“Bob’s Burgers” is unique. The adult cartoon comedy television show has what sounds like a basic premise: it follows the day-to-day lives of an average family as they struggle to operate a burger restaurant in a colorful town by the ocean. But the way it delivers on that premise, the way it tells the mostly unremarkable stories of its leading family and the zany, lovable cast of characters that surround them is what makes “Bob’s Burgers” a truly unique and great show. This is part of the reason the series has run for 10 seasons, the most recent of which premiered Sept. 29.
The devoted fanbase, the funny and consistently fresh feel of each new season, and the unique style of comedy and characters have all contributed to the show’s longevity — not to mention the top-notch voice acting from such greats as H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, David Herman and Kevin Kline. But what really makes the show so lovable — what has inspired such a devoted following and set it apart from other adult cartoons like “Archer,” with which “Bob’s” shares a lead actor — is the show’s innocent earnestness. At the show’s foundation is a loving family who pour their passion into everything they do. Every episode oozes character, every storyline is imbued with the Belcher family’s particular brand of happy weirdness. While most other adult cartoons use dysfunction and resentment between characters as the source of comedy, “Bob’s” never stoops that low. The characters love each other, and as a result, the show feels good to watch in a way that other shows just don’t.
Another of the show’s strengths is its ability to create a funny, compelling story out of almost anything. The stakes of a typical “Bob’s” episode are very low. Characters rarely risk life and death, as the stories tend to stick to the more mundane aspects of everyday life. A perfect example can be found in the second episode of season 10, in which one of the hilarious storylines revolves around nothing more than one of the Belcher children getting new glasses. In this way, “Bob’s Burgers” has avoided falling into the trap that so many shows have fallen into before it: losing its premise. “The Simpsons,” “Archer,” even “Family Guy” have all abandoned their originally grounded nature in pursuit of new and interesting stories to tell in their later seasons. The Simpsons went to space, the Griffins went to space and Archer went to future sci-fi space. The Belchers have hardly even left their hometown. Yet “Bob’s” is the best show among them because of the focused and hilarious nature of these local stories. Writers have found ways to continue to produce high-quality stories and keep the show foundationally grounded in reality, which is a sign that the show has a lot of good years left in it.
“Bob’s Burgers” is full, colorful and earnest. The writers have created a vibrant town and a seemingly endless list of dynamic characters to populate the show’s warm, fun-filled episodes. “Bob’s Burgers” is a funny show, but it’s more than something to watch when you just want a laugh. It may sound strange to people who have never seen it, but it is the show to watch if you want to feel like you belong.