Why We Think Bob’s Burgers Can Last 20 Seasons

Why We Think Bob’s Burgers Can Last 20 Seasons

After a far too long absence, Bob’s Burgers returned to our screens with a bang on September 29. Hard though it may be to believe, this hugely popular animation is now in its 10th season. We first met the Belcher’s back in 2011; 8 years and 173 episodes down the line, it’s just as fresh and vital as ever. As fans will know, the show revolves around the Belcher family (dad Bob, mom Linda, and their children Tina, Gene, and Louise) as they struggle to keep the family together by running Bob’s dream restaurant, a chronically unsuccessful burger joint in a New Jewry seaside town. Despite its lengthy run, the series shows no sighs of burning out anytime soon. With Season 10 already showing all the signs of being yet another classic outing for the ever-consistent show, there’s every reason to think Bob’s Burgers can run and run. The Simpson’s had better watch it’s back…

It’s got relatable characters

Unlike some long-running series where the characters have become a worn-out parody of themselves (and yes, Homer Simpson, we’re taking about you), the writers of Bob’s Burgers have done a great job at keeping the Belcher’s just the right sight of zany. While they may get up to some crazy scrapes, there’s a very real sense that these are everyday people just doing their best to get by. For those not familiar with the cast of characters, the main protagonists are:

Bob, the central protagonist and owner of the eponymous “Bob’s Burgers”, is a 47 year old third-generation restaurateur with an unhappy past: after losing his mother when he was a child, his alcoholic father, the Big Bob of “Big Bob’s Diner”, worked his young son’s fingers to the bone, promoting a lifelong pessimistic attitude and somewhat grumpy demeanor. Despite his sometimes bleak outlook on life, Bob is a committed family guy, and would clearly do whatever it takes to keep his family happy.

Linda, Bob’s happy go lucky wife, has the kind of positive, optimism outlook that provides a much-needed counterbalance to her husband’s dour personality. As supportive of her kids as she is of her husband, she’s the kind of fun-loving, encouraging mom we all wish we either had, or were.

Tina, the eldest of the Belcher children, is the most socially awkward of the kids, and despite being the elder sibling, is probably the moist naïve of the three (despite her amateur interest in writing erotica).

Gene, the middle child and only boy in the family, gets his carefree, sunny personality from his mum, but is probably the closest to his youngest sister, Louise, who helps feed his appetite for mischief. A musical virtuoso, he’s already written one full length musical and can usually be found annoying his family with the embarrassing sound effects he manages to create with his wide range of instruments.

Louise, the youngest Belcher child, is a mischievous imp with a manipulative streak, a deep-seated affection for her family, and a fairly fabulous pink bunny hat.

Unlike some shows which set the tone of a character in the first episode and never deviate from that same premise, all of the characters of Bob’s Burgers have shown real development over the course of its 8-year run. Louise may still have the same adventurous side she always had, but she’s far more emotionally open now than she was in the early days. Tina, meanwhile, has grown from a complete doormat into someone who’s all too prepared to stand up for herself if the need arises. Gene, meanwhile, has developed a sense of responsibility with age. As the characters grow and develop, so too does our desire to keep watching and find out where the future takes them next.

It’s a Feel-Good Family Favorite

Quirky, unique and full of the kind of humor that’s as appealing to adults as it is to children, Bob’s Burgers achieves the perfect balance between madcap humor and true to life realism — a difficult balance to strike and one that many animations fail to achieve. While the Belcher family has the same kind of fights, tensions, and conflicts we’ve probably all experienced with our own nearest and dearest, there’s a strong sense of underlying affection between the characters that allows you to leave every episode of the feel-good show with a smile on your face and a sense that all is right with the world.

The Critic’s Love It

A show doesn’t have to be a darling of the critics to make it to 20 seasons (after all, some of the longest-running, most commercially successful shows have suffered some of the most vitriolic reviews you’re likely to ever see in print). That said, a network is generally going to be much more favorably inclined to renew that next season if the critics have it’s back. While Bob’s Burger’s didn’t start off as a critic’s darling, it’s one of their sweethearts now, with CNN’s description of it as “wickedly funny” with “too many highlights to list” summing up the general consensus.

Its being turned into a movie

You know a show’s got legs when producers consider it to have enough appeal to justify a full-length feature film. In 2017, Fox announced that the world of Bob’s Burgers would be getting a big-screen makeover, with show creator Loren Bouchard noting the film would “scratch every itch the fans of the show have ever had.” With a planned release of 2020, the movie is likely to not only be a hit with existing fans, but do a great job of turning a whole new audience onto its animated delights. With a new fanbase to inflate the already excellent viewing figures, what network in its right mind wouldn’t hesitate to keep signing that renewal contract?

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