286 min. (plus extras)/13 episodes/2 discs
Rated: Not Rated
Available April 17
Grade: 3 stars (out of 4)
While season two of this once-hot animated series sits in limbo, the first season comes to DVD, and thank goodness. Bob’s Burgers focuses on urban burger restaurateur Bob and his family, as they cope with the trials of a bad economy, loyal customers, bad neighbors, and each other.
The first half of the 13-episode season is near priceless, with consistent laughs worthy of the best comedy on television. The second half doesn’t live up to that, however. The later episodes are solid, but they’re simply not as good. Perhaps that’s what has led to the drop in ratings for this show, which debuted on Fox last year. Outside of the first several episodes on this set, it does seem as though the creators have run low on ideas for the clan led by father Bob, mother Linda, older daughter Tina, younger daughter Louise, and son Gene.
That said, there’s comedy gold at work here. Even when the writing lulls, Kristen Schaal as Louise steals the show, every episode. Schaal’s vocal work and comic timing are the stuff soundbits and chatroom quotations are made of, which should come as no surprise to fans of the cult former HBO series Flight of the Conchords, on which she co-starred. On what tends to be a hilariously disturbing show, Louise is a pre-adolescent kingpin of nefarious ideas, razor-sharp insights, and killer one-liners. She’s the evil doppelganger of Lisa Simpson.
H. Jon Benjamin (aka TV’s Archer) as the voice of Bob and the rest of the cast perform admirably, especially Eugene Mirman as overenthusiastic and fearless son Gene. It’s intriguing and fits strangely well that of the three female lead characters, two are voiced by males. Dan Mintz as the pubescent Tina is creepy, and it just works utterly well with the show’s milieu.
As for extras, there’s nothing must-see, though “Louise and the Chalkboard” is pretty funny.
I look forward to seeing what happens with season two of this show. Regardless, the first season of Bob’s Burgers is here and well worth viewing, though you’ll probably rewatch the first half of the season more than the latter half.
Ray Sidman is a former associate editor and longtime reviewer for Comics Buyer’s Guide. Read his reviews in CBG each month. You can read more Ray’s Reviews here.
(Image (c)2012 Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)