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Featured TV on DVD Review: Bob's Burgers: Season 1

April 16th, 2012

Bob's Burgers: Season 1 - Buy from Amazon

Bob's Burgers is the latest animated series from creator Loren Bouchard, who previously made Home Movies and Dr. Katz, both of which I own the complete collection on DVD. It features the voice talent of H. Jon Benjamin, who was previously in Home Movies and plays the titular Sterling Archer in Archer. When I heard the pair was teaming up for another series, I was ecstatic. But can Bob's Burgers live up to my expectations?

The Show

In a word, yes.

Maybe I should start with a plot description. H. Jon Benjamin stars as Bob Belcher, who is not as suave as Sterling Archer is. In fact, I'm not sure he's as suave as Coach John McGuirk was. He runs a failing burger joint situated next to a crematorium and a series of inappropriate businesses (a P.E.T.A. knock-off, a methadone clinic, etc.). He's married to Linda, who is voiced by John Roberts, which is a little weird at times. They have three kids. The eldest is Tina, voiced by Dan Mintz... another guy doing a woman's voice? Tina is an awkward teenager, at least she is after the sixth episode, which is centered on her 13th birthday party. Tina deals with a lot of anxiety issues including night terrors involving zombies, sexy zombies, a crush on one of her classmates, Jimmy Pesto Jr. Next up is Gene (voiced by Eugene Mirman) whose the middle child and he's enthusiastic about his potential musical career. The final member of the Belcher family is Louise, who is voiced by an actual woman, Kristen Schaal. Louise is demented, to be blunt. In the first episode, she tells her class that the burgers are made from human flesh from the crematorium. There are quite a few recurring characters including Mort (Andy Kindler), the mortician, and Teddy (Larry Murphy), the local handyman.

There is an incredible amount of voice talent on this show, and the writing is just as good. The aforementioned Loren Bouchard was part of Home Movies and Dr. Katz, while some of the writers' past credits include King of the Hill, The Daily Show, and many others. They've created a wonderfully demented show. In addition to the pilot, which includes the rumors of human flesh burgers, episodes go over topics that range from the sitcom weird, like when Bob pretends to be trapped inside the wall to avoid dealing with his in-laws. To heartwarming, in a sense, like when Louise become upset when Bob and Gene bond over spaghetti westerns, because it means she and her father don't spend as much time together. The short season is very consistent with no episodes that can be seen as real misses and all of them having high replay value.

The Extras

Extras include audio commentary track on all of the episodes, with a couple of episodes having more than one track, and there is a wide variety of participants from the cast and crew. There's a lot of energy and funny anecdotes throughout. Disc one also has seven minutes of audio outtakes and a short music video for "Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night". The second disc has the demo reel that was used to sell the show to Fox, with an introduction by Loren Bouchard. There is also a 2-minute look at all of the special burgers on the chalk board.

The Verdict

Bob's Burgers started as a midseason replacement and barely got renewed for season two. Season two is coming to an end and it is a toss-up for renewal again. This is a shame, because it is a great show. Additionally, Season 1 is loaded with extras and it is easily worth picking up and a contender for Pick of the Week.

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