Bob’s Burgers, “Sliding Bobs,” (6.1) – Season Premiere Review

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Bob's Sliders

September 27th, 2015, 7:30 PM, FOX

LAST SEASON: The residents of Ocean Avenue fought against landlord Calvin Fischoeder in a spirited water balloon fight to determine whether or not the rent on their property would be raised. Thanks to Bob’s principled stance Fischoeder rescinded his rent-raising idea.

The season opens with another charming trilogy of tales. After Bob’s “lip-balding” causes Linda to reminisced about how his mustache made her fall in love with him. After hearing their folks’ version of events the kids are prompted to wonder what would’ve happened had the Belcher paterfamilias met when Bob was mustacheless.

In Gene’s story, a minor cut from the ring across his top lip results in Bob becomes the police’s pet project. He ends up an intentionally nitpicky robotic law enforcement robot with a cyborg mustache and a wiped memory. Things quickly get hairy and lead to the ultimate showdown between Bob’s prime directive and his lady love when he realizes he had a past life.

In Louise’s version, Bob uses a fortune telling machine to wish for a fast-growing mustache, but it results in a full-body beard. Can Bob and Linda figure out how to live in a society that rejects Bob’s new look?

In Tina’s version, she realizes that her parents would have never stayed together without simple luck – and envisions a world where Hugo and Linda married, opened a hot dog restaurant and had kids. Timid, polite Dean, Blasé and boy-disliking Mona, and cutesy princess-obsessed good girl Charlize run the business with a cheery Hugo and Linda – but they find themselves having to dodge grouchy health inspector Bob when Hugo reveals he was selling sausage made of actual dogs. Linda and Bob settle down to hash things out – but even then something seems to linger quietly between them. In the end, Tina learns that blind luck can sometimes be as wonderful as random fate.

Overall, the episode is a cute romp, oddly anti-romantic and romantic in the same delirious breath. It’s fitting that Bob and Linda met in the most ridiculous way and somehow luckily forged what’s been by all accounts a very strong, very supportive and very loving marriage with three kids they adore. Tina being the ardent romantic who’s afraid that love is nothing but chance instead of predestination is a perfect role for her; Gene, of course, is too focused on robot, lasers and poop jokes, and Tina is anti-romantic and rather in love with angst. The audience is left with a pretty satisfying platter of mini-tales in the end.

The best one is definitely Tina’s parallel universe/AU retelling of Hugo and Linda’s married life. It serves as both a send-up of the typical Bob’s Burgers episode and a functional tribute to Bob and Linda’s actual in-canon love. Without each other they’d be miserable, and the show acknowledges that fact flawlessly. But the other three are definitely fun and keep the action flowing with the right mix of the ludicrous and the heartfelt. “Sliding Bobs” is another funny and lovely episode from a series that continues to produce quality television, in spite of what Fox’s scheduling machine would have you believe.
The Roundup

  • ”Hey dad! You’re peddling like crazy and not getting anywhere! Just like your life!”

  • Bob’s bald spot is exactly the size of a mayonnaise jar, according to Tina.
  • Gene knows a lot about diamonds, as he’s been planning for his wedding day for a long time.
  • This week’s credit gags: Building Next Door: The Outlet Outlet Electrical Supplies, Truck: Of Mice and Men who kill Mice Exterminators, Chalkboard: The View to Kielbasa Dog (in the AU Hugo/Bob swap). Credits: The song “It’s Fate (And It’s Great” is heard, as various characters from the kids’ fantasies appear and dance in the restaurant.
  • Linda and Bob met when Bob’s mustache accidentally got hooked on the diamond engagement ring while she was out having a girl’s night out with her friend Ginger. She was engaged to Hugo at the time, as we previously learned.
  • “You are the eighth most attractive woman I’ve seen today!”
  • ”What if I give you a robotic ding-dong?”
  • ”You need a little face candy” “Cocaine?”
  • “Weird legs?” “Only from the waist down!”
  • In case it wasn’t obvious, Gene and Louise’s fantasies are based on the films RoboCop and Big. Tina’s seems to be a simple generic AU-based idea.
  • The episode is named after the romantic comedy “Siding Doors”, in which a woman’s life is molded and determined by her timing – whether or not she misses or catches a train.
  • ”Could be salmonella. That’s what most weird feelings inside are.”
  • “Or like that time I petted a dog and found a Cheetoh.”
  • The show will be pre-empted by football next week.
8.9 GREAT

]: Fate might not have married the Belchers, but love keeps them together, and the sharp writing of this episode will keep the amour flowing from the Belcher clan to the viewers this season.

  • GREAT 8.9
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About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of Firefox.org, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.