Review: Bob’s Burgers “The Gene Mile”

What could be more torturous than forcing kids to run for a full mile?

Overview:

Against everything that the kids stand for they are being forced by their school to run for a full mile.  Tina tries to run with Jimmy Jr, but after he’s a jerk about it, she decides to try to beat him in the race instead.  The other kids decide that in place of waiting until the end of the day, they are going to hit “free scoop day” at the ice cream shoppe during the mile run.  The plan is going perfectly until Gene’s bike chain falls off, and he is forced back into the mile run.   The rest of the group is left with no choice but to move forward without him.  Unfortunately, just as things are about to work out, the gang is caught and forced to rerun the mile.

Meanwhile, Bob is trying to get discount tickets to the new musical “Cake”.  Relying on phoning just in time, everybody is too busy to serve anybody in the restaurant.  On hold all day, as they finally get through the ticket centre has sold out of available tickets.  But, after Bob and Teddy get in an argument over whose fault it was, Teddy makes it up by securing the tickets.

Our Take:

Any episode that features the kids and all of their motley crew of friends is one that I want to watch.  But, this gets even better as Louise and Gene coordinate an elaborate heist to score some free ice cream.  And, let’s be honest, a heist plot in any other genre works out great, just look at how Ant-Man managed to mix a good heist with a superhero movie.

The set-up for this big heist is probably the highlight of the episode.  Gene sets up the scene perfectly as he explains the previous years “free scoop day”.  After arriving late, and waiting in line, he was appalled by the only ice cream flavour that they had left.  Rum raisin sorbet.  The drama Eugene Mirman delivers in scenes like these has the power to bring me to tears.  Gene really makes me hate rum raisin sorbet.  Not that I liked it to begin with.

Heck, it’s Gene’s arch in this episode that really made it.  After contriving his scheme to get ice cream, he makes the ultimate sacrifice when he is caught.  To go a step above, he doesn’t just slack his way through and actually accomplishes running for the whole mile.  He truly earns his ice cream in this one.  Especially for dropping the hilarious line “hug me like you got lost at an amusement park and you just found your mommy!”  This was a great Gene episode.

That’s not to say that Tina doesn’t shine in this episode as well.  She always does.  Tina’s long-running underwhelming romance with Jimmy Jr. takes a turn when he tells her he can’t run with her because he is too fast.  Tina puts feelings aside and sets her sights on defeating Jimmy in the run.  Just like Gene, she succeeds in style.  And, by style, I mean running without her arms moving, which was accentuated by Jimmy Jr’s flamboyant arm flailing.  It’s quite a thing to watch, and worth the whole episode alone just to see.

Putting my excitement to be reviewing this show aside, this was still a solid episode full of great Bob’s Burgers humour.  The only low point was that the scenes with Bob, Teddy, and Linda were a bit shoehorned in.  The whole “Cake” storyline was only there to get these characters the screen time, and the plot didn’t offer much.  It happens in all shows, but Bob’s Burgers is typically stronger at crossing two solid plots in a single episode.  It’s not like these scenes were not full of humour, and they had some high leading points, just that there wasn’t much depth to the storyline.  Who needs it when you have Tina and Gene pulling along the show.  All these characters are brilliant, and they deserve their chance to shine.

Jesse Bereta

Jesse (Green Onion) Bereta is a chef of words. Classically trained in the kitchen, Jesse changed careers in ‘015 to pursue his passion of writing (and being a full time pop culture nerd). Aside from his work as a freelance writer, Jesse also operates his own website, podcasts, and is a father of two budding sprouts. The Green Onion headquarters is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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