BOB’S BURGERS “Crawl Space” Review

BOB'S BURGERS Crawl Space

BOB’S BURGERS “Crawl Space” Episode 2 – The second episode of Fox’s quirky new series, BOB’S BURGERS, “Crawl Space” aired last night with the Belcher family in a much more classic sitcom situation than before. To avoid spending time with his obnoxious but well meaning in-laws, Bob intentionally gets himself stuck in the crawl space of his home and what first seems like a brilliant hideout quickly becomes a prison he can’t escape.

Bob sets up a system to keep the restaurant running while avoiding any interaction with his in-laws. His concerned wife calls a contractor, Teddy, out to help Bob get unstuck. If you’ve ever been stuck in an awkward situation with a person who loved to talk even if no one was listening, you’ll know exactly who Teddy is. That guy who you can’t stand but is too nice to just be mean to. Teddy’s rambling is hilarious only because you’re not Bob and Teddy isn’t talking to you. Bob convinces Teddy to postpone his removal so that Bob could hide in the crawl space for the entire duration of his in-laws visit.

Once Linda realizes he’s been lying about being stuck in the wall, Bob realizes he’s truly stuck. Everything starts to deteriorate around him and Bob’s three kids know just how to get on his nerves and will push every button they can. Gene’s ridiculous insistence that Salman Rushdie wrote The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe drives Bob nuts from behind the wall and makes you wonder if Bob is raising a family of evil geniuses or dysfunctional dolts.

Louise’s twisted and morbid sense of humor leads her to convince her friends and school counselor that her father has passed away, while Gene and Tina deal with the traumatizing effects of having heard their grandparents in their most intimate of situations by acting out at school. Within a day of Bob being out of sight, all three of his kids have found themselves in the school counselor’s office – something I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more of with these siblings.

The scene in the school counselor’s office is probably my favorite of this episode. Louise manipulates him into heading back for a home visit and the other two siblings are more than happy to play along. After taking in the situation at the Belcher household – and being told by Linda that Louise likes to play jokes on people she thinks are stupid – he threatens to call social services, only to be interrupted by Linda’s mother who in one intrusive swoop manages to save Bob from his crawl space and back the school counselor into a corner.

This episode continues in the same style of humor that the premiere episode set up although this episode felt more natural than the first and if episodes continue to develop in this way, Bob’s Burgers should find some staying power in this lineup. A majority of the humor is derived from conversation rather than from a situational set up and punch lines. Conversations increasingly get funnier as you listen to characters talk to one another and in “Crawl Space” we got more of a taste of how the vocal talent is putting their signature into these characters. That said, there’s no shortage of visual gags and stupid fart jokes to maintain an easy chuckle, but those are not the strength of this series.

Bob’s Burgers is creating a loveable dysfunctional family that’s somehow relatable no matter how unusual they are. As much as this family seems to get on one another’s nerves, you really believe they’re a family that laughs together and loves one another which makes for a family I want to spend time with from week to week.