Bob’s Burgers cooks up the most laughs as Fox’s best animated sitcom. This week’s episode marks the ubiquitous Halloween show and the return of the tortured burger puns.
We haven’t seen a new chuckle-inducing burger name on the white board in quite a while, but “Tina and the Real Ghost” gives us four: Texas Chainsaw Massa-Chard Burger, Human Polenta-pede Burger, Kales from the Crypt Burger, and the Paranormal Pepper-Jack-tivity Burger. I’m not sure I’d eat any of these. But they’re fun to read.
This episode was classic Louise, Bob, Linda, and even Tina. Bob hires a bug exterminator, and the exterminator doesn’t do his job as he believes that the restaurant’s haunted. Everyone in the family, except Bob and Louise, buys into the haunted restaurant.
At first, Bob tries to get the restaurant de-bugged but eventually goes with the haunted theme as customers dig the paranormal investigators who appear and take up residence at Bob’s Burgers. Louise feeds into everyone’s paranoia and convinces the entire town that a ghost inhabits a shoe box. Ever oblivious Linda doesn’t realize how much in pain Tina is when Tina’s ghost boyfriend—who lives in the shoebox—picks Tammie over her. But Tina overcomes and drops a little perspective when things get just zany enough at the local graveyard.
The show even maintains a little continuity which is odd for a sitcom. Tina stated in last year’s Halloween episode that it’d be her last year for Trick-or-Treating, and this season she never planned to Trick-or-Treat. I don’t know if this was by plan or by accident, but it’s nice to see.
I don’t know why we had a hiatus of more than a month between episodes one and two, but let’s hope Bob’s Burgers airs on a weekly basis. It’s one of the better shows.
Verdict: Despite a month off, Bob’s Burgers picks up where it left off by tickling our funny bone.
The season premiere focused on Nick, Trubel, and Octoface, but the second episode doesn’t just touch on the other disparate stories, it dives into them. While I dig some of these side stories, I’m not so crazy about all of them.
I like the main story arc, let’s call it the one with Nick losing his Grimm powers. He struggles with the loss of his abilities, and this makes sense. He didn’t have a choice before and now he does—kinda. This episode hits us over the head with what he’ll choose in the next one—we’ll discuss this later—but I like how they don’t resolve this issue in the first two episodes, and they show Nick contemplate whether or not he even wants to be a Grimm.
As an extension to the main arc Juliette’s desire for Nick not to turn back into a Grimm makes sense, and it’s handled well. But I also buy Monroe’s and Rosalee’s response to Juliette asking them not to search for a spell reverse. They know the danger ahead for the former Grimm, and thankfully, they don’t spell it out for the viewer. Another small mercy.
Trubel still isn’t as annoying as I feared—as the plucky fill-in-Grimm—but her impetuous nature gets on my nerves. I don’t know if I buy Nick and Hank getting to her in time to save her bacon either. It felt like a convenient time warp with clunky pacing. She should’ve been Octofood. Then, she gets into trouble again at episode’s end, and we know this will force Nick’s hand to become a Grimm again. Trubel gets kidnapped by an FBI/magical faction spook.
Looks like this season traded in the soap opera love for a tangled web of spy versus spy. I don’t know whether the FBI wesen works for the resistance—which we’ve heard of since season two but didn’t see in earnest until last season—or if she works for the royals or another faction we haven’t met so far. That’s all we need is a third faction.
We do get the royals in Austria again. Adalind does her best Lorde impersonation as she gets locked up for being the lesser half of a union between a royal and a hexenbeast. Hopefully, she’ll stay locked up for a while, but that serves as little respite. She’s linked with Nick, since she cast the woogie that took Nick’s powers.
Then, we find that Octoface was into espionage. For the Canadians? Or did he act as a spy in Canada, and it took him a few years to cross the border? I’m a little fuzzy on who he actually worked for and spied against. Perhaps he worked for yet another faction. Who knows? But I do know that I didn’t like how Trubel stopped him. He tried to suck the memories from her head and freaked out by the Grimm things she had seen. Really? That’s all it took. If that’s what it took to defeat him, you should’ve offered him Grimm brain a la mode days ago.
Speaking of days ago, it’s hard to believe that Sergeant Wu didn’t figure out that something was up days ago, too. That may be the main reason I don’t care for that story arc either. So many people know about the magical world or are part of the magical world that Wu comes off as stupid. I hope they don’t drag out this story arc. But that’s not the only one I wouldn’t mind seeing dropped. Minor Spoiler: Captain Renard survived because his mother brought him back to life. Are we going to see everyone’s mom in this show?
Grimm still holds my interest despite all these flaws. I like what they’re doing with Nick. Most of the supporting cast does a fine job, and even Trubel has her moments.
Verdict: Still off to a shaky start, but I like how they haven’t resolved Nick’s issues yet.
We had some nice developments with Constantine: John Constantine travels outside Atlanta, the dialogue improves, and Zed Martin (played by Angelica Celaya) enters the fray.
I was worried that Constantine would stick to the greater Atlanta area, so the shift to a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA was a welcomed change. Malevolent spirits—we don’t see too much of them until the very end, and that’s a good thing—haunt the miners of this town. While casing the place, Constantine runs into Zed, who was the woman drawing pictures of Constantine at the end of the pilot. I loved the paintings of Hellblazer comic book covers in Zed’s apartment. Constantine has done a great job of dropping Easter eggs for fanboys and fangirls.
Still, Constantine and Zed share some awkward moments. I’m not sure how planned their clumsiness on screen was at first, but they settled into their roles toward the end of the episode and watching them work together—when they actually did work together—put a smile on my face. Zed is a much better choice of companion than last week’s Liv Aberdine. But there was one companion conspicuously missing from this episode: Chas.
Chas drives Constantine around everywhere, but this episode showed a glimpse of him. I guess it makes sense for him to take a backseat to introducing Zed, but I’d like to know more about how he survived last week’s attack. Chas got a power line through his chest and lived to talk about it. Granted, you can over explain things, but you have to give us something about Chas and his powers.
Then, there were the demons of the week. They weren’t as much demons as they were guardian spirits warped into doing a sorcerer’s bidding. Spoiler: I liked how the lady sorcerer used the word Romani to describe herself. Too often we hear Gypsy. Of course, Constantine uses the term Gypsy to describe her later on in the episode, so the effect isn’t as strong.
The special effects continue to impress. You have to have great special effects to pull off a character like Constantine. Nothing spells disaster faster than a lame looking demon. And nothing spells “not Constantine” than having the titular character without a cigarette in his mouth. We catch a glimpse of Constantine with a cigarette hanging from his lips this week. As I mentioned last week, TV shows can’t show someone smoking. This was a clever way to show the visual of the character with a cigarette.
But I wish they had done more with the character himself. This Constantine has faults and gives us a feel for the character, but he doesn’t quite live up to his comic book counterpart. He kind of comes off as a flawed and darker version of the character that comes on TV just before him: Nick of Grimm.
We’ll see if Constantine will explore its main character more. If it does, John Constantine could find himself in bed with Zed one week and with a boyfriend the next.
Verdict: Constantine continues its strong start but let’s hope for some more character growth.