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Hercules Loves The Taste Of Fox's BOB’S BURGERS, From The Folks Behind HOME MOVIES!!

Published at: Jan. 9, 2011, 6:13 a.m. CST by hercules

I am – Hercules!!

A new animated sitcom re-teaming writer-producer Loren Bouchard (who wrote for “Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist” before he went on the create “Home Movies” and “Lucy: Daughter of the Devil”) and actor H. Jon Benjamin, Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers” is, to me, perhaps the funniest half-hour currently airing on broadcast TV and an absolute lock for my 2011 top-ten list of funniest half-hours.

If you liked any of Bouchard’s earlier efforts, you won’t want to miss “Burgers,” which follows a family-run restaurant beset by hilariously improbable bad luck. (And bad choices: the eatery is situated next to a crematorium, so diners have an unobstructed view of mourners walking to their cars clutching urns.)  

Those not certain where they’ve earlier heard Benjamin’s deadpan vocalizing might be fans of his work as the title character in FX’s “Archer” or Demetri Martin’s second banana on Comedy Central’s “Important Things.”

If you’re not a fan of the current incarnation of “The Simpsons” or “Family Guy” (which sandwiches “Burgers,” if you will) this might be the time to put a DVR to use.

Critics seem oddly hung up on the new show’s off-color nature (it does not shy from references to the teen daughter’s persistently itchy crotch), though to my ears it seems no cruder than Fox’s other, far less funny Sunday-night fare. The crudity seems merely a bid by Bouchard, whose other shows were not as self-consciously salty, to fit in with typical Seth McFarlane-forged swill.  

Entertainment Weekly says:

This is one tasty meal. … To see a comedy this well done is very rare indeed.

The New York Times says:

 

… The bad news is that the show, the network’s latest dysfunctional-animated-family comedy, is at best mildly funny, at least in the first episode (the only one provided to critics). The good news? It’s not another grating half-hour from the mind of Seth MacFarlane …

The Los Angeles Times says:

… Of the shows with which Bouchard has been associated, this is the most conventionally premised and, as if to propitiate Fox, possibly the least sophisticated: There is the family name, Belcher; an undertaker named Mort; some bathroom humor; genital jokes. The premiere is nonetheless diverting, if not immediately impressive, and there are nice rhythms and sharp asides and some other things to be said in its favor: It's a show about the working class — or perhaps better put, the barely surviving entrepreneurial class — that is actually about work. And though the Belchers are hapless, they are not freaks, and though they are often at cross-purposes, they are not dysfunctional. "You're my children and I love you, but you're all terrible at what you do here," Bob tells his kids. "I feel like I should tell you, 'I'd fire you if I could.'" …

The Washington Post says:

… Pointlessly vulgar and derivatively dull … No one giggles more than I do when a cartoon for grown-ups mines some naughty, new frontier - but "Bob's Burgers" just isn't that funny. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

… an unexpectedly amusing comedy meal. … It remains to be seen whether there's a vision for "Bob's Burgers" that can propel it beyond the first episode -- Fox made only Sunday's pilot available -- but so far this animated comedy is truly well done.

The Boston Herald says:

… arrives cold, with a touch of E. coli. Beware. …

USA Today says:

… just lopes along, stumbling from one tasteless moment to the next — gas jokes, sex jokes, drool jokes, even a hint of cannibalism. Now and then it does land on something amusing ("There's a line between entertaining and annoying." "No, that's a myth."), but the ratio of hit-to-miss is too low to sustain the show. …

Variety says:

… another low-brow example of employing (very) limited animation to create a low-key, disarmingly dirty sitcom where the kids never age -- a recipe that's neither rare nor, in this case, particularly well done. …

8:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox.

 

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Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 9, 2011, 6:29 a.m. CST

    First...

    by eveelcapitalist

    ...I'd like to mention that I kinda liked Home Movies. Set the DVR I shall.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 6:48 a.m. CST

    HULU NOT ALLOWED IN CANADA...

    by Dhaemon

    buhhhhhhhhhhh

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 7:01 a.m. CST

    Can't wait!

    by bfenby

    It looks great! What a dry bunch of reviews... A few promo clips with maker interviews are on youtube http://bit.ly/dYTy7w

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 7:07 a.m. CST

    Uncle Buck on Blu-Ray?!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    We can get Uncle fucking Buck on Blu-Ray, but not Jaws, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, E.T., ect.?

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 7:08 a.m. CST

    As for this show...

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    ...the best thing you can say about it is that it isn't another Seth MacFarlane Domination show.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 7:44 a.m. CST

    and the worst thing...

    by jameskpolk

    Is that is sounds, from the reviews quoted here, like it is trying to fit right in amongst the MacFarlane crowd. At the very least, it sounds like they left the incest and pedophile humor out. But then again, they only previewed one episode. Herc? You're putting this on a "best of 2011" list based on a one-episode preview?

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 8:36 a.m. CST

    SOME of the folks behind movies

    by hst666

    I believe Brendan Small had no small part in the creation and development of Home Movies. <p><p>Having said that, This looks like it might could be as funny as Family Guy or American Dad.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Critics Are Such Pretentious Assholes...

    by Bruda5000

    I get the feeling that they are more interested in saying something clever rather then just reviewing something. "A recipe that's neither rare nor, in this case, particularly well done." What a douche bag.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    here in ATL

    by deelzbub

    the city morgue sits back to back with the Municipal Market. Yum

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 10:30 a.m. CST

    From those reviews it sounds like itll be good

    by _Venkman

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 11:54 a.m. CST

    American Dad is Consistently Funny and Gets Shat Upon...

    by The_Floating_Skull_of_Robert_Loggia

    ...while Family Guy, Cleveland, and the far-past-it's-prime Simpsons continue to rule the roost. Why American Dad, McFarlane's smartest and most deliriously entertaining offering, is getting the King of the Hill treatment, is beyond me. Personally, Family Guy has never been a favorite, so I was slow to warm to American Dad, but, now, I think it's one of the funniest shows on TV. And, of course, it will be pre-empted for months by a new show while one of its unfunny siblings still airs. BOO, FOX! BOO and HISS!

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 12:47 p.m. CST

    this is replacing american dad.

    by Chaz

    Ugh. Not that I'm not going to give this show a chance, it urks me how another smart, under appreciated FOX comedy is getting the shaft. Maybe Seth can get a Roger spin-off.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Go Coach McGuirk!

    by Cheif Brody

    I could listen to that dude read the phone book. Hope they used the retroscripting approach in this. Some of the best episodes of "Home Movies" were the heavily improvised ones.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 1:26 p.m. CST

    re:American Dad is Consistently Funny and Gets Shat Upon...

    by elvisaintdead

    wipe those dribblings from your chin, son. it's humiliating.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Wow Herc...you see one half hour and you're to proclaim it

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    one of your top ten of the year..eleven months and three weeks away? Doesn't say much for your top ten judging criteria, does it?

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Why do people think American Dad is the "good" MacFarlane show?

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    It's EVERY BIT AS AWFUL as Family Guy and The Cleaveland Show.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 2:34 p.m. CST

    I hated American Dad at first, now its my favorite

    by Yamato

    Family Guy is really running out of gas now. I used to like it, but not any more. Cleveland is improving (I watched the first few eps and I thought it was the worst thing I've ever seen) and has potential. Simpsons should have either quit ten years ago, or killed off Lisa ten years ago. Heck, even the non-Lisa eps (what few there are, like 1 out of 6) aren't that good.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 2:35 p.m. CST

    gettin tired of hearing that same voice

    by HaterofCrap

    hes in every fucking show. fuck aren't there any other funny voice guys looking for work?

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 2:47 p.m. CST

    American Dad is horrible and needs to go away

    by FlandersBum

    Bad show from day one. Based on unfunny cliche after cliche. McFarlane is clearly stretched out waaaaaaay too thin, and losing at least one show would do him good. Let him focus on making Family Guy funny again. Really looking forward to Bobs Burgers though, love Home Movie repeats on Adult Swim.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST

    nasty in the pasty

    by Rev4

    i believe all those movies are from steven spielberg's company, Ambien. So, I'm sure that has something to do with it.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Ambien Entertainment...

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    ...would make a great sleep aid. ;)

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 5:52 p.m. CST

    American Dad has the best specials though.

    by Saen

    The Christmas episodes, the Halloween episode this year. They do theme episodes on a level only matched by Community.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 6:08 p.m. CST

    McFarline is barely involved with Cleveland show

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    he's gets a paycheque from it but is involvement is very low compared to FG and AD. Cleveland is hillarious but You can feel the lack of macfarline even just from the voices (i.e he doesn't do any of the main ones) And american Dad isn't gone, if bob's burgers is a hit then we might see a schedule change (although i think it will be to see bob's burgers moved to tuesday nights following the very funny Raising hope) Odd's are BB won't be a hit though, FOX can't do animation unless it's got Matt Groenings or Seth McFarlines name attached to it

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 6:57 p.m. CST

    I'll agree that family guy has gone doen in the past 2 seasons, but

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    It's still a funny show, whats been missing is the heart. A similar thing happend to the simpsons a decade ago, but It (like family guy) always had laughs and much of the heart has returned since the movie in 2007 I actually think Cleveland show and American dad represent the family guy from 2 years ago, both of those shows have heart and humour balnced One thing Family guy really needs to do is to tone down Brian a bit, he's been far too much of a political voice atley, any episode with him at the center has revolved around some type of liberal bitching and it's never funny, Brian is the sidekick, he works well with Peter and he especially works well with stewie, but put him in the spotlight and it comes off preachy

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Fuck, this show doesn't let you breathe

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    It's like The fuckin Gilmour Grls, My brain can't takeit in because it's non stop talking, they need to slow the pacing down if they expect me to be entertained Also, Whats up with the flash animation, it looks very cheap and lacks the dimention that simpsons or family guy's animation has

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 7:58 p.m. CST

    I got a king of the hill vibe from that

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    meaning I didn't enjoy myself while watching it

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 8:09 p.m. CST

    So far this family guy is hillarious

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    i'm laughing my ass off here from all the redbull related humor

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 9:50 p.m. CST

    I liked it.

    by Yamato

    Made me laugh.

  • Jan. 9, 2011, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Everytime I heard his voice I just saw Archer

    by Saen

    Which I laugh at. This I didnt get any good laughs, maybe cracked a smile, but no real good laugh.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 1:58 a.m. CST

    The only time I laughed during Bob's Burgers...

    by barry convex

    ...was when I saw the sign in the crowd that said "Don't taste me, bro". But that was nothing compared to the laugh I got during Family Guy when I realized why a Red Bull fueled Chris's crotch was on fire after a Red Bull fueled Peter speed milked a cow's udder on fire.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 5:28 a.m. CST

    Ugh...

    by fettitular

    What a shitty premier. Poor animation, worse writing, and terrible voice-work for the characters. The dead pan schtick didn't work... not one iota. Like the other guy who mentioned above... the pacing was way the fuck off. Felt too rushed... too forced. Not enough time to breathe. And i second that reviewer that knocked it for being vulgar for the sake of being vulgar. SPOT-FUCKING-ON. Same reason i can't stand that overrated, piece of shit show, Eastbound and Down. It's fucking vulgar (which i don't specifically mind) but it's not CLEVER in any way whatsoever... Like "Seth's shit" is. That's toilet humor, DONE RIGHT. Bob's is simply FAR dumber and more juvenile and simplistic than anything Seth Macfarlane has done. I see absolutely NO potential in this show. And to think that it could actually take over for the insanely underrated American Dad, just makes me want to fuckin' puke. To all the douche-nozzles here who talk shit about Seth Mcfarlane... FUCK OFF. Especially when you say insane shit like: "Bob's Burgers is refreshing compared to all that Mcfarlane shit..." Let me guess, you cockwarts love you some South Park, and you masturbate to life-size cut-outs of Trey Parker and Matt Stone (fucking uncreative rip-off artists - see the inception episode for further clarifcation...) You just gobble up all the shit those 2 dickheads serve you, including the idiotic Family Guy episode with the manatees... Just admit it already, you dipshits haven't seen more than 20 minutes of a Family Guy, American Dad, or Cleveland Show 'cause mr. macfarlane is the new cool, hip, celebrity to bash. You just hear this shit in the media, and glom on to it, parroting whatever the fuck you hear. Fuckin' hipster douchebags... I'm as fuckin' picky as it gets when it comes to comedy, and the only thing better than the "seth mcfarlane shit" is It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and possibly The League, Futurama, and Community. Those shows are fuckin' smart. They're well done... they keep you on your toes. To say that Bob's is any where in the same ballpark as Seth's stuff is just shockingly ignorant. Seth is fuckin' clever, quick, has impecable comedic timing, and is clearly more "well read" than the asshats that queefed out this abortion of a show. There's a common trait you see among fans of Seth's work... they've actually seen more than 1 FUCKING EPISODE. And they generally think for THEMSELVES... My thoughts mirror Redbull Werewolf, and many others who stick up for Seth's shows. Family Guy started off relatively poor, but found it's footing in season 2 or 3. Had a a couple of BRILLIANT seasons and is now running out of gas a bit. Luckily, it's 2 "sister shows", American Dad and Cleveland Show, have now found THEIR footing and are basically kicking Family Guy's ASS. They're doing now, what Family Guy did a few years ago. And especially with American Dad. That show is kicking fuckin ass and taking names. So fuck all you morons who aren't giving these shows a chance... Keep on watching your well-beyond-it's-years shit like Simpsons and South Park. Keep livin' in the past you fuckin sheep! Anywho, I guess you punks just hate people who become successful. Seth Macfarlane's fame and success came fairly quick and out of the blue, so i can sort of understand that mentality... i.e. wanting to knock down the rich/successful/smart/confident type. I get it... Now with that said... it's FUCKING OLD ALREADY. So here's a tip for ya bitches... remove that huge stick from your anal canal, settle down, and watch that "seth shit" with an open mind. And i fuckin GUARANTEE you, if you have half a fucking brain... you will get MANY genuine laughs out of it. And to any dickweed who still argues this... please cite specific reasons as to how Bob's fucking Burgers is in any way, shape, or form, OBJECTIVELY better or "smarter" than Family Guy and it's offshoots. Please. I need a fuckin laugh ;-)

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 5:28 a.m. CST

    Holy FUCK...

    by fettitular

    that was a long post! Heh.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 5:33 a.m. CST

    Oh, and ROGER owns all your unworthy asses.

    by fettitular

    That pot-bellied, fruity alien is one of the most consistently funny, well written and performed (voiced) characters on television at this moment... FACT.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Reading the rest of this talkback...

    by fettitular

    I'm quite encouraged to see a healthy dose of respect for Seth's shows and a "lackluster" (to put it mildly...) reaction to Bob's. What was Herc thinking? And what, SPECIFICALLY, is his problem with Seth Macfarlane?? Not that i expect a response from him or anything like that...

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 5:38 a.m. CST

    And FIFTHLY...

    by fettitular

    Why do i continue to post when nobody is active on this fucking site?!? Sleep is for pussies.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 7:38 a.m. CST

    FREE TRANSPORT!!!11!!

    by fettitular

    Fuck yeah! That's what i'm talkin' about.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Funny? Really? God, this culture is doomed.

    by Snake Foreskin

    How could any of that be considered remotely funny? That was low-quality all the way. Nothing about it was well done. The animation, voiceovers, writing, music - it all sucked. Hercules must have suffered a closed-head wound over the holidays and forgotten get himself checked out.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 10:39 a.m. CST

    unfunny

    by Koyaanisqatsi

    I didn't laugh once.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 11:18 a.m. CST

    I'll pass

    by ozliiifter

    I didn't really laugh at all. Might have smiled a couple times, but from what I saw last night, I won't be spending 30 minutes a week at Bob's Burgers. Really weak.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 1:03 p.m. CST

    I'll check out the next episode, but the premier was meh

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    And, yeah, the kids were a bit too obnoxious. Maybe the following episodes will tone this aspect of them down. I love most of H. Jon Benjamin's voicework, from all the way back when he voiced for Dr. Katz. His best role so far has been Couch McGuirk of Home Movies. I love listening to his dialog as that character; I often just leave Home Movies on the TV playing in the background whenever it airs late night on Adult Swim.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Guys...

    by Triple_J_72

    ...it's a show about a bunch of talking penises. I've never seen such horrid character designs for a cartoon in my life. BLAH!

  • Looks like Fox's cheque cleared. Either that or Hercules has little faith that in the next 50 weeks he won't discover 10 half-hour shows funnier than this show's first episode. He does seem to have great faith that the series will continue to be "as funny" as it's pilot. I found it to be mildly amusing. I think the funniest part, for me, was the line "if we find your meat contains more than the 4% [of human flesh] allowed by the FDA, we're shutting you down". Oh, and jameskpolk, there was some pedophile "humour" - a whole bit in fact.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 3:26 p.m. CST

    SO BAD IT WAS PAINFUL!!!

    by THAT_SAID_THE_CHOPPAH

    Did not laugh once. Did not even crack a smile. My friend and I just sat there incredulous at the completely devoid of anything even remotely funny CRAP that we were subjecting ourselves to.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Beh

    by Daniel Beaubourg

    I haven't actually got around to see it,but I don't think I can bring myself to. The art style and the animation looks horrendous, even devoid of anything even resembling charm. I don't think it's worth even watching a funny show it the visuals are just this unbearable.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Penisheads' Burgers

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    Oh, great, triple_j_72: now I cannot *not* see the characters as phallic looking. Well, I suppose I can just listen to Mr. Benjamin, as I already do when Home Movies airs on Adult Swim (I've seen all the episodes multiple times already, so I just now listen to them when they air to hear the banter between Couch McGuirk and whomever he's talking to, as I'm doing other things usually on the computer).

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 7:33 p.m. CST

    They DO look phallic! Jesus!

    by Jim Jam Bongs

    They also resemble worms, due to the chinless design. God what horrible drawings. On top of that, H. John Benjamin's voice doesn't coincide well with Bob's look. The kids are obnoxiously unfunny, and the wife... is she voiced by a man? (Does Benjamin voice her?) What a disappointment and a visual and voice-work mess this show is turning out.

  • Jan. 10, 2011, 7:34 p.m. CST

    Well, I liked it.

    by SquirrelPhister

    I thought the subdued humor worked really well and I really liked the main character (though I guess that's mostly because of Jon Benjamin's delivery). I agree they need to stop trying so hard to make the kids crazy. And the character design does suck pretty bad, but that's not a deal-breaker for me. Bottom line, I'll definitely check out a few more episodes and see how it goes. I think there's plenty of potential here. Let's not forget that American Dad sucked rhino dick for the entirety of it's first season. And was I the only one who was distracted by Sam Seder's voice every time his character was on screen? I kept expecting him to start explaining why the tax compromise bill is complete bullshit.

  • Jeepers H. Crackers! Why doesn't Fox just rename itself The Cartoon Network already? Is that taken? If not, I say go for it... <p> And look, when it comes to animation on said "network" (and I use the term loosely at this point), The Simpsons is still king. They've regained their form ever since they went HD, which actually has less to do with them having gone HD, and more to do with them telling actual stories again. All the good classic Simpsons episodes had actual plot, not just random happenstance, and a majority of those even had *gasp* a moral at the end of it all. Which is what has come back to The Simpsons in the past couple of seasons, whereas Family Guy, which set the benchmark for "random" humour, has become predictably lame in its "randomness" and exchanged funny for shocking long ago. <p> While last night's episode of Family Guy was actually pretty decent, it's been one of the few this season (And Then There Were Fewer and Road to the North Pole being to other two I can think of). <p> The Cleveland Show is just an abomination... and I've watched a lot of the episodes. I tried to put up with it, really I did, hell it's between The Simpsons and Family Guy so I figured what the hell, but I've deleted it from my DVR recordings, and if I'm watching the Sunday night lineup live, I cook dinner during The Cleveland Show. <p> American Dad is the best Seth Sitcom on Fox and it has really grown on me the past few years. I could not stand it at first, and that seems to be a common reaction. A talking fish? A random alien? But again, American Dad, like the Simpsons, is at its best when telling stories, with the occasional moral. You feel like you got somewhere at the end. Hell even the old Family Guy episodes, while bursting with random cutaway gags, had that. <p> As for Bob's Burgers... all this mention of H. Jon Benjamin and no one bothers to mention he's a voice actor on Family Guy (convenience store owner where Chris worked)? Yes, yes, something called Archer as well... are they purposely trying to distance that link to Family Guy though? Anyhow the first episode was decent. It does seem a bit more King of the Hill than Family Guy, and while the animation is cheap, well, Dr. Katz wasn't exactly stunning (or all that good, in my opinion, so I'm glad this at least gave me the odd chuckle). The fart jokes got tiring pretty quick although the itchy crotch gag gave me a smile - at least they didn't go the predictable route and have the son "itching" down there all the time. The Child Molester (with candy" special burger of the day was the best gag in the show... it has a chance, if people don't tune out due to the shoddy animation style. Or due to the total amount of overkill when it comes to animation on Fox. Kill off the Cleveland Show and swap it with this, however, and I'll watch. <p> Better yet, move Fringe to Sunday nights. Run a solid three hour block of TV with The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, Fringe, Family Guy, and American Dad. At least then I only need to watch TV one night a week.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 12:37 a.m. CST

    WTF - this show is horrible

    by Russman

    It's just not funny - AT. ALL. And I like Jon Benjamin, but everything fell flat and it sounded strange too. It's not funny.