good boyfriend material. The problem with that characterization though is that Jimmy Jr.’s wishy-washyness towards Tina is an essential part of his role on the show. Because Josh lacks that, (although one could argue that he appears to be totally over Tina this episode. Debate among yourselves as to why) any plot with him and Tina runs the risk of verging into wish-fulfillment territory. Luckily, it seems as though Bob’s Burgers recognizes this and adjusts accordingly. First, they have Tina make it clear early on that she’s currently invested in whatever relationship she imagines she and Jimmy Jr. have at the moment, so we don’t have to go through a rehash of “Two For Tina”. Secondly, by injuring and sidelining Josh early, the episode moves to pair Tina up with Douglas (honestly, the breakout character from “Two For Tina”) and the other Art School students, which ends up being much more fun.

Third, Bob’s Burgers stumbles onto a b-plot that on one hand I can’t believe they’ve never done ten seasons in, and on the other hand I can’t believe was relegated to a b-plot. Gene and Louise competing to see whose burger creation will most impress their parents? I’m almost offended this wasn’t the main focus of the week. On top of that, we got an almost perfect use out of Teddy, something this season has struggled mightily with.

All things considered, this was a fine half-hour of television, as almost every Bob’s Burgers is. We’ve talked a lot recently about the show’s propensity to bring back guest characters , to varying degrees of success, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t starting to concern me. It was a smart decision to move the focus away from Josh this week, but it does feel like these sort of callbacks are becoming a crutch. Even at this late date, Bob’s has proven itself capable of better, and I’d hate to see it start to turn on itself.

Fred A-Stairs

  • Storefront: Not Safes for Work: Personal Safes
  • Exterminator: Little Vermin
  • I kind of need to know what Rudy’s ballet fight entailed.
  • Gayle’s boob-and-butt comparison can stay vague though.
  • Barely related, but I can’t hear Ben Schwartz do voice work anymore and not hear Dewey Duck.
  • No image this week because WordPress apparently hates me, and it’s been a long enough week that I don’t feel like fighting it.