“The Gene and Courtney Show” aired on Valentine’s Day, so Cupid’s arrow struck at least one person. Holiday episodes can either be good or cliché, and while “The Gene and Courtney Show” was one of the good ones, it proved why Bob’s Burgers is as successful as it is: the characters.
Tina and Louise are fan favorites because they’ve been developed over time. Tina epitomizes teenage angst. She’s caught between wanting to please her parents and friends, while suffering through puberty. Louise is the bad girl with a heart of gold, so she’s usually cast against kids and adults, basically, she’s the little voice telling you to let your freak flag fly. But Gene is the lost child. He doesn’t have a foil outside of Bob, and not knowing how to communicate with his father. Gene needed character development, and this week’s episode had Gene as its focus.
Courtney’s return to the series wasn’t welcome, at first. (She was the girl who Gene dated for an episode because he wanted access to her father’s musical equipment.) Honestly, I had forgotten about her and cringed as soon as I saw her shove her locket into her mouth. I knew we’d see sparks, of some kind, between her and Gene, but Bob’s Burgers let it happen organically. Gene didn’t care for Courtney. He even cringed at her during their first scene together but they got discovered (by one of the school faculty) for the school’s morning announcements, became friends, and that grew into the two like-liking each other. Even though that was a huge shift for both characters, it wasn’t rushed. It’s a wonder what you can do with small beats leading to a big revelation.
Of course you can’t have a Bob’s Burgers episode about love without adding Tina and Jimmy Junior. They were present, but they didn’t steal focus, and Tina spent most of her time freaking out about whether or not she got a Valentine. Because she was responsible Tina was in charge of the school’s Valentines box, and Louise, that little voice, nudged Tina into compromising the box. Actually, Louise offered to discretely open the envelopes, but she couldn’t help but smile when she had seen her older sister break the rules. Even though this was the lesser of the two main story threads, you could see the layered approach Bob’s Burgers uses with its characters. And it looks as if Gene may have gained a few layers.
“The Gene and Courtney’s Show” was a solid episode. I can’t wait to see what the second half of the season has in store for Bob’s Burgers.
Thanks for reading.