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TV @ The Movies: "Bob's Burgers" and The Birds (1963)

Please tell me that you watch and love Bob's Burgers. (It's safe to assume that if you do the former you also do the latter.) The most recent episode "House of a 1000 Bounces" was a brilliant children's birthday party heist largely focused on the animated sitcom's superbly written kids: Tina, Louise, and Gene. The characterizations on this show never disappoint. Each Belcher family member and nearly every supporting character are so defined they're hi-res. And yet it's more than just broad strokes with flat colors. It's not one of those (many) sitcoms that rests on five variations of 1 joke for per character. Six seasons in the show is still strong with variety and invention.

In the B plot of this episode a pigeon inadvertently gets trapped inside the titular restaurant and Linda (Bob's wife) and Teddy (his self described best friend) are surprised to realize that Bob is terrified of pigeons. When they ask him to explain he flashes back to a childhood memory that looks and sounds all too familiar.

Let's alternate between Bob's false memories and the real fiction as it were. 


Cut to: Linda and Ted's frozen reaction faces.

Linda: That didn't happen to you. That happened to Tippi Hedren in "The Birds"

Teddy: Bob you're describing an exact scene from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds". They call it 'shot for shot'

[they show Bob the movie]

Bob: Ohmygod I'm Tippi Hedren.

Teddy: You wish.

For reasons that are too complicated to explain but make Belcherian sense, the B plot wraps up with Bob bathing with his new pigeon friend once he's worked through his fear.

This is how The Birds should have ended! 

Alas, The Birds did not end with Tippi in the bathtub. The birds themselves got the last word. Cooooo.

In fact, an internet search for "Tippi Hedren in the Bath" reveals no bathtub imagery at all but I did find her in the swimming pool with her pet lion Neil in the 1971. She keeps a greater distance now but she's been working it out with her animal friends for basically her whole career. 

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Reader Comments (4)

Immediately after this episode I texted my brother that I wanted an "You Think You're Tippi Hedren" shirt. Bob's Burgers is by far the best show on network television right now-just excellent every single week.

Also, I hadn't ever read about the terrifying practice Hedren had with owning her lion-wow, only in Hollywood.

April 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Bob's Burgers is one of the most consistently brilliant shows on TV (matched, probably, only by Veep.)

April 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

I echo everything you say about the characters. They are so multifaceted. Even every new ancillary character is treated with the same specificity that makes the core three children so hilarious. Brilliant show that never phones it in!

April 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris James

I loved Bob's Burgers when it started but it kinda fell off my radar shortly thereafter and I'm not sure why.

At any rate, I love that they took a running gag from Will & Grace (wherein Karen would describe a memory that wasn't hers but rather the plot of a usually famous movie) and did THIS with it. Brilliant.

April 6, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

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