Why Tina of Bob's Burgers Can't Be Ignored

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Why Tina of Bob's Burgers Can't Be Ignored

The eldest Belcher child is a unique character in the world of modern television. And this is a very good thing.

Read Full Article

Unfortunately, I think Bob might be reading too much into the character. From Bob's own description of tropes, she's often depicted as a 'beast' and IS played as plain and for gross-out comedy (although having Gene & Louise as siblings means they take the brunt of it). Tina is given a monotonous voice, played as incompetent (like the rest of the family, but her driving & acting are especially bad) and aside from her 3 big eccentricities of horses, boys & butts, she's boring and takes a backseat most episodes. Her fan-fiction & fandom of a boy band are played for laughs, I'm not sure how that would make a teenage girl more comfortable behaving the same. I'm sorry, but she's just not a new and/or interesting as a character...

I loved this article. All the children in the Blecher family are my favorites, and so Tina is my favorite. And yes, she is incredibly new and a wonderful breath of fresh air. The article was really cool too Bob, thanks.

Is it weird that one of the first things I thought of when Bob was describing Tina was Meg of Family Guy? Maybe I don't remember her as well, maybe Bob's Burgers is a little more grounded and capable of delivering more relateable characters, but nothing about Tina sounds very peculiar.

One of the earliest similar examples I can think of is Helga from the show Hey Arnold!. At first glance she seems to fall into The Beast stereotype Bob describes and shares a lot of the same traits, but even as a little boy watching the show I could sympathize with the depiction of juvenile unrequited love. Her strange affection for Arnold was played for laughs in the way she built shrines and spoke soliloquies about "true love" but I never felt like she was being dehumanized for it and her behavior mirrored that of other young boy characters in other shows who had their own crushes (Timmy Turners love for Trixie Tang in Fairly Odd Parents springs to mind).

Ultimately, I don't think we "needed" Tina. It's fine she's here and of course she's welcome to stay but the character doesn't seem that unique or challenging of the norm.

Interesting, I noticed that about the character with the few episodes I've seen. Not a regular watcher because I honestly don't "get" the humor, but it's a decent original show. While most TV shows don't seem to feature good female characters experiencing puberty in original or relate-able ways, some films can definitely surprise.

One of my favorite horror movies, Ginger snaps, I think has an interesting exploration. The two leads are sisters who pride themselves in being "different", and are thoroughly disgusted by the idea of puberty. When Ginger begins her "time", her and her sister are unfortunately attacked by a werewollf resulting in Ginger being infected. What follows is a werewolf transformation process metaphor for a cautionary of sexual awakening that, at least to me, seems to suggest that repressing puberty is impossible and not horrifying unless you don't learn to control your urges.

Quick aside, any self respecting horror fan needs to see this movie. Seriously, it has just practical effects, body-horror, and balances its' dark comedy with the atmospheric and horrifying elements very well.

Almost the entire show could be ignored, Bob, Linda and Louise are rather entertaining but Gene is retarded in an annoying way and Tina is just boring (and manages at times to be more retarded then Gene).

The show manages to entertain some times but it never picks up to be anything all that worth while and whenever Gene or Tina are the focus of the episode you might as well just watch paint dry as it will make more sense and a better experience

An interesting, thoughtful and well-spoken examination of this weird and unusual character. A good read, Mr. Chipman. I look forward to more articles in this series.

--Morology!

Some very interesting perspectives on her character. I have only watched 2-3 episodes of Bob's Burgers but instantly wondered what was up with her character. Basically one of the first things she says is that she has a rash... *awkward pause*
anyways, I'll definitely keep Bob's analysis in mind when watching more episodes. I think it might increase the appreciation of the things she does, says or thinks that might otherwise feel strange.

It's funny you mention that if Tina were male, she'd be a considered a horndog, Bob. In the pilot episode of Bob's Burgers, Tina's character was actually male, but I think the creators changed it because it either didn't test well, the studio gave input, or they thought it'd work better this way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAgYbiWh5rY

Either way, I'm happy with the show as well.

I absolutely adore this show. The first season might be a bit spotty, but it just picks up steam verrry quickly from there.

Great read!

I always think of the blond girl from the movie "Dodgeball" when I think of the expectation for women in movies.

In a cast of misfits and losers the only girl teammate is athletic, good-looking, smart, and kind.

In the end, all of the losers transform themselves into great men and the girl is revealed to be....bisexual.

I loved the movie, just thought it was an easy example. Even if the movie was meant to be that kind of satire.

Do people actually watch this show? I mean does it actually have any sort of ratings success? Because I tried to watch it once but it was too painfully shite for me to get more than maybe twelve minutes into an episode.

Seriously the animation, the voice acting, the writing... all were just terrible and unfunny.

Wait, now Bawb is validating my opinions?

I don't think Tina can be my favourite character of my favourite ongoing television show anymore.

Captcha: "Describe this product: Colgate-Palmolive"
Me: "poop"

Tee hee, it worked, tee hee.

Dimitriov:
Do people actually watch this show? I mean does it actually have any sort of ratings success? Because I tried to watch it once but it was too painfully shite for me to get more than maybe twelve minutes into an episode.

Seriously the animation, the voice acting, the writing... all were just terrible and unfunny.

It's been renewed for a forth season. I can't wait. :D

People tell me this is a good show. It's just too damn ugly and Archer's voice throw's me off. Simpson's is ugly and it's fine for me. I just can't get past the animation in this show.

I love Bob's Burgers. Great show.

Dimitriov:
Do people actually watch this show? I mean does it actually have any sort of ratings success? Because I tried to watch it once but it was too painfully shite for me to get more than maybe twelve minutes into an episode.

Seriously the animation, the voice acting, the writing... all were just terrible and unfunny.

Interesting, I'd say exactly the same thing about South Park.
I have no idea why people watch that.

deathmothon:
People tell me this is a good show. It's just too damn ugly and Archer's voice throw's me off. Simpson's is ugly and it's fine for me. I just can't get past the animation in this show.

Archer? Pfft. H. Jon Benjamin will always be Coach Mcguirk first and foremost.

bluepotatosack:
Archer? Pfft. H. Jon Benjamin will always be Coach Mcguirk first and foremost.

Yeah no, he is and always shall be Ben Katz.

Did anybody else get the feeling that in True Detective the fact that Audrey was engaging in a threesome said less about her and more about the way in which Hart viewed girls who have threesomes? Audrey is repeatedly told by her parents that something must be worng with her, or with the situation she's put herself in, but in the end there... isn't. She's just a girl who appears to have started thinking about sex early on, and that freaked the hell out of her parents.

I always did think Tina was a surprisingly interesting character, but the fact that there's a teen girl at all is surprising. In spite of being long out of my teens, and male, I found myself identifying with her more than most characters in most animations, just from what I remember of my own teens.
So in my opinion, pretty well written if she can do that. Also, her voice actor is brilliant, like an animated Leslie Nielsen.

House_Vet:
Did anybody else get the feeling that in True Detective the fact that Audrey was engaging in a threesome said less about her and more about the way in which Hart viewed girls who have threesomes? Audrey is repeatedly told by her parents that something must be worng with her, or with the situation she's put herself in, but in the end there... isn't. She's just a girl who appears to have started thinking about sex early on, and that freaked the hell out of her parents.

It definitely was a commentary on Hart's hypocritical patriarchal views. As long as he has power over a woman's sexuality (having sex with Beth and Percy Jackson's girlfriend behind his wife's back) everything is alright in the spirit of male sexual conquest. But once that power is gone (Percy Jackson's girlfriend getting into an actual relationship, his daughter's deviancy and the whole idea of prostitution), he flips out under the guise of a conservative outlook.

I've watched the pilot that served as the show's pitch, and Tina's character was originally written as a boy. Presumably, he was going to play into all of those awkward teen male sexcapades that served all of the tropes Bob mentioned. I think it plays much, much better having Tina instead of her male counterpart. Bob's Burgers might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I find it to be quite humorous.

Can't say I've ever heard of it. From Bob's description it doesn't sound like I'm missing much. Yet another Simpsons clone and, as others have already mentioned, Tina really doesn't sound particularly different from many other characters in other shows. Hell, even Lisa Simpson already covered a lot of the points he brings up. She may technically only be six, but that never stopped the writers covering things like teenage crushes, first kisses, and so on if they happened to feel like it.

We love Bob's Burgers, and Tina is my favorite character. She *is* awkward and odd, but as you pointed out, there's no effort to "fix" her. She's fine just the way she is.

She isn't as original as you'd think she is. MTV did the same thing in the 90's, this would be Daria.
Only was Daria more interesting and had a better personality. Mtv did it first, and did it better.

Bbleds:
Interesting, I noticed that about the character with the few episodes I've seen. Not a regular watcher because I honestly don't "get" the humor, but it's a decent original show. While most TV shows don't seem to feature good female characters experiencing puberty in original or relate-able ways, some films can definitely surprise.

One of my favorite horror movies, Ginger snaps, I think has an interesting exploration. The two leads are sisters who pride themselves in being "different", and are thoroughly disgusted by the idea of puberty. When Ginger begins her "time", her and her sister are unfortunately attacked by a werewollf resulting in Ginger being infected. What follows is a werewolf transformation process metaphor for a cautionary of sexual awakening that, at least to me, seems to suggest that repressing puberty is impossible and not horrifying unless you don't learn to control your urges.

Quick aside, any self respecting horror fan needs to see this movie. Seriously, it has just practical effects, body-horror, and balances its' dark comedy with the atmospheric and horrifying elements very well.

Ginger Snaps is good stuff. Very entertaining, charged with the energy of adolescent anxiety to an extent very few films can match.

Also you might want to check out Marebito. Then move on to other exceptional Jap and Korean horror (avoid the ring, go deeper, stranger).

bunnielovekins:
I always did think Tina was a surprisingly interesting character, but the fact that there's a teen girl at all is surprising. In spite of being long out of my teens, and male, I found myself identifying with her more than most characters in most animations, just from what I remember of my own teens.
So in my opinion, pretty well written if she can do that. Also, her voice actor is brilliant, like an animated Leslie Nielsen.

Crawling into vents to spy on the boy's locker room?

"Snake, what are you doing?"

Dimitriov:
Do people actually watch this show? I mean does it actually have any sort of ratings success? Because I tried to watch it once but it was too painfully shite for me to get more than maybe twelve minutes into an episode.

Seriously the animation, the voice acting, the writing... all were just terrible and unfunny.

It does have an especially hideous appearance and animation decades old. Trying to jump from the cleanest most vibrant stuff out of Japan to this is like a time warp, speaking on animation and design complexity.

Elf Defiler Korgan:

Dimitriov:
Do people actually watch this show? I mean does it actually have any sort of ratings success? Because I tried to watch it once but it was too painfully shite for me to get more than maybe twelve minutes into an episode.

Seriously the animation, the voice acting, the writing... all were just terrible and unfunny.

It does have an especially hideous appearance and animation decades old. Trying to jump from the cleanest most vibrant stuff out of Japan to this is like a time warp, speaking on animation and design complexity.

I think it has its place, I don't personally watch it as I found it uninteresting, but just because you have incredibly beautiful animation doesn't mean it can't coexist with more crude animation as well

So she's a female character that is written to be going through puberty like a male character would, and that's brilliant or honest?

And this is supposed to be progressive in some way? Yea, sure, if you say so.

Elf Defiler Korgan:

Crawling into vents to spy on the boy's locker room?

"Snake, what are you doing?"

Swap the genders and you've got my adolescent fantasies right there.

Wait, isn't Meg written as Family Guy's garbage dump because the show's writers don't know how to write female teen characters?

ccdohl:
So she's a female character that is written to be going through puberty like a male character would, and that's brilliant or honest?

And this is supposed to be progressive in some way? Yea, sure, if you say so.

Yeah I don't get Bob's Burgers period but Tina is a particular brand of uninteresting because the entire output of Disney and Nick have plenty of outgoing teen girls dealing with adolescence. The only difference I can tell is this is puberty in the sense its very physical and gross but even there it seems the focus is "look at ugly girl try to be sexy" which Meg Griffin, by inverting the princess obsession at the time of conception, beat her to.

Also there is a real sense of go nowhere and I don't get her or the other kids characters. Even the who "creativity" deal.

And did we all forget Daria too?

Bob seems to be reading too much into Tina. Of course she's an oddball and her awkwardness is played for laughs. It's one thing to write "Erotic Friend-Fiction" starring your classmates and teachers, but it's another to read it aloud in the cafeteria during lunch, where everyone is rightly grossed out. At first, I thought this article would say she had Asperger's Syndrome or something. That's why, among the Belcher kids, I find Gene and Louise way funnier.

Dimitriov:
Do people actually watch this show?

It's easily the best animated comedy of the last decade. Perhaps you don't understand the humour? There are so many subtle jokes.

Unlike Family Guy or South Park, it doesn't point out all the jokes and beat you over the head with them. It has a lot of originality, and a real chemistry in the cast.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here