Gene presents a problem that most Bob’s Burgers characters don’t have: he doesn’t have the attention span to have long-term or focused goals. The other Bob’s Burgers characters can always tap one desire that engages the audience with the character. Gene only wants to have fun. His inability to see beyond his bulbous nose makes it difficult to write for him if you don’t have a solid objective for him like in “Best Burger” (get Dad the ingredient he needs to win a cooking competition) earlier this season. This issue reared its ugly head in this week’s “Itty Bitty Ditty Committee.”
Sure, Gene loves music but he really wants to be a musical star rather than learn how to play anything – his piano lesson lasted all of two minutes – and despite his “love” of music, he was too willing to give it up as soon as it became work. Gene’s band booted him out after they booked a gig at a prestigious birthday party and while reinstatement in the band should’ve been Gene’s short-term objective (and was for the aforementioned two minutes), he lost sight of even that. The story resolved with his bandmates saying that music wasn’t fun without him. That didn’t ring true either because at least two out of those three bandmates had taken a year of lessons to learn their instruments. Why would they consider learning how to play music as just work?
Don’t get me wrong. I like Gene as a character but I question how easy it is to write him as the main character. He works better as the guy who gets a hair-brained idea and his sudden desire runs counter to what the main character wants to do like in “Topsy” from the second season, where Gene writes a musical about elephant and electric love. “Topsy” even shows that Gene would be willing to put in the work, even if his goal is to be a star.
The side story of Linda’s armpit rash fared slightly better. She doesn’t want to look like a fool with two furry friends (her pit hair) under her arms and eventually, finds a way to deal with the embarrassment. In genuine Linda style, she owns her massive pit hair and even earns a compliment by episode’s end.
“Itty Bitty Ditty Committee” may not have been the welcome back episode of Bob’s Burgers I was expecting, but it was fun. You also have to love the straw solo at the end.