Last week, I said that Bob's Burgers on Fox had real staying power, and this week that fact was only confirmed. The charming animated show, which premiered last week, aired its second episode tonight, and it was a laugh-riot the whole way through!
This week, Linda, Bob's wife, announces to Bob that her parents are coming for a visit. Pretty tame sitcom fare, don't you think? This is where is gets interesting.
The ceiling in the families kitchen is leaking, so Linda sends Bob up to repair the leak, when he discovers the crawl-space of the apartment. He decides to "get stuck" in the crawl-space to avoid having to socialize with his in-laws. Throughout the episode we see Bob tricking the family into thinking that he is stuck. A handyman named Talky Teddie trying to get him out (to no avail.) After a while, and with the aid of a Japanese nightlight his daughter Louise gave him, he starts to hallucinate, to the point where the talking nightlight appears in a speakeasy to him and tells him to kill his mother-in-law.
Meanwhile, Louise keeps telling everyone that her father is dead, prompting the school counselor to think that this is the root of the children's bad behavior, so he makes a house visit. He is about to call social services on the horribly behaved children, when Linda's mother smashes into the wall and saves Bob, and also convinces the counselor that since he has no children of his own, he doesn't know the stresses of raising children, so he has no right to call social services.
The episode was truly hilarious, in every way. The addition of veteran actress Renee Taylor as Linda's mother, was beyond funny for me. Anyone who has seen The Nanny will instantly recognize Taylor's voice as Fran Fine's pushy Jewish mother, Sylvia Fine, and a smile will come across their face. The writing is getting equally better, for all characters, and several of the jokes made me laugh inordinately loud.
I think this show is here to stay, and for good reason. It's a delightful romp through a families life that, while dysfunctional, is not uncomfortable with each other, like Family Guy. It provides the release that King of the Hill did, and The Simpsons currently do: to make you laugh, not with super-dirty jokes, but with smart humor that elicits a good belly-laugh and not an uncomfortable squeal, like Family Guy does.
In short, it's a good buffer.