“Bob’s Burgers” talkback

Starting tonight on Fox, another try at an animated series to compliment The Simpsons and the Seth MacFarlane empire. Created by Loren Bouchard, Bob’s Burgers was greenlit to replace King of the Hill. The animation is produced in Burbank at Bento Box Entertainment, a new studio made up of former Film Roman executives. I haven’t seen it yet, but I hear it’s funny. In the meantime we welcome our readers opinions in the comments below.


  • Craig

    It makes my eyes hurt.

    • Steve M.

      Agreed.

  • Abu

    Been on about 5 minutes now… don’t think it will make it past one season. Sorry.

  • http://www.animationfestival.ca J. Zaroski

    I just watched the TV spot on MOVIEWEB (Fox won’t let non-US users watch their videos).

    http://www.movieweb.com/tv/TVJBCOLOh1IQNS/season-1-tv-spot

    I’m shocked how often I laughed. The actors have great timing and the writing is slick. The animation and style seemed fairly unremarkable at this point, but my interest is piqued.

  • Toonio

    Ugly, rouchy and vulgar. It’s FOX alright.

    What’s the name of the lady in FOX that claimed you don’t have to be a cartoonist to manage the cartoon programing or something? Because after BB she is heading out the door.

    • jic

      I’ve never seen the word “rouchy” before. I like the sound of it, but what does it mean? Is it a cross between ‘rowdy’ and ‘grouchy’?

      • http://4eyedanimation.com Joe Corrao

        maybe raunchy and touchy? either way it makes sense

  • Timm

    the character designs are enough to make me not even give it a second thought. not that family guy and the simpsons designs are much better (and i actually like the simpsons).

  • http://tedzey.wordpress.com tedzey

    The show’s going to air on hulu tomorrow and I don’t have basic cable at my apartment. From watching various clips though, the first word that came to mind is… awkward. I get a couple of laughs, but the show just seems so mean spirited and unnecessarily raunchy. My biggest problem is the voice acting, and from what I watched the characters don’t match the designs at all! Maybe it’s because the creators think it’s funny to have a deep harvey firestein type to speak for the mother-role, but for me it comes across as creepy.

    I’m going to write up a full review of the first episode tomorrow on my wordpress blog.

    • Brian

      yes! immediately I thought voice-acting, the choices they made. I can’t stand that one guys voice, the husband/father. His voice appeared all over a bunch of shows on adult swim in the mid 2000′s. I think he’s a stand-up comedian. But I can’t listen to his voice, his affectations. Ugh

    • http://tedzey.wordpress.com tedzey

      Yeah… I finally watched it (at some points through closed eyes, it was that boring), and I don’t think it deserves a full review. I think I summed up my feelings watching the clips as much as it was like the full episode. It’d be pretty much like beating a dead dog, or in our case a dead guy (get it? cause of the crematorium next door- oh, forget it).

  • fen

    Enjoyed it. I’ll be watching it again.
    The character designs were charming and the dialog was generally funny.

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    It wasn’t as awful as I expected. That’s probably the most realistic depiction of kids I’ve ever seen in an animated sitcom (or ANY sitcoms), although whether that’s a good thing or not can be debatable.

    Although you’d think they would hire actual women to voice female characters. The only character voiced by a woman is the youngest child; the wife and the older daughter are voiced by men.

    • http://mrscriblam.tumblr.com mrscriblam

      a bunch of female voice actors do men’s voices

      why can’t it be the other way around

      • rghbr

        Because it obviously doesn’t work well?

      • Jm

        agreed, bart simpson soudn slike a kid.
        these characters sound creepy, and not even in the funny creepy way as Venture Brothers’Dr GF

  • Anthony D.

    It was pretty enjoyable. I say give it a chance.

  • SIMO

    The dialog overcomes the simplicity of the design. Great lines and great timing! I was laughing out loud throughout the spot on MOVIEWEB. I wanna see more!

  • http://www.davidessman.com david essman

    Kristen Schaal is the best part of this show.

  • Griminy

    A “studio made up of… executives”?
    That would excuse a world of ills.

  • Mac

    Just flipped by the show,so I have no opinion other than the characters do not look appealing,especially Bob;it’s so easy to zoom by. TV critic David Bianculli,a guy I have respected in the past(but have not agreed on everything),says that when 2011 comes to a close,don’t be surprised if this show,premiering less than ten days into the new year,turns out to be the year’s worst. Other phrases in his blog include theheadline for tonight’s viewing”From Excellent(Downton Abbey) to Excrement(BB)” and saying that if BB was a fast-food product,it would be banned by the FDA. Bianculli may be holding back his real feelings about the show,don’t you think?

  • http://google.com Kyle C

    I watched the entire episode on FOX tonight and I have to say that I was not impressed. I just couldn’t get past the character design, and not to add insult to injury but the animation was just poor, and I mean P O O R. Not a fan and I don’t think I will be converted on this one

  • http://mrscriblam.tumblr.com mrscriblam

    i liked it. it reminds me of home movies, only a bit less crude.

    definitely more fresh than the rest of the current fox cartoon lineup.

    • http://none Barry Rodges

      Loren Bouchard also had a hand in Home Movies, as did H. Jon Benjamin, the voice of Bob. I thought the show was funny, but as with Home Movies, it may not appeal to everyone and take a few episodes to gel. It does seem they’ve strayed from the Home Movies formula of having the voice cast ad-lib everything, then edit down to just the good stuff. It remains to be seen whether or not that was a good choice. I liked it in Home Movies, but this is a very different cast…

      • Iritscen

        Home Movies always had a script, after the first 8 minutes of episode 1. Ad-libbing was encouraged, though, and I’m sure it is here too.

      • http://none Barry Rodges

        From my understanding, the script was more of a “this happens, then this happens” kind of thing, not really a script as much as plot points or things to discuss that could be funny. But you may be right…

  • top cat james

    I laughed out loud quite a few times, which is more than I can say for the other Fox offerings tonight. Now, if I can just get past the fact that the main characters look like penises with faces (descendants of Safety Sam from “The Groove Tube”, perhaps?)

  • doop

    It was bad. Embarrasing to watch with my family, not because it was raunchy, but just because of how unfunny it was.

  • joecab

    I’ll keep watching it but the first episode was just okay. Having men voiced two (TWO!) of the females in Bob’s family was seriously jarring. Also am not crazy about the character design and using Flash to animate it; looks kinda cheap. That worked great for Home Movies (which is one of my favorite series) so I’m willing to stick this series out.

    • Baron Lego

      I agree- having male voice actors voice two of the female characters was incredibly distracting. I’m sure everyone in the production meeting got a laugh out of it, but it just kept pulling me out of the show.

      Still, I did laugh in spots.

    • Kaylee

      It’s not animated with Flash as far as I know. I believe it’s ToonBoom Animate Pro.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    It’s trying REALLY HARD to be Home Movies. I’m not sure if it’s pulling it off yet.

    • http://pixmintro.tumblr.com ixintro

      Um it’s the same exact people who made Home Movies, so…

      • Thomas Hatch

        I thought it was trying to be Dr Katz!

      • D

        Ha, same person who made home movies helped make Dr. Katz too (Loren Bouchard). So they’re aren’t trying to be anything except themselves.

  • Hulk

    Bob himself summed it up perfectly in the first minute of the show:

    “There’s a line between entertaining and annoying.”

  • yoshitoshi

    if all you old guys dislike it then it must be good.

    • Jorge Garrido

      We get it, you’re awesome and we’re not, yoshitoshi.

      • Stephan

        Hey, the likes don’t lie!

  • The Flea

    Call me crazy, but I absolutely loved it.

    • The Ghost of Warner Bros. Past

      You’re crazy.
      You said to call you that!

      • The Flea

        Thank you. :)

      • http://4eyedanimation.com Joe Corrao

        I liked it…I liked the pacing and joke style…but not all the fart/poop jokes….

  • Karl Hungus

    Meh.

  • http://www.ghiblicon.blogspot.com Daniel Thomas MacInnes

    Ugh. This show was just embarrassing. What’s the point in having an animated show without any animation? Really, we’re in Clutch Cargo territory here.

    Voice actors are pretty good, but this is essentially a radio show. The drawings on the screen are a casual afterthought. Ah, well, no surprises. But I would like to see some actual animation on American TV, just once.

    • http://none Barry Rodges

      An “animated show without animation”?

      Seems to fit in just right with everything else on the tube…

      • http://tedzey.wordpress.com tedzey

        I think he meant animated as in the characters are very “animated,” like very lively and a lot of movement.

    • Phil

      I thought The Life and Times of Tim was funny and that is some seriously lo-fi animation. I’d rather watch a good script poorly animated than a poor-script well animated any day.

  • Ashley May

    I found it lethargic and unfunny. H. Jon Benjamin’s line deliveries still sound as great as ever, but the actual writing struck me as awkward, aimless, and empty.

    . . .And not in the good Home Movies way.

  • http://dtoons.com/conroy Failing Art Student

    Definitely not as bad as I expected. The character designs are kinda cruddy, but the strength of the show comes from the dialogue.
    Does anyone know what studio does the animation?

    • http://woweh.com Kelly

      Bardel Entertainment in Vancouver, Canada.

  • Kent Osborne

    I like the design of the characters, they look like muppets! And the voice actors are awesome. I laughed out loud at the toothpick bit and the protest signs. I wanna see more!

    • http://none Barry Rodges

      The “Don’t Taste Me, Bro!” sign still makes me chuckle…

  • Stephen M. Levinson

    To be fair I haven’t seen the show, but I have watched the trailers. It didn’t particularly stick out to me. And the animation is really bad flash animation. Studios need to realize that the higher quality the animation, the likely more viewers will watch and be engaged. Somewhat derived from slapstick humor. People like to see things moving. Stiff bare-movement isn’t very good.

  • http://www.animationfestival.ca J. Zaroski

    “Studios need to realize that the higher quality the animation, the likely more viewers will watch and be engaged.”

    Ha! Studios have known for a very long time that eye-candy sells. It just often comes at a cost: the quality of CONTENT.

    • Stephen M. Levinson

      I know, which I think is stupid. I think eye-candy animation should be included in the animation…Then again all they seemingly care about is lowest costs possible.

    • Funkybat

      For whatever reason, TV executives do not want “conventionally animated” 2D shows. I think they associate draftsmanship and smooth arcs of movement with Disney and/or kids cartoons. The Simpsons and King of the Hill seem to have established in their minds that great writing with crude drawing is the way to go. (I realize the Simpsons have smoothed out their art style over the years, but they are still based on Matt’s simple style.)

      The few “normal-looking” cartoons aimed at adults that have popped up over the years almost always failed right away (never mind that even more crude-looking ones did the same.) Ren & Stimpy is the only cartoon that adults got into that had really strong traditional animation at its core, and that was at the dawn of the “cartoons for adults” era. Venture Bros. of course has a rabid fanbase, but it’s not the kind of thing they would ever put on a network in prime time.

      I haven’t seen Bob’s Burgers, but I can’t say the art is all that appealing to me. I’ll probably watch a few episodes in a row once they have aired and been recorded, and see if I like the writing and acting. Sounds like mixed reviews at best here, but then, the Brew is not necessarily a reflection of mass opinion.

  • Mike Clark

    Bob’s Burgers is this year’s “Sit Down, Shut Up”

    • http://drgrantz.deviantart.com/ revned

      No, it’s this year’s The Goode Family.

    • http://mrscriblam.tumblr.com mrscriblam

      have you even seen it? the two are nothing alike!

      • Whippersnapper

        ಠ_ಠ What he means is that B.B. is probably going to be as short-lived as that show.

      • Mike Clark

        Exactly!

  • Emily

    Wasn’t expecting much going in, but I thought it was hilarious. I do love H. Jon Benjamin’s voice-acting, being a big Home Movies fan, so I may be a tad prejudiced. But quite frankly, I thought the writing was pretty great, and dialogue very funny. Vulgar yes, but to me, not so typically vulgar. Just one woman’s opinion.

  • Darkblader

    Just the same old recycled sitcom family show.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/VujadeEntertainment#p/u/0/3HaupcJwAdk Steve Schnier

    I saw the MovieWeb preview (listed above, see j. Zaroski’s comment).
    The preview didn’t do much for me. I assume that the music in the clip was different from the music in the show. What I heard played against what was going on, on screen.
    Music is 50% of any program – and badly done can destroy the best show.

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    I did not see this show, so it’s possible that I may agree with a lot of the feedback here.
    However, it seemed important to mention that I know a number of the crew who put this pilot together and they are all seasoned professionals.
    Undoubtedly this show is full of limited animation – guess what? welcome to television – but that’s very different from bad animation.

  • http://www.degrandland.com David DeGrand

    I really enjoyed it and think it’s worth giving a chance. And I actually really liked the character designs, very odd but appealing, has an underground comics vibe. I can’t imagine this lasting more than one season though, I just don’t see it having a very wide appeal, but I hope I’m wrong.

  • Gobo

    The presence of Kristen Schaal gives the show big points in my book, if nothing else.

  • Iritscen

    I’m definitely impressed by the first episode. Criticisms about the animation seem kind of ridiculous in the context of shows like Simpsons and King of the Hill. This isn’t supposed to be Looney Tunes. It’s about dialogue, not sight gags (but the toothpick bit was a great exception to the rule).

    The humor is pretty unpredictable, which is a big plus. And I thought I was getting tired of Benjamin being prominently featured in all of Loren’s shows, but it turns out I’m not; he’s still funny to me and he suits the role. It’s great that Eugene Mirman is onboard too. I hope this one catches on, because I’d like to see it stick around for the long term.

  • Was My Face Red

    My eyes! My eyes!

    Oh, has somebody already done that?

    Somebody always does that.

    One day I’ll be first…

  • http://dmgermain.blogspot.com David Germain

    Good-ish, but definitely not great.

    I did find some parts here and there funny, but on the whole I was underwhelmed. The character designs are very uninspiring and I also do not like the mom’s voice. It sounds like a hack actor trying too hard to sound funny. That is NOT how an animation voice should sound. Kristen Schaal does an excellent job though. She’s the only one who manages to actually add character to the voice thus letting the character drive the scene instead of the dialogue.

    Oh, and the backgrounds are AMAZINGLY EXQUISITE!!! They took my breath away. Whoever designed and rendered those is a GENIUS!!!

    I’d give it 2 1/2 out of 5 stars if I were a professional reviewer. But, since I’m not, I’ll just say, “meh”.

  • Mr. Black-list

    Another underwhelming outsourced show that was strung together by animation slaves & mis-management at Bardel studios, Vancouver BC.

    • Gamma

      So so true.

  • AJ

    this show seems so standard to me standard jokes standard art standard 2-6 frame animation this show does not do anything unique and will be forgotten quite soon if it doesn’t try to step out of other shows shadow.

  • Deaniac

    I for one thought it was good. Not fantastic, not mind-numbingly awful, just good. Act 1 definitley made me laugh the hardest. I think it deserves a chance.

  • Kieran Pertnav

    It’s a great sitcom and a lousy cartoon. Which is pretty much what you can say for most of FOX’s lineup.

  • Cyle

    It was okay. I won’t say it’s good or bad just yet. There were a few good chuckles, but overall I wasn’t impressed. I’ll give it a chance though, based off the talent involved.

  • http://www.sibsy.blogspot.com Sibsy

    I liked it. That parking scene made me actually “LOL”.

  • Gamma

    Uh, correction: The BOARDS were done by Bento Box; the animation is done in Vancouver, Canada! Why do the Canadians never get credit?

    • ayche

      because Bento wants all the credit, so they claim it.

    • Pirun Nyrikki

      Because the Canadians are always overlooked and forgotten.

  • Mr. James

    I had VERY low expectations with this show and I was pleasantly surprised that I actually laughed out loud a couple of times.

    I think I was just happy to see something on Sundays on Fox that doesn’t come from Seth McFarlane. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Family Guy but the whole routine of “line, line, line, set up for joke segue” has gotten pretty old for me lately so this was a breath of fresh air. Not as raunchy, not as predictable, and writing and voice work that was fresh and natural feeling.

    I know I’m in the minority on this one but I’m willing to give it a chance.

  • Corey K.

    I enjoyed it for the most part. I actually thought it could have been even funnier with more limited animation instead of better animation – lots of quick cuts, jumping from pose to pose – but that may just be me wishing this was “Home Movies 2.” Or “Roger Ramjet.” Still, there’s something about that ultra-limited-animation style that works really well with dialogue-driven cartoons.

  • Brad

    Saw it on hulu today. Trashy and wow was it not funny. Plan to ignore.

  • ayche

    Two things:

    1-This was actually animated at Bardel Entertainment in Vancouver, BC. Just like last year’s Neighbors From Hell. Bento just did the designs and boards.

    2-IT IS NOT BAD FLASH ANIMATION. It’s bad Toon Boom animation. Jeez. ;)

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    Well, the situation with Bento doing designs and boarding and animation done at Bardel in Canada is not that different from how other studios are doing. Film Roman does all the boardings and designs for the Simpsons but the animation is done at AKOM and Rough Draft, both in Korea.

    • Gamma

      Doesn’t mean the animators don’t deserve the credit that they deserve. Same goes for the Koreans, but the US never seems to care.

  • Howie

    Kind of liked it.
    The voice of the mother was pretty unappealing, however.

  • http://www.sexymecha.com Hal

    John Benjamin makes any show worth a shot – perfect deadpan delivery. Still, shame its not animated domestically like Home Movies was… Here’s hoping it comes together, worth a season to see where it heads.

  • http://underseriousdaydreaming Tony Claar

    Speaking of vision: I could NOT watch King of the Hill of Beans for more than 5 seconds it was buns-ugly. People said “the writing is good”. Oh, really?? Then it should have been a book. I am thankful it is OFF the air. I am still recovering from those 5 seconds.
    As for Bob….I haven’t seen it.

    • Dave O.

      If haven’t seen any of these cartoons, why the hell are you commenting on them? Oh, because in spite of that you still have an opinion about them.

  • Luke

    I went five years in to the future where I asked a random lady on the street if they remember a show called “Bob’s Burgers”. In which they replied to with.

    “What the hell are you talking about.”

    • Ryan

      you probably could have gone 3 months into the future and gotten the same response

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    Much better than expected. Very funny. Makes the zombie SIMPSONS feel even deader than it already is. Perfect lead-in for FAMILY GUY and CLEVELAND. Yes, I am a devout FAMILY GUY AND CLEVELAND fan.

    Point of possible interest: BURGERS made me laugh several times, and I will tune it in as long as it maintains last night’s level of quality – but I never actually SAW the show with my eyeballs. I was working and I had it on in the background. I never looked at the show one time so I don’t know if it appeared as poorly-drawn as it did on its promo commercials. It’s funny, though.

    • historical

      & Nixon won the Kennedy debate according to the people who heard it on the radio.

  • JMW

    I thought it was boring, but show me a first episode that isn’t a bit dry, boring or predictable. I’m gonna give it 3 weeks before I decide to stop watching.

    • big bad balloon

      i tried to convince myself of that but adventure time and superjail roped me right in :/

  • Steamboat Bill

    I’ll give it a chance after all these are the same people that produced Dr. Katz.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dylan.h.king Dylan King

    It wasn’t hilarious but it wasn’t awful either . . . Hard to say what my full opinion is on this show. Though I agree with many readers that the designs are hideous, I can’t say if it will get canceled after one season. FOX has been promoting this show like crazy, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see where this ‘show’ goes. . .

    (I want KotH back, dammit…)

  • big bad balloon

    horrible. told myself i’d watch it once with open eyes but it felt like an ugly, lazy version of simpsons, family guy and the cleveland show combined. i’ll be watching desperate housewives next sunday(yeah i said it)

  • sigh

    I laugh several times when I watch PBS travel documentaries, so no points for LOL with ‘Bob’s Burgers.’
    OK, they have quite a few kinks to work out, and they also have some promising voice actors as well as some clever background action. The writing would benefit greatly from the ‘home movies’ whittle-down-the-ad libs school of writing, because many of the jokes were just left hanging or pushed too hard. I really felt like I was listening to a group of actors at the very first read-through right after they’d been handed their scripts. There’s a big difference between monotone and a deadpan reading.

  • Geoff

    Oh, man, I told several people today how funny this was after watching it. I don’t know how much widespread appeal it will have, though… it probably does belong on Adult Swim, and not Fox Primetime sandwiched between season 87 of the Simpsons and the latest Family Guy spinoff starring that guy in the chicken suit. The voice acting was pitch-perfect for the pace of the show, and the designs of some of the background characters (as well as Bob’s off-kilter eyebrows) hit the mark dead-on. If I read one more critic today rip this show while gushing about how the creaky old Simpsons “still got it”… I didn’t even crack a smile during last night’s Simpsons, and I turned off Family Guy after 10 minutes.

  • andrew

    It’s really cute and has some good funny moments. It’s a solid pilot and I expect to see it grow and get better. Why y’all hatin?

  • trish

    This show sucks, I only watched the first few minutes and I couldnt take it anymore it was offensive and disgusting with poorly drawn characters with bad voices and all the fart jokes,child molestation and cooking food with human flesh, I know its a cartoon but some of the context went to far. You made a huge mistake fox with this crap and I am sure that alot of people feel the same way as I do about this show so cancel it already!

  • http://farleftside.com mike

    One of the main plot lines was the teenager’s sticky kootch?

    Spare me.

  • inferno5

    I personally thought it was funny. I agree the animation didn’t blow my mind or anything. But there were very funny bits. Lie when every time the guy tried to speak the boy sprayed the fire extinguisher and the camera had to go back to him every time he did it.

  • http://Nicktorious.net NicklasNN

    Don’t know what I think about this, really. It wasn’t offensively bad but I wasn’t too impressed with it either.

    H. Jon Benjamen’s funny as hell and he did some good work in the pilot. I actually did find a lot of the lines to be funny in general but I can’t think of any good ones right now.

    A guy playing the daughter and mom didn’t bother me that much although I can see how it can be a little garish for some.

    The overall design’s pretty ugly. I kind of wish this trend would stop for adult cartoons. The Critic and The PJ’s had a pretty appealing look to ‘em without looking like a kid’s show, didn’t they?

    Really, this just looked like another dysfunctional family cartoon although maybe I’m being too harsh for the first episode. I should probably give it another chance before writing it off.

  • John

    Just.

    No.

  • dr. truth

    I thought it was “ehh, ok”. Honestly, I liked the art and feel of the show. This would of
    been great as a one shot film, but the concept of
    a family running a defunct burger joint seems oddly
    boring for something to follow week after week.
    I’ll give it a few more episodes by default because I love Jon Bneji’s voice acting, but I’m not too impressed.
    It’s no ugly americans.

  • http://www.allofmyheroes.blogspot.com/ Jeaux Janovsky

    i like bob’s big boy. great hamburgers. iconic character, that Bob.

  • forget the beef, where’s the toons

    it’s a shame so much hard work went into this nonsense. no appeal, no charm, no thanks.

  • Spencer Morin

    Mucho gusto. The show will thrive, and it’s a happy lil’ studio with some very talented artists and some fantastic shows in the works. Go Bob Go!

    • Gamma

      ‘Happy’ is a very funny way to describe it in my opinion, what with those overworked animation slaves in Canada drawing endless hands and animating extensive crowd scenes for next to nothing.

  • Gummo

    I’m a big fan of Bouchard and Benjamin’s work so I went in predisposed to like it. (Full disclosure: Home Movies is one of my favorite TV series of all time.)

    I did laugh numerous times; however Bouchard’s oddball deadpan humor is not for everyone.

    The presence of Eugene Mirman and Sam Seder (part of Bouchard’s ‘repetory company’) definitely helped the episode along.

    The designs are incredibly ugly though; and the premise seems way to narrow to sustain a series. They’ll need to bring in more characters and/or more settings than just the burger joint.

    I’m taking a wait-and-see on this one.

  • http://cabbagesandkingsanimation.blogspot.com/ Zimos

    Did anyone else think the characters kind of looked like thumbs?

    Home Movies this ain’t, but even that show took a few episodes to hit its stride. I eagerly await more of this.

  • CVG

    I watched the whole episode and thought it was BORING. All they did was yak yak yak, and then turn their heads and remark on something that disturbs the conversation, and then yak some more. Could a cartoon be any more deadpan and boring? Also it seems like all the people would stay in one pose for very long periods of time before wiggling an arm or something (although the mouth animation was non-stop). Sorry but I’ll have to pass on this one.

  • Arthur F.

    Boring cartoon. The basic problem I felt was monotony from too much talking – the whole “wedding anniversary” shtick was really long and uninspired – “9 divided by 3″ doesn’t need constant work-out, such points to riff deliver nothing more. It doesn’t have the extra snap of the kind of “clerks” dialog that Family Guy’s Chris would do with another character, or like Sunday’s episode with Quagmire and Joe watching “Charles in Charge” on TV and just making smart observational quips.
    Compare to a show with a married couple and less words but significantly better dialog and pacing – King of the Hill for one – and you get the problem of standing and talking cartoons. They lost observational skills and replace the lack of movement with “crazy” “maladjusted” characters whom the payback is less and less interesting. The idea that the children are so unrewardingly stupid and delivering that through spoken lines mostly, that tell their behavior, just makes me wonder why do I care about this family and their ugly stand at all?

    At this point, it’s the wrong direction for FOX. They needed something to replace King of the Hill. Either with smart pacing and plot, or at least interesting animation. This sounds more like a lazy extension of certain dialog-attributes of Family Guy mixed with Clerks, having forgotten the payback-rewards of either.

    • Funkybat

      I agree that many cartoons these days are too dialogue-driven. King of the Hill worked precisely because there was something very believable and real about the Hill family, their friends, and the world of Arlen. It was an exception to the rule, in that the conversations and quirks of the characters were more important than the plots more often than not. (The little details the artists put in to make things seem “real” helped as well, such as recognizable vehicles and other props/locales.) What Mike Judge lacks in draftsmanship he more than makes up for with incredibly insightful characterizations and, dare I say, gentle comedy. Lots of “tasteless” things happened in KotH, but it never felt crass or exploitative. And this is from the guy that created Beavis and Butthead. Between King of the Hill, Office Space and Idiocracy, Judge has shown he has a gift for piercing observational comedy. From what most posters have said, it sounds like Bob’s Burgers is coming from a more formulaic and mannered starting point.

      I almost never shoot down something animated right when it comes out, I like to give shows a chance. Hell, Star Trek TNG and the US “The Office” were both middling in their first seasons. Most animated shows don’t get the chance to grow out of pupa stage. I’ll give it a chance and decide after at least 4-5 episodes if it’s worth watching further. Considering all the blood and toil our fellow artists put into creating a new show, I feel it’s the least I can do.

      • Arthur F.

        Yes perhaps the execs should have worked on a different recipe, mixing together the better parts of Judge’s post -K.o.t.H. project “The Goode Family” with some of the potential in “Bob’s Burger’s”…. it could have been called “The Goode Burger”!

  • Stephan

    This is another great cartoon from Louren Bouchard, whose creating one of the great comedy ouevres. You guys don’t know who he is, because I remember you tried to discredit him by showing a random screengrab of two people talking from Home Movies. Leading the Animation Grumble!

  • Jackson 4

    I worked on the show, and while most of the criticism IS warranted, I will implore you all to take a wait and see approach.

    Give the shows formula a chance to grow.

    Having worked on it (at Bardel), I can personally say I found the animatics mostly hilarious on their own. But put amongst the rest of the shows, this pilot isn’t the funniest, and could have been way better.

    In my opinion, Episode’s 2,3,4,6,8, and 11 are freeaking FUH-NEE as hell! (Especially Episode 2). But not sure if they’ll air them in the order that we produced them.

    Watch for special guest-voices from Sarah Silverman, Paul F Thompkins, Brian Posehn, and Jack McBrayer to name a few who have great presence. Also, there’s a recurring character named Teddy (the local contractor) who steals every scene he’s in. He’s my fave.

    Unfortunately I cannot say much more than that without violating my confidentiality agreement. But give the show a chance – even if you didn’t care for the pilot.

    Thanks.

    • http://4eyedanimation.com Joe Corrao

      ok you’ve convinced me rabbit…I’ll go look for Rocky in the city.

    • http://www.kustomkool.com kevin dougherty

      I’ll be as charitable as I can and say my inner jury is going to stay sequestered until I watch at least another episode. But in all honesty, I’m not that hopeful. I’m not crazy about the character design (although the background work was top-notch) and the animation was a bit too static. At least Dr. Katz had the squiggly line to bring some energy to the frame. And ditto all the previous comments about the distractions of males voicing female characters.

  • Trollface

    Is it just me, or do all the characters look more like alien worms, rather than human beings?

  • Steve M.

    One word: KILL ME.

  • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.com allari

    Why cant we have something simple yet fun and heartfelt like The Point, or the animation experiments encouraged by Jim Henson, Instead of this complete dreck?

    • Funkybat

      I think bottom-line-oriented folks in the office suites would have a hard time imagining how stuff like “The Point” or early Jim Henson puppetry would be “monetized.” High-concept has ruled Hollywood for decades, the only way something really original breaks through is if it goes viral, like South Park did via “Spirit of Christmas” or if it’s part of a niche programming block like Adult Swim.

      Time was that MTV actually helped promote a lot of “alternative” animation, but I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that on there in years…

  • VGREER

    I really really REALLY liked it! I loved hearing John H Benjamin and Ron Lynch doing animated characters again. I usually detest family comedy but there wasn’t a single member of that family that didn’t make me laugh.

    The show’s too good. It’s too damn good for FOX. I really hope it makes it but my faith in popular taste is too low to think that enough people were actually smart enough to enjoy this.

  • Dave O.

    I saw it on Hulu over a snow day this week.

    It’s veers from not bad to kind of bad. Most important to its survival it obeys the golden rule of network T.V. animation that no matter how rotten a family can be to each other, it has to be clear that they love each other. (Back in the 1990′s “Family Dog” strayed from that rule, and earned a quick burial).

    Two things stand out right away: the restaurant schtick will get old fast and the voice casting is terrible. Aesthetically, the Flash animation looks cheap and the art direction seems non-existent. It has the feel of a bunch of execs looking around the web at humor trends, and trying to cram them all into a half-hour. It would seem that we’ve evolved from mere fart jokes (by now, a standard in any sitcom pilot) to pubic rashes and child molesters. Progress!

    On the plus side, the humor is best when it is quick and surprising. I see a lot of potential in Bob’s character and I liked the bit where he talked to his reflection.

    Even if story formulas were tweaked a little, they eventually stayed true to their formulas. It’ll last 4 episodes, then have a healthy afterlife on CN.

  • Keith Paynter

    I laughed until I stopped..

  • David Mackenzie

    Seeing as Home Movies is a guilty pleasure of mine (yes it looks like crap, but it’s funny as hell, especially the parts with John Benjamin), I’m looking forward to watching this.

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    Okay, this week’s episode (Crawl Space) was really funny. I think I’ll stick around.

  • Eva

    I wanted to at least give the show a shot because I heard the voice of Coach Mc Guirk, but I was pretty disappointed. I only made it through half of the show.

  • Andrew

    your common Cartoon Brew post;

    Me just watched, me on Cartoon Brew, Me hate everything.

    the show is well written and the kid with the bunny ears was funny.

  • Mr. James

    I liked the 1st episode but LOVED the 2nd one.

    My wife who HATED the first one actually laughed during the 2nd one and had to change her tune that the show sucked completely.

    I’m on board for more Bob!

    As a side note and one that I hope will spark some conversation, here goes:

    If those of you that wish to criticize want to continue to complain about the animated shows on FOX just keep right on turning them off. They’ll get the point and start reprogramming your Sunday nights with more live-action and less animation, thereby limiting the prime time animation block even further, I guarantee it.

    Those of you that want an animation job or feel that the animation industry is shrinking, just keep turning it off, don’t support anything that you don’t personally like and it will continue to dry up.

  • dr. truth

    Wow! The second episode was hilarious!! A vast improvment!!! I get the premise now. The pilot didn’t point out that they lived above the shop. I’m glad I gave it another shot. John Benji’s voice oddly carries the writing the concept into something unique!
    I can’t lie, I laughed out loud at the coyote ugly line!

  • Dave O.

    Another snow day, another episode of BB on Hulu.

    I will agree that the writing in the 2nd episode is better than the first. I cant help but feel that there is no need for it to be animated though.

  • Dave O.

    I saw the 3rd episode with my roommate (who is not an animation buff) who described it as “depressingly unambitious” and that it “makes me want to get rid of T.V.” Yikes!

  • http://www.vimeo.com/rachelgitlevich Rachel Gitlevich

    Wow, a lot of people don’t like this! Personally, I really love bob’s burgers! The animation isn’t super full or anything, but its way more animated than some of the other family animated comedies on right now! Also, I like that it doesn’t rely on cutaways. I dunno, it kind of hits the spot for me. I’d love to animate on it *shrug*