'Bob's Burgers' Movie Trailer Is A Reminder Of Why The Show's Great
After being pushed back a few times because of … y'know, The Bob’s Burgers Movie will finally be hitting the theaters on May 27. 20th Century Studios recently dropped a trailer for the film, which, if you’re not familiar with the show it’s based on, actually tells you everything you need to know:
As you can guess from the trailer, the movie focuses on the proprietor of a burger joint (with the voice of TV’s favorite alcoholic, depressed man-whore) and is definitely adult animated comedy-adjacent without being mean-spirited or relying on gross-out humor. Its plot looks to be ultimately realistic but with more than a few ventures into fantastical goofiness. Its humor seems to come from awkward interactions without nosediving into cringe territory. Finally, it’s definitely a family-oriented story with thankfully no traces of sappy sentimentality, etc.
In any other case, this would be the recipe for a show so flat, bland, and middle-of-the-road, it’d technically count as a road line marking. As luck would have it, though, two things have helped Bob’s Burgers rise above that and become a mega-hit.
Bob’s Burgers is one of the few shows with a refreshingly realistic portrayal of working-class life. The titular Bob Belcher is barely scraping by with his restaurant, regularly being late with rent to his one-eyed landlord, who, and I have no evidence of this but would bet my life on it, knows the location of at least three bodies buried somewhere on the Jersey Shore. The thing is, Bob doesn’t want that much more out of life. He just wants to cook and provide for his family. His dreams are small, humble, and doable … and yet life constantly doesn’t give him exactly what he wants. But it does always give him something.
There are two great episodes that illustrate this: “Best Burger” and “Live and Let Fly.” In both of them, Bob enters a contest, gives it his ALL, and doesn’t win but comes out of it with people wanting to try his food and a new blender, respectively. It’s not what he wanted, but he happily takes it, partially out of fear that life will change its mind and instead give him … I don’t know, fire bees, but mostly because the show is about choosing joy. Bob and the rest of his family constantly hope for the best and usually come out of it with consolation prizes and smiles on their faces because, hey, you take what you can get from life and focus on the positives. It’s a very healthy way to live and one of the main pillars of the show’s success.
Then there’s the fact that the Belcher family is a welcoming, safe space. The Belcher children are all super weird. The eldest, Tina, is an awkward neurotic who writes erotic fiction about the people in her life. The middle child, Gene, is a lovably annoying, possibly queer kid with a megaphone and a farting keyboard. The youngest, Louise, is a tiny mastermind psycho who constantly wears a pink hat with bunny ears. Those are slightly exaggerated but ultimately very believable kid personalities that are welcomed at the Belcher household. As long as it makes them happy, those kids can be their weird little selves as much as they want. They’re not being constantly praised for being quirky to avoid making the show too hipstery. In fact, they often confuse and frustrate their dad. But they’re always accepted exactly as they are.
This resonates with a lot of people because they’ve seen, sometimes sadly firsthand, kids exactly like Louise land in therapy, kids like Tina land in Church, and kids like Gene land in the ER. Bob’s Burgers isn’t really doing anything revolutionary, but it seems to have arrived at just the right time when finding happiness wherever you can has become a crucial survival skill and when allowing weird people to just … be has become more important than ever. And that, weirdly, does kind of make it revolutionary, but also soft and comforting. That’s a hard combo to pull off, and it ultimately explains the show’s popularity.
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Top Image: 20 Century Studios