Friday, April 27, 2012

Bob's Burgers Season 1 DVD Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Bob's Burgers follows a third-generation restaurateur, Bob Belcher who runs Bob's Burgers with the help of his wife and their three kids. Despite his greasy counters, lousy location and occasionally spotty service, Bob is convinced his burgers speak for themselves. Featuring the voice talents of H. Jon Benjamin (“Archer”) and Kristen Schaal (“Flight of the Concords”),  Bob's Burgers  is a new comedy about one unconventional family that will have you coming back for seconds.

Film (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Bob's Burgers is the animated story of Bob Belcher and his family.  Bob and wife Linda run the family owned Bob's Burger's with their young children Louise, Tina and Gene. Gene often wears a burger costume and records the family on his keyboard.  Tina is the oldest child, at age 13 and is, a complicated child to say the least.  She has night terrors that include zombie fantasies.  Louise (Kristen Schaal) is also an abnormal kid, pulling pranks and enjoying disturbing those around her.  Bob takes pride in his Burger of the Day and Louise takes equal pride in changing his chalkboard into a humorous alternate. The Belcher family doesn't stray far from the restaurant, in fact they live upstairs.

Bob's Burgers Season One contains the following episodes on two discs:
  • Human Flesh - It's a holiday weekend and another re-opening of Bob's Burger's.  The health inspector investigates a rumor that the hamburger meat is actually made from human remains from the crematorium next door.
  • Crawl Space - Linda's parents are visiting and Bob finds a crawl space in the walls while fixing a leak in the attic.  He decides he would rather be stuck in the wall than spend time with his in laws until he realizes he is truly stuck.
  • Sacred Cow - As Bob prepares to serve his 100,000th burger, a documentary film maker brings a live cow headed for slaughter and wants Bob to decide its fate, and prove he is a hypocrite.
  • Sexy Dance Fighting - Tina discovers Capoeira - a type of street fighting that incorporates dance and has an unusual teacher.
  • Hamburger Dinner Theater - Linda convinces Bob to allow her to bring dinner theater to the restaurant.  While her play is not well received the robbery that takes place during a show is, and the crowd loves it.
  • Sheesh! Cab, Bob? - Tina's 13th Birthday approaches and Bob takes a job driving a cab to pay for the party she wants to hold in the restaurant.  The highlight of the party is that she plans to have her first kiss.
  • Bed and Breakfast - The Belcher's rent out rooms in their apartment for a long weekend.  When Teddy is invited into Louise's room she takes it personally.
  • Art Crawl - Linda's sister displays her artwork at the restaurant and Bob must take on the city art council as a result.
  • Spaghetti Western and Meatballs - Lousie is left out when Gene and Bob have some male bonding over old westerns.
  • Burger Wars - Bob needs an increase in business to prevent rival and neighbor Jimmy Pesto from taking over the restaurant's leave.
  • Weekend at Morts - The Belcher's spend the weekend at Mort's Mortuary after a mold problem.  The Belcher's double date with Mort and a friend leaving the children home to torment the babysitter.
  • Lobsterfest - A storm shuts down lobsterfest and Bob steps in to feed everyone.  When the storm passes and the lobsterfest resumes Bob is angry and resentful.
  • Torpedo - Baseball great Torpedo Jones thrills Bob initially appears to like Bob's Burgers.  Eventually it is revealed that he is using the grease to cheat.
This show is weird from the very beginning.  They start as if you know the characters and are familiar with the restaurant.  It's as though it’s a spin-off of something else, but I don't think it is.  The show wasn't a complete waste of my time and had a few laughs, but the characters never grew on me.  I don't think I'll continue on to season two.  I can break up with this one after season one.  I have more hope for American Dad which I'm on the fence about but still watching.

Video (2 out of 5 stars)
Bob's Burgers animation is presented in widescreen format on DVD and wasn't particularly sharp, bright or vivid.  It's a little hard to tell how muted they meant the colors to be, but again I'm in a snobby mood and its DVD quality, nothing to get excited about.

Audio (2 out of 5 stars)
Bob's Burgers has 5.1 Dolby Digital sound that is average at best, matching the lackluster video presentation.  The dialogue was at a consistent volume throughout, which is the best thing I can say.  Other than that, the audio presentation did not impress.

Special Features (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
This set offers some lackluster extras that only dedicated fans will enjoy.
  • Audio Outtakes - Outtakes for Bed and Breakfast and Sexy Dance Fighting including still photography of the cast and a very small amount of actual recording footage.
  • Audio Commentary - Audio Commentary on all episodes with creator and various voice actors.  Not all the commentary is great and they often talk over each other but I applaud the fact that they have commentary for each episode.
  • "Lifting up the Skirt of the Night" Music Video - a very short, thrown together music video.  This one was a waste of time.
  • Bob's Burgers Original Demo - Creator Loren Bouchard introduces and explains the demo (short pilot) and the original ideas for the family, as cannibals.
  • Louise and the Chalkboard - Lousie presents many burger of the day ideas, as well as her insight into her family.

Final Thoughts  (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Bob's Burgers tried too hard to be unique and just came off as weird. Weird for the sake of being weird isn't always entertaining.  Bob's Burgers wasn't terrible, but I wouldn’t recommend it to other people.  While it wasn't for me, it might be right up someone else's alley.  I was hoping a new animated show to enjoy, but this show left me with very lukewarm feelings towards it.

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