With their Christmas special entitled "The Last Gingerbread House on the Left" airing last week, the first half of this new season of Bob's Burgers has officially wrapped up! It's always nice to spend time with the Belcher family and their friends, enemies and the general world they inhabit. While much is the same, there are some differences with this season. Let's look at just a few:
There's A LOT of it in this season. It should be no surprise that there's music as the show rolls on, what with Linda's affinity to break out into song at the very least. This season, however, breaks out all the stops. Whether it's the Belchers sans Bob, joined by Teddy, out caroling this Christmas, or Teddy singing a Bobby Darin classic in the end credits, this season has been unusually melodic. (For more song, read below about The Quirky Turkey.)
Gene has always the most overt comic relief character in the Belcher family. Whether dressing up as "Beefsquatch" (and other guises), dropping great one-liners, or even imitating Bob, he's always good for a laugh or two. This season, however, has seen perhaps his greatest character development yet. In "Large Brother, Where Fart Thou?", Gene is in charge of looking after Louise as Bob and Linda do their taxes (and get accidentally stoned while doing so) and Tina's in detention after making eye contact with one boy and trying to figure out what it means and stuff. Unfortunately, Louise's penchant for making trouble compels her to throw a rotten melon out of the window and splatting in the alley, with some of it ending up on her arch-nemesis Logan. After threatening Louise with a legendary wrestling move, and cornering them at Lobsterfest, Gene sacrifices himself and proves that's he a big brother who's willing to protect his little sister. It's one of the most fleshed-out characterizations of Gene we've seen so far, in addition to this gem.
Speaking of Louise, her character development is perhaps the most surprising. A few of the episodes so far has Louise being her usual self. In "Flu-ouise", she harbors a tremendous amount of hate towards her family after they ruin her beloved Kuchi Kopi toy. After a feverish dream sequence involving the rest of her beloved toys and a symbolic fortress, all while the rest of the Belchers and Teddy manage to mess up Kuchi Kopi even more and end up buying a replacement, she finds it within herself to forgive them. In "The Quirkducers", she plots to have school leave early by ruining Tina's erotic-holiday-fiction-turned-musical-play The Quirky Turkey with guts and gore, of course not before pitching the idea to Mr. Frond first. However, she sees the error of her ways when it actually happens. It's surprising to see Louise develop something resembling humanity, like when she hugs Gene out of appreciation for him standing up to Logan (see "Large Brother" link).
From showing her dedication to getting a cell phone, to becoming a witch, to finding the voice she needs to save her musical play from being ruined by Louise's dastardly plan, Tina has shown some growth of her own. "Teen-a Witch" is particularly impressive, because this is one episode where she goes through a full arc, and though she becomes her old reconciling self by the end, the attitude-filled side of her (which we saw some of in "The Runway Club") is something we really should see more of in future episodes.
What has impressed you this season? Please leave your comments below. Until then, enjoy the familiar ukulele-led theme!