I once led a discussion section of a large-lecture class that was a survey of the history of motion pictures. The task involved grading the students' final papers, which had to be about a movie’s historical significance. They could pick any movie they wanted, and many selected Jaws because it was the first modern blockbuster in cinema history. After reading about 15 papers about the film's significance each semester, a little bit of me kind of hates Jaws now.
That being said, I can still appreciate a Jaws-inspired episode like the one Bob’s Burgers offered up in “The Deepening.”
In an effort to liven things up at his amusement park, Fischoeder focus-grouped some new attractions with the Belchers, and Bob suggested an attraction centered around the fictional movie The Deepening, a shark attack movie from the 1980s that was filmed in the town. Which, really, wasn’t that bad of an idea. Fischoeder purchased the mechanical shark from the film (despite the cryptic protests of Teddy, who played Handsome Lifeguard #3) and set it up and let it run at his park.
The kids knocked over the shark—Louise needed the mechanical shark fin to sell for mechanical shark fin soup, because, you know, the merciless finning of sharks is ripe for comedy... even if the joke was in keeping with Louise’s general insanity—and it flopped through town, causing mass destruction.
The rest of the episode was a series of amusing attempts to stop the rampaging shark, including traffic spikes (that stopped drunk Shriners), an oil slick, and a big hole, the latter of which allowed the shark to chomp its way into the Belchers’ restaurant. Bob, Teddy, and Mort headed in to stop the monster, ultimately pulling the lever on Chekov’s ice cream machine.
It was a funny enough send-up of Jaws, complete with dolly zoom effects (which are commonly credited to the film, but actually first appeared in Vertigo), and I really appreciated Bob’s “Really?!” at Teddy’s quoting the movie’s infamous “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” I likewise dug Tina’s 1980s- and Free Willy-inspired friendship ballad dream sequence, especially the removal of the friendship bracelet from the bitten-off hand.
Some elements didn’t totally land for me, mainly the whole block captain thing brought about by Hugo. I’ve always found Hugo to be an extraneous character, one who doesn’t add much to the dynamics of an episode, unlike Fischoeder or Mr. Frond, and here his antagonistic attitude didn’t offer anything new or funny.
Next week brings a Tina-centric episode, and Bob Odenkirk will guest-star. Please prepare the appropriate Mr. Show and Breaking Bad references for your comments.
What'd you think of "The Deepening"?
Notes & Quotes
– Burger of the Day board: She’s a Super Leek Burger
– “Man, this movie is like 90 percent nude car wash.”
– “That whistle blows.”
– The shark’s ice cream “tear” kind of got to me. Sniffle.
– “He died the exact way I wanted to go: Destroying the restaurant.”