Culture

“Bob’s Burgers” review: “The Kids Rob A Train”

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Personal story: I’m coming back to Chicago from Orlando today. My flight got delayed, then pushed up, my girlfriend’s family had me leave her car at the airport (unlocked!), my flight was oversold and I almost didn’t get a boarding pass. But man, I sat down at an outlet, pulled up Bob’s Burgers, and I was in eternal bliss. It’s that theme song, I tell you!

Bob’s Burgers’ titling format lately is probably one of the easiest to follow on television. If it’s a pun with the name Tina or Bob in it, you know who’s the central character. But every now and then, that title goes to “The Kids.” Rather than break into the character development of one Belcher, the kids act as a Swiss Army Knife of wit and skills. This week’s adventure: the kids steal chocolate on a train. The kids’ table shtick often plays very well in the Bob’s Burgers universe. Their lower-class status can reduce the child section of a weekend getaway into something “thrown together.” The juice caboose, the final car of a wine-tasting train, is the epitome of this principle. One beanbag chair. One crate of blocks. That’s it. And Regular-Sized Rudy.

Regular-Sized Rudy is by far my favorite supporting character. He pops in for an episode or two a season, but he’s a guarantee for laughs. He’s not strong but he’s not weak. He’s not tall but he isn’t short either. He’s just regular. Tonight we get a little exposure into the home life of my favorite Regular guy. He’s basically Milhouse without the self-deprecating humor. He’s a quieter soul too. His dad, however, is divorced and online dating. That–that’s just wonderful.

As capers go, the kids don’t have much opposition in their way. Their greatest threat is the German cook (the chocolate is Swiss, the kids are American). The writing staff really deserves major kudos for creating memorable characters every single week. One-liners are smoothly encoded into a character’s DNA, not as a joke on their own but as a reveal. For every season of Bob’s Burgers, one can envision a spinoff episode sans Belchers. But then, we wouldn’t have Tina fall in love with the waiter or Louise judge Rudy for his selflessness. That’s simply a world I’m not prepared to live in.

While the kids plot to foil the help of the Wine Train (including an always welcome Michael Showalter), Bob must face off against wine snob Rick (voiced by Matt Walsh). Bob has taste, but Rick is a bit too classy and pretentious. Linda, however, has a move up her sleeve that only the Belchers could throw at a guy like Rick. Never count the Belchers out when it comes to weird. They rule the weird.

Catch-up: Last week, Teddy watched the kids for the weekend. It was adorable and hilarious. Don’t forget to check it out.

Sorry for the short review this week, my flight is boarding!