I’m not entirely certain how we dealt with crippling embarrassment as a society before we all started watching the 15 or so great comedy shows on TV right now. I mean, who was Benjamin Franklin’s Liz Lemon? Did he have one? Every time he said something stupid around his new girlfriend’s parents, I’m positive he invariably went home to eat cheese at weird hours, just as Liz Lemon does, and called it “workin’ on his Night Cheese.” But did he know we all have Night Cheese? Did he know we all sing to our Night Cheese as we eat it?
This is a weird way to say that this is the golden age of TV comedy. No one has truly captured the pitfalls of the human experience as well as TV comedies are doing it right now. It’s beautiful, really, and it makes us all feel very unified, very together. It makes eating cheese at 2 a.m. feel like a communal experience with Liz Lemon and the whole world. Then these shows make wonderful, creepy sex jokes you can’t repeat at work or in front of your family. Everybody wins.
So here’s our tribute to all of it. We’ll be counting down the ten best comedies on TV, two at a time, from Monday to Friday of this week. In the comments, tell us how we’re terrible people for omitting stuff that changed your life. Tell us where we went right, maybe, if you get around to it. But watch these shows. When the aliens come and ask for an arsenal of dirty jokes, it’ll save your life. And here’s No. 10: Bob’s Burgers.—Ben Collins
(The ten best comedies of 2012 will be revealed on Hulu’s homepage each weekday of this week.)
10 – Bob’s Burgers
I never grew out of watching cartoons. I’ve been hooked ever since my first episode of Inspector Gadget as a toddler and haven’t looked back. I was raised on The Simpsons, reference South Park more often than I probably should in daily conversation, and cross my fingers every week that Lumpy Space Princess will make an appearance on Adventure Time.
So when I say this, I mean it: Bob’s Burgers is currently the best animated show, and one of the best comedies, on television.
Bob’s Burgers successfully mixes zany set-pieces with deeply heart-felt family comedy in a way that other shows have desperately tried and failed. Where some shows feel like they’re desperately juggling ideas that might as well have been chosen by manatees, hoping that at least one joke will land, Bob’s Burgers sweats every detail and hits every mark. From the punny burger of the week (one Foot Feta-ish burger to go, please), to the blink-and-you-missed-it situational jokes (whoever had the cheerleader in the Halloween episode matriculate at UTI is my hero), the writers, artists, and stellar voice cast that work on the show have established a family and a place that feels incredibly real.
That’s a Simpsons sort of thing.
I can think of no better compliment for an animated show than that.—Andrea Marker