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Bob's Burgers "Bob Fires the Kids" Review: Blueberries for Belchers

Bob's Burgers S03E03: "Bob Fires the Kids"

So thanks to a really quick World Series (good job, team that won! Better luck next year, team that lost!), Bob's Burgers came back a week early! Hurrah!

When I was in school, I was one of those kids who didn’t particularly like summer. I was fine to be out of school for a bit, but did I really need three months of unstructured time? The anxiety of summer weighed down on me. How much could I read? How much swimming and Yoo-Hoo drinking could I really do? As Gene so eloquently put it, “There’s too much pressure to enjoy yourself! It’s like New Year’s Eve for kids!”

As a result, “Bob Fires the Kids” spoke to me on a very base level as the Belcher kids struggled to find something to do with all the free time they suddenly had when Bob, due to the arrival of a box of old toys from his father’s old restaurant, fired the kids so they could have the summer vacation he never had. And so the kids set out to experience days full of ruined bicycles, faulty water balloons, the dangers of ants, and getting smacked in the face with ocean diapers.

Some of that was fun for a while, but it wasn't long until boredom set in. So when the kids stumbled upon a blueberry farm owned and operated by an old married hippie couple (voiced by real-life married awesome couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman), they went to work for them ($10 a day!) picking blueberries, harvesting marijuana, and delivering the marijuana in blueberry boxes with false bottoms.

While class is only occasionally explicit in Bob’s Burgers, like in the Halloween episode a month ago, it's still an undercurrent in a lot of episodes, and “Bob Fires the Kids” was no different. The kids didn’t know what to do with the sudden influx of leisure time, and were happier when they'd found new jobs to replace their old ones. Certainly the money made a difference, but I suspect they would’ve worked at the farm for free since they’re fine working at the restaurant for free.

There’s a definite “always need to be working” mentality that feels unique to this show. Most summer stories for kids focus on crazy hijinks, and while this episode was no different in that the kids ended up involved with pot dealers, the plot was still connected to labor and work. Is that mentality so ingrained in the kids that they can’t see outside of it? And what sort of an ideological message should we be taking away from it?

To round out the episode, Mickey the robber from the Season 2 episode “Bob Day Afternoon” returned—free after the prosecutor was discovered to be on meth—and after driving into a peacock sanctuary, he began to work in the restaurant. There wasn't much meat to this particular plot, as the point of Mickey’s presence was to serve as a vehicle for Bob to realize the error of firing the kids and allow Mickey to lead the Belchers to the blueberry farm. At least we got a solid Shawshank Redemption joke out of it.


Notes & Quotes


– The Burger of the Day board was really busy in this episode: the Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Zucchini Burger, the Summer Thyme Burger, the Beets Me Burger, and the We’re Here, We’re Gruyere, Get Used To It Burger. There was also some burger served with butter and lettuce, but I couldn’t quite make it out.

– “If you think about it, any box could have vibrators in it.”

– “What is this feeling I’m feeling right now? It’s like I’m sad for another person? Is that a thing?! AM I GOING CRAZY?!”

– Teddy fondly describing his imaginary kids made me both sad and a little creeped out. Obviously he’s not over Francis yet.

– “Why are you guys stronger than me?!” “PILATES!”

– I would never have thought of calypso music to mask tunnel digging. Thanks for the tip, show!

– “They smell like a music festival.”

Comments (11)
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Blueberries are an awesome food for when you get the munchies......





They would pair marvelously with some Blueberry Cough... I voted yes on 64 here in the Mile High..

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A weekend of object permanence revelations: Louis CK remarking in his SNL monologue that anyone can be dead if he's not looking at them and Tina with the vibrators comment. Am I saying that Tina is as funny as Louis CK. Yes. That's PRECISELY what I'm saying. If not more.
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This was a cute episode, I was impressed with Bob's realizations and how he actually needed his kids and that they didn't even have to be too obvious about saying how he figured out wasn't doing to them what his dad did to him.
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This show is a gem!
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Agreed. It's the cartoon on Fox's Sunday night schedule that I most look forward to seeing. That's why it's frustrating to see it get such short shrift from the network. If you pay close attention, Fox often runs ads for their entire comedy block but they tend to promote only every other show. For example, you'll often see an ad that typically goes like this: "On this Sunday's Simpsons, , followed by a new Bob's Burgers. Then on Family Guy, , and a new American Dad after that." Virtually no mention of anything that happens in BB and AD. And BB and AD are their two best shows of the night. AD is (IMO) easily the best of Seth's toons on the air right now, yet the dreadful Cleveland Show actually gets much more of a push. It's not just the current animation lineup that gets subjected to this formula, it's always the shows that air at the top of the hour that get mentioned, while the shows at the bottom of the hour barely even get their names said aloud. The shows themselves seem not to matter much, it's just the Fox Animation Advertising Formula to plug them that way. If you're on at 8 or 9, you'll get some love. If you're on at 8:30 or 9:30, you'll be lucky to get even that one second of mention. I get that they want to push The Simpsons and Family Guy due to their getting the biggest ratings, but maybe they could help their lesser siblings along by giving them some love, too. Or just give them all equal time in the spots. In a 30-second spot for the 8-10 toon block (I'm ignoring Cleveland), the time division typically goes 14-1-14-1 for the four shows as their airing order goes. Anyway, more fun stuff from our lovable gang last night. I expect this great show not to last too much longer. I hope I'm wrong. Loren Bouchard always makes quirky yet really enjoyable cartoons, but they never have very long runs, sadly. Add your comment...
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It received a season 4/fourth production cycle pick up for 22 episodes last month, so it's around for a bit longer.
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Not to mention with the amount of episodes they will be airing, it will be here until the 2014-15 season with all the episodes they've got. This show will have more episodes than any of Loren Bouchard's shows if it gets another renewal, which I can really see happening.
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This show continues to be the best thing on FOX's Sunday night lineup (and possibly their best show, aside from Fringe).
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Butterface Burger (Served with butter lettuce)

"I'm going to write an eulogy: I knew you so briefly you dead soap dog."
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Thanks for catching that! I couldn't quite make it out on the online screener copy I watched! :)
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No problem ;)
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