Every TV critic, however prolific, has a list of secret-favorite TV shows: series that they watch, enjoy, but whether for reasons of schedule or workload or just not having much to say, rarely or never write about.
Bob’s Burgers, which just returned for its second season on Fox earlier this month, may be on the verge of becoming my favorite secret-favorite TV show. When it debuted last season, I noted it very briefly. I was a longtime fan of creator Loren Bouchard, and I thought the premiere, though it didn’t wow me, showed some potential. I noted it briefly, and that was it.
But I kept watching. And somewhere in the middle of its short run, I discovered that this was a show I really looked forward to seeing every week, even if I was writing about Breaking Bad or Modern Family instead. Like ABC’s very different comedy Happy Endings, this is one of those sitcoms with just the barest of premises–guy runs burger shop and has a family–which is really just an excuse to let funny people (including H. Jon Benjamin, Kristin Schall and Eugene Mirman) be funny.
And this bizarre yet sweet show has not missed a step with its two new episodes so far. The return outing, “The Belchies,” ventured outside the burger shop to tell a weird, thrilling story of an abandoned factory, a treasure and a man made out of taffy. And last night’s, “Bob Day Afternoon,” latched on to the hostage-drama genre to explore the show’s regular theme of the little anxieties and neuroses that drive its characters, from grownup criminals to kids. (I especially loved Schaal’s tightly-wound Louise using the situation to manipulate a cop in order to score an interview with the robber for her school essay: “IT’S MY DADDY! MY DADDY’S IN THERE!”)
It’s not a secret anymore, I guess, but Bob’s has added yet another appointment to my already-crowded Sunday night–and this before Mad Men and Game of Thrones come back. How are you managing your Sunday schedule?