The AV Club’s Todd VanDerWerff wrote the article I’ve been tossing around in my head, as he details the strong similarities between the first three seasons of Bob’s Burgers and The Simpsons:
Yet in its third season, Bob’s Burgers has found another level beyond even those first two years, to the point where it’s routinely the show on television I look forward to the most. It’s so enjoyable that most weeks, I simply turn off all critical faculties and let it wash over me. And the series almost always rewards that impulse, coming up with hilariously funny television that also possesses some of the sharpest storytelling on the program guide. When I reviewed the pilot, I compared Bob’s Burgers to some of the previous animated series from creator Loren Bouchard (specifically Dr. Katz and Home Movies), as well as King Of The Hill, the prior home of executive producer and co-developer Jim Dauterive. Yet the older the show gets, the less it reminds me of any of those series and the more it puts me in mind of an even larger target in the hearts of pop-culture fans: those first three seasons of The Simpsons, when the series made at least somewhat of an attempt to take place in something like our reality.
The show is incredibly funny, but I’m consistently surprised and engaged by the stories and the depth of the characters. One of the great signs of a show like this: the characters can pair off in any fashion and it not only works, but goes to surprising places. This weekend’s most recent episode is a great example of this: Louise is the wild card — your Kramer, Charlie, Abed, etc. — but goes against type as she falls for a boy band member at a concert.