TV Review: 'Bob's Burgers' tasty bite of fun
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Fox always seems to have the most success on Sunday night with animated series that don't stray too far from what's already successful, namely, anything from "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane. Last year "Sit Down, Shut Up," from the executive producer of "Arrested Development," was a bomb. But I hope the network has better luck with "Bob's Burgers" (8:30 p.m. Sunday, WPGH), an unexpectedly amusing comedy meal.
Voice: H. Jon Benjamin.
The first episode begins at the grand re-re-re-opening of Bob's Burgers, a beach-town joint just down the street from an amusement park. Bob (voice of H. Jon Benjamin) assigns his children their tasks, but that often seems to be more trouble than it's worth. Grill cook Tina (Dan Mintz) has an itchy crotch, son Eugene (Eugene Mirman) doesn't know the difference between being entertaining and annoying as he tries to get passersby to sample the burgers, and youngest daughter Louise (Kristen Schaal) wants to change the burger of the day to The Child Molester ("comes with candy").
On top of that, Bob's wife, Linda (John Roberts), expects a surprise wedding anniversary gift, but Bob has forgotten the occasion. And then the health inspector shows up.
"They're down in the basement grinding the meat right now," Louise tells the inspector, who's looking for her parents. "That's not a euphemism; they really are grinding the meat."
From there, the absurdities only grow as the public comes to believe Bob is serving burgers made of human meat harvested from the crematorium next door.
Created by Loren Bouchard ("Home Movies"), who wrote the premiere with fellow executive producer Jim Dauterive ("King of the Hill"), "Bob's Burgers" benefits greatly from its voice cast that's unique for the number of men who play women, giving the show an off-kilter sound.
Mr. Benjamin, who gives voice to Bob, also is the voice of Sterling Archer on FX's soon-to-return "Archer," and he sounds identical on both shows. That was a little distracting at first, but by the end of the first episode, the writing was strong enough to overcome the dissonance.
It remains to be seen whether there's a vision for "Bob's Burgers" that can propel it beyond the first episode -- Fox made only Sunday's pilot available -- but so far this animated comedy is truly well done.
First Published January 5, 2011 12:00 am