“Bob’s Burgers” review: “Easy Com-mercial, Easy Go-mercial”


Burgers or pizza? It’s the age-old question of fast food restaurants in America. Different in almost every way except for the presence of carbs and grease, both have risen to the top of the (quite literal) food chain. Tonight brings back Bob’s greatest rival: Jimmy Pesto. His absence has been almost unnoticed in the past dozen or so episodes since we last saw him, to the point where it’s hard to believe that he was Bob’s chief source of conflict in the show’s first season. Truth be told, Jimmy Pesto is not exactly a character I see evolving much on Bob’s Burgers. The show has growth up without him, and perhaps that’s for the better. Bob has proven himself to be more than just a small business owner trying to pay the rent. He’s a coach, a chaperone, a teacher, and most importantly a father. There is more conflict for him than the 9-5. Jimmy, on the other hand, is a dick, and even his son will tell you that.

Things get a little bit Season One over at the Belcher’s this week. Bob wants his business to get more customers, so he decides to put $3,000 into a local ad at the Super Bowl. The family gets together a cute idea, but Bob doesn’t like the finished product. He stages a reshoot with an NFL legend, Sandy “Can-Can” Frye, and cuts out his family. Nothing about this would be a stretch for me as a Season One viewer, except for the $3,000. Maybe we are supposed to believe business was decent while the kids were practicing magic? I’ll let it slide because the Belchers are a well-written family. The conflict may not break the mold, but the banter is as developed as it’s ever been.

While Jimmy Pesto’s return wasn’t exactly welcome, the return of the Belchers’ “learning filmmaker” frenemy Randy (voiced by hipster idol Paul F. Tompkins) was most welcome. I clock this as Randy’s third appearance in four seasons, but he’s always been a ball. The Belchers hate him so much, but need someone who can work a camera. His arrival is an early highlight, as the Belchers try to expel all the bad things they want to say to him before he enters the restaurant. Tina slips an extra one in, but hey, it’s Tina. Again, I must reiterate how great it is that Bob’s Burgers continues to not write celebrities into its show. The second Teddy mentioned he had a friend who used to be in the NFL, I thought the abstinence had ended. Fortunately, the result was Sandy “Can-Can” Frye, a man whose last name is perfect for a burger joint spokesman. However, “Can-Can” can-cannot resist endorsing both Jimmy Pesto and an Asian noodle place as well. In Season 17, Sandy is going to have his own episode where he finally goes to Hollywood and meets a bunch of fictional movie stars. Just you watch. Mark your calendars for 2027.

Usually when the Belchers are set up as Bob vs. everyone, Bob is semi-irrational while the rest are just neutral. Here Linda and the kids bring some actual constructive ideas to the commercial. Louise, typically labeled the family psychopath, wants to direct. Is that so wrong? For Bob, it is when money is on the line. About three jokes were made about success and money going to the family’s head at some point, but I think Gene’s sarcasm in particular had some truth in it. Bob is not successful because he wouldn’t handle it well. Bob’s Burgers has always lived by a “family first” mentality, and maybe that’s why Bob doesn’t quite pop. Fame and fortune is not what the Belchers need. All they need is each other.

Overall, this was not one of the Belchers’ most groundbreaking outings, but it was fun to get together with the family for a little bit this Sunday. The Pesto rivalry can be put to bed for a while. Season Four has been better than that. A return to WagstaffSchool is feeling in order about now.

Rapid-fire random things to say:

Yes, Bob’s Burgers wasn’t new last week and it will not be again until Feb. 9th. The Super Bowl won’t stop hurting this family.

The consolation for Jimmy Pesto’s return is his bartender/sidekick Trev, who basically just laughs at all of his burns against Bob but somehow ends up being funnier than Pesto.

Also, where do the Belchers live? I honestly have no clue. Tonight we got a reference to the Bi-county area. It’s Bi, good for their county.

Two weeks ago, Brett died on Archer. Last week Troy Barnes left Community. This week Chris and Ann leave Parks and Recreation. I swear if anyone leaves Bob’s Burgers on Feb. 9th, I will be devastated.