Bob’s Burgers S11E01: “Dream a Little Bob of Bob”

Episode Grade: B

Well, here we are. Season 11 of Bob’s Burgers, the little show that could. After years of being shuffled around the schedule, and getting stuck in the 7:30 slot as often as not, Bob’s returns for its second season in the prime 9:00pm position. Hell, if it wasn’t for the movie industry being completely shut down, the show would be coming off of a theatrically released movie this summer. With The Simpsons and Family Guy both effectively zombie-shows, there’s a bit of a sense that Bob’s Burgers has assumed flagship-show status in Fox’s Animation Domination block. Who ever saw that coming?

There’s also a bit of a sense that this should have happened a few seasons ago. While an entertaining half hour, especially after the break between seasons, tonight’s episode of Bob’s Burgers unfortunately played out as a bit of a redux of a prior season’s premiere, namely Season 7’s “Flu-ouise”.

Obviously, tonight’s episode was not a total retread, as it took us inside Bob’s head as opposed to Louise’s, but the dream-world structure was similar enough that comparisons were easy to make. Unfortunately, this did this episode no real favors, as Bob’s disgusting car couldn’t match the richness of Louise’s Kuchi Kopi fantasy world, despite entertaining voice work from guests Jon Glaser and Jack McBrayer. Additionally, one of the strong points of “Flu-ouise” was its incorporation of the rest of the Belchers into the dream sequences and the way their b-plot linked up with it. Tonight, Bob is essentially on his own, while the rest of the cast is confined to a lightweight bit of business involving children’s clapping games. Amusing, sure, but ultimately nothing too memorable.

Still, Bob’s Burgers is back, and operating at a higher level than could probably be expected of a show in its 11th season. If the biggest issue with an episode is that it evokes a better one a little too strongly, that’s not the worst problem to have.

Shametricity Monsters:

  • Storefront: Bend It like Bedpan Medical Supplies.
  • Exterminator: You Should Get That Mole Looked At
  • Gene on school: “It was about four hours too long and a little talky”
  • “Bob, I think Louise is coming upstairs to jump on the bed and squish you.” “Yeah, she did. It’s really fun. And helpful.”
  • “Jury duty summons. Perfect. I wish I knew you were there, since I’m a fugitive now, I guess”
  • “This is ruining my memory of childhood.” “You’re making Mommy sad, Tina.”
  • I mean, once you have back problems, you kind of always have back problems.” Bob speaks the truth.
  • No one’s surprised Mr. Fischoeder had the best version, right?