Bob’s Burgers: The Cartoon That Matters for TV Comedy
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Bob’s Burgers and Its Character-Driven Story Is a Major Win for Comedy!
Bob’s Burgers is an American animated television sitcom broadcast on FOX. The show centers on the Belcher family—parents Bob and Linda and their children Tina, Gene, and Louise—who run a hamburger restaurant.
Bob’s Burgers debuted on January 9th, 2011 and has broadcast 107 episodes since then, the most recent episode being the season six finale aired on May 22nd, 2016. Although reviews for the first season were mixed, reviews for the following seasons have been much more positive. In 2013, TV Guide ranked Bob’s Burgers as one of the top 60 Greatest Cartoons of All Time. In 2014, the show won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.
Bob’s Burgers is unlike most of the animated cartoons broadcast on FOX. Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy focuses on cutaway gags that reference pop culture. Matt Groening’s The Simpsons parodies American culture and society. On the other hand, Bob’s Burgers focuses on character-driven humor, and that’s why it’s the cartoon that matters for television comedy.
Throughout Bob’s Burgers, a few of the characters have gone through major character development that not only drives the humor of the show but also invests the viewers in caring about the series. Both of these traits are important to television comedy because they represent what it means for sitcoms to humorously yet sincerely reflect real life. A high quality sitcom like Bob’s Burgers matters for television comedy because of this very reason.
Let’s take Tina (voiced by Dan Mintz), the oldest Belcher child, as an example. As the series progresses, she tries to come to grips with her entry into adulthood. Early on in the show, she is very awkward, clumsy, and timid, frequently making other characters uncomfortable with her quirky love for horses and zombies. Currently, she is much more confident in herself and her characteristics. We arrived at this point through humorous storylines, yet the sincerity of her character development rings true.
The youngest Belcher child Louise (voiced by Kristen Schaal) is the breakout character of Bob’s Burgers and has also gone through important character development. At the beginning of the series, she is intelligent and manipulative, willing to exploit anyone (even adults) if there is anything to be gained. However, as the series has progressed, she has shown us her softer side. She has become more sensitive and wholehearted toward other characters, especially toward her family. Her character development is not only endearing but also genuine.
Hopefully you can now see why Bob’s Burgers is the cartoon that matters for television comedy. Character-driven humor has the greatest appeal and the deepest sincerity. Check out the show on FOX for its seventh season in the fall or on Netflix for its first five seasons!