Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Top 5 Best Episodes of 2013: Episode #3...

Bob’s Burgers 4.08 – “Christmas in the Car”

Bob’s Burgers has slowly but surely been usurping Adventure Time as my favorite animated show currently on television. While I still have several episodes to catch up on from previous seasons, the current season has featured consistently strong episodes.

Compared to other shows’ holiday-themed episodes, both the Thanksgiving episode and the recent “Christmas in the Car” were two of the strongest and funniest ones I’ve seen this season.

“Christmas in the Car” features the Belcher family in a surprisingly suspenseful cat and mouse game with a mostly unseen driver in a candy cane truck. They’re actually in genuine danger for a great deal of the episode and only Bob seems to notice. Yet the rest of his family’s irreverent nonchalance is actually endearing rather than grating.

Linda’s genuine love for Christmas is sweet and joyful while the kids’ plan to kidnap Santa is charming in their fervent belief in his existence (Tina’s acceptance of Santa’s existence is also adorable and cringe-inducingly funny).

Yet for all the danger, panicking, accusations of leading each other to their deaths, and fart jokes, “Christmas in the Car” was just plain charming. It genuinely felt like an old school Christmas episode in that it featured a family being together and discovering what it means to truly celebrate Christmas. The tree doesn’t matter; neither do the decorations, the ham dinners, and the kidnapped Santa. They’re together as a family and they are kind to a stranger. That’s all that mattered.

Yet it wasn’t maudlin or corny. It still had plenty of sharp jokes, such as at the diner where Linda ordered a dish called a Dutch baby:
Bob: Linda, kids, we’re leaving! No more Dutch babies! Let’s go!

Linda: No! My baby hasn’t been delivered yet! …Oh, look, it came out in 22 minutes! Oh, it’s a preemie just like Jesus!
Or trapped in the stalled car as they’re being stalked by the unseen truck driver:
Tina: Mom, Dad? … I just wanted to let you know: I was the one that didn’t flush.

Linda: It’s okay, sweetheart. That was impressive, though. It looked just like your father’s.

Tina: That’s what I was going for. 
A great deal of the episode’s strength also lied in the awesome animation. This was the first animated episode I’ve watched in a very long time that I just enjoyed looking at; there was othis moment when Teddy gets stuck in the kids’ Santa trap alone made me laugh and also thoroughly impressed me:

The rest of the animation was equally clean, fast-paced, and quite beautiful at times.

“Christmas in the Car” has simply the best and easily rewatchable episode of Bob’s Burgers this season and just one of the best animated episodes I’ve seen all year. 

All images copyright FOX

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