Adventures in Chinchilla-sitting – “Bob’s Burgers”

 Season 5 has seen the focus of Bob’s Burgers shift from the viewpoint of the adults to the brood of Bob and Linda.  While this change has resulted in many fine episodes, this is not one of them.  Not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, this is definitely far from the finest 22 minutes produced. My main criticism of the episode is the disconnect between the kids’ storyline and Bob and Linda’s date night storyline(though it did give one of the greatest end credit songs, “Date Night”).  This season has really started to remind of the later episodes of Futurama, where it turns into an excuse for a lot of low-hanging fruit jokes, luckily through sheer comedic force this episode is far from a disaster.
We start off the evening with Bob and Linda headed out on their aforementioned Date Night(when are we getting a Bob’s Burgers album already????) and Tina showing a bit of growth asks for money in exchange for her services as a babysitter.  They’re slowly but surely allowing the kids on this show to mature, though not too fast.  Tina, always the beta, has to cut in Louse and Gene; so it’s two steps forward and one step back(hey, that’s progress at least).
Louise is put in charge of her class’s Chinchilla for the night, Princess Little-Pittle, and predictably loses the pet almost immediately when Wayne(brother to Chess and voiced by the always wonderful Andy Richter) comes over and leaves the front door open.  Wayne is another strong individual like Louise and at first they buttheads but as the adventure continues they come to realize they’re more like each other than they originally thought. This of course is never spoken out loud but is underlined by actions and conversations throughout.  My personal favorite is their discussion on how fourth graders shouldn’t be put in charge of naming the class pet or determining the sex of said animal, thank you for giving me the term “butt-boobs”, I will cherish this until my last day.
My biggest problem with this episode is that the kids’ plot just felt like an excuse to get the kids from one scenario to the next.  First, they end up at the arcade and then they have to head over to Tammy’s, which leads them to a high school party (I didn’t know how funny farting through a window could be until this episode) and then finally the roller rink where both Louise and Wayne put themselves in bodily harm to save Princess Little-Pittle.  In the end, Louise grows up a little and realizes her needs can’t always come first and ends up letting Wayne take care of the Chinchilla.

Bob and Linda’s date night, predictably goes awry when Bob picks an insanely hard bar trivia contest.  They end up getting drunk and Linda steals the answer sheet so the “Date Nights of the round table” can win.  If this isn’t your first time turning on the TV you probably know how this one will end.  They will get caught and one of them will make a speech how it doesn’t matter that they lost because they love each other and had a good time.  Again this by far not the worst episode but it is starting to show the cracks in the primary formula of season 5.

Grade: C+

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