Bob’s Burgers “Synchronized Swimming” Review

In tonight’s episode of Bob’s Burgers, we witnessed Tina, Gene, and Louise taking advantage of Linda’s good nature to get out of doing their own schoolwork. When the trio of terror decided that they no longer wanted to participate in the required P.E. classes at school, Louise was able to easily manipulate Mr. Frond into letting them participate in a bogus independent study of “Synchronized Swimming.”

Louise was a diabolical riot from start to finish tonight and she really is at her best when she’s leading Tina and Gene in mischief. The three of them roaming the streets during their “independent study” had the same spirit as when the kids wandered the streets during the hurricane last season.

While I would have loved to see Linda succeed in teaching the kids her dream synchronized swimming routine, simply seeing Gene and the other boys in those girl swimsuits was hilarious. Finally realizing that the kids had been playing her for a fool, Linda decided to let the kids learn this lesson on their own even if it meant they’d have to spend their summer in school.

To avoid having his free child labor stuck in summer school during the busy season, Bob tried to step in as their synchronized swimming coach. Of course, his attempts to actually get these kids to do any synchronized swimming were foiled by Louise. She started with a simple fire alarm, then escalated to an anthrax threat, and finally a went in for a brilliant, yet totally unintentional, “Code Brown” Caddyshack reference by dropping a turd in the pool.

There were a lot more cut-away gags in this episode of Bob’s Burgers than I expected. Bob had his dream about the new soft serve machine, the kids flashed back to why they hated P.E., Gene recalled Linda’s synchronized tooth brushing phase, and Linda had a couple fantasies that ended with Tom Selleck.

These bits were funny and fit in with the story just fine, but there were a few times when I felt like it was cheating to pop out so often for a quick side gag. Although they weren’t exactly non-sequitor gags, the cut-away gag is used ad nauseum in most of the MacFarlane shows, so I think I prefer when Bob’s Burgers keeps the gags in the present through dialogue and action. Some of my favorite lines from the night were:

Yoga Instructor: Feel your uterus curl into a smile.

Andy: We’re all going to die!
Ollie: Let’s die like we were born: two minutes apart.

Tina: Marco!
Gene: Walberg!

Louise: Anthrax! Run for your lives!
Gene: Ah! Anthrax smells like babies!

Linda: Nurse the baby; jazz hands!

Bob: Are we just going to ignore that Louise pooped in the pool?
Louise: Ignore it? I named it! Jezebel.
Linda: Awww… my little granddoodie.

Although Bob’s side story with his new soft serve machine was pretty simple, it was heavy on the laughs. Teddy was cracking me up with his complaints about the ice cream being “too cold” to eat and requesting that it be microwaved while obnoxious teenagers and little league players were irritating Bob with their incessant demands.

In some ways, Bob’s Burgers‘ Linda Belcher might be the latest TV supermom. While the demands of daily life have already made Bob and the kids somewhat jaded, Linda keeps a smile on her face while she works in the restaurant, raises the kids and stays in shape. The kids pushed Linda just a little too far tonight, but just when I was sure she had finally snapped, Linda came around and showed everyone how a professional supermom saves the day.