For its fifth season, Bob’s Burgers follows the lives of the Belchers as they engage in all different sorts of adventures. Bob, Linda, Tina, Gene and Louise still manage to find themselves in super-real and super-natural situations, with some members of the family holding a firmer grip on reality than others.
In the first episode of the fifth season, Gene tries to put together a musical based on his favourite ‘80s film of all times; yet, he has some competition to deal with in the face of Courtney, who has the means and ways to stage her own ‘80s film-inspired musical. And then she rubs in Gene’s face, much to his frustration and despair, which grows even more intense when he finds out that his sister, Tina, is going to participate in Courtney’s musical. But Louise steps in to save the day, helping Gene to put up his musical and sabotaging that of Louise’s.
Through a hilarious mix of miscast actors, over-confident stars and a misplaced music coordinator, both musicals come to life at the same time, one snatching audience members from the other and confusing the Belcher parents. Much resembling the superficial climax-and-denouement structure of the genre, this musical-inspired episode concludes on a positive (high) note with Gene and Louise merging their musicals into one, thus cutting across sing-along exposition and comical conventions often encountered in musicals.
Things do not get much more real in the second episode. Here, the Belchers call the… Ghostbusters! What starts as a debugging mission in the Belchers’ basement takes on an after-life dimension when the exterminators sense ‘paranormal activity’. Despite Bob’s disbelief, the family falls for the possible presence of a ghost. In fact, Tina falls for the actual ghost, which she believes to be a 13-year-old’s soul trapped in a shoe-box. And thus, the hilarious premise is set, leading to more absurd situations, like Tina going out on a date with a shoe box and being kissed by a butterfly (with a reference to The Silence of the Lambs imagery added bonus).
On a metaphysical level, questions arise as to what it means to be in love with another soul and how human relationships evolve. On a physical level, it is more than funny discussing first-base stuff with a ghost! Perhaps the most interesting part of this episode is the point where an effort is being made to unmask common insecurities faced by high-school students. Albeit wrapped up in humour and nonchalance, the punchline of taking pride in oneself cannot escape the attention of observant viewers
So, there you have it. The Belchers are still thriving managing their hamburger restaurant and their very interesting daily routines. The first two episodes look promising. And the season is still young.
Bob’s Burgers goes out as double bills on Comedy Central at 22.00 on Friday nights.