Bob’s Burgers has always had a great fondness for the unusual. One of the main lessons that the show constantly comes back to without ever coming right out and stating is the idea that we are all a bit weird, and that’s completely OK. In the Bob’s Burgers universe, Gene can become best friends with a talking outside toilet, and his family and friends will support him in that—or Louise can wear rabbit ears for far too long into her adolescence, yet no one tries to talk her out of it. There’s a welcoming nature to Bob’s Burgers.
Now, any show can show us people with weird quirks and let us laugh at them—just check out any reality TV show ever—but Bob’s Burgers shows that it is our eccentricities that make us normal. Being odd is normal. In “It Snakes A Village,” Bob’s Burgers has the Belcher family addressing once again (yet still effectively) that being strange is the norm.
For the first time, we meet Linda’s parents, who live in a senior living center in Florida. Linda’s parents are much quieter and calmer than Linda, so much so that they have no interest in going to the parties thrown by the center. However, because of their lack of involvement, they could possibly be thrown out of their home and are threatening to move to New Jersey with the Belchers. This is the last thing Bob wants, so he has to figure out how to get Linda’s parents to be more active. It just turns out that the parties they aren’t going to are swinger parties. Not like dancers. Or golfers.
Meanwhile the kids, disappointed with the lack of a full swimming pool, meet a leopard-print pant-wearing woman named Helen who believes that a python has eaten her dog. With the promise of $100 if they find proof of what happened to Helen’s dog, Tina and Louise go in the woods to find the dog, leaving the scared-of-snakes Gene behind.
While Bob is definitely influenced by not wanting Linda’s parents to move in with him, his heart is in the right place when he tries to find out why Linda’s dad doesn’t want to engage in the neighborhood parties. It’s actually a sweet moment when Bob sits down with Linda’s dad and finds out that he likes it when girls sit and pop balloons. Bob doesn’t judge him, but is trying to make him feel normal about liking what he likes.
The kids’ story is much more typical sitcom fare, with Tina and Louise being put in danger, making Gene face his fears as he goes to save his sisters. It’s a bit more generic than what you’d expect from Bob’s Burgers, but the attitudes of Louise, Tina and Gene make everything better, as usual.
“It Snakes A Village” isn’t one of the more hilarious or well-told episodes of Bob’s Burgers, but it does do a great job of reiterating points that it has made in the past, without it feeling too heavy-handed or tired.