REASON TO WATCH: Fox's umpteenth attempt to launch a compatible half-hour behind "The Simpsons."
WHEN/WHERE: Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on Fox/5
Put-upon everyguy Bob runs the title eatery, next door to a funeral home/crematorium in a Northeast seaside town boasting an attraction called Wonder Wharf. He's a balding, deadpan dude, with a wife whining about how he doesn't remember their anniversary, an older daughter complaining her crotch feels "itchy," a son running around blasting a fart-sound machine and a younger girl who, when she tells the health inspector her parents are downstairs grinding the meat, feels compelled to add, "That's not a euphemism."
Turns out she also has boasted at show-and-tell that her dad's place gets its meat from the crematorium.
MY SAY Doesn't it sometimes seem the same three people are behind all of prime time's animated wannabes? As this show's runners, Loren Bouchard comes from "Home Movies," and Jim Dauterive comes from "King of the Hill." But Fox clearly wants something more "Simpsons"-y. So "Bob's Burgers" tamps down the heart that made "King" so relatable and the character study/pop-culture blend that fueled "Movies."
The result is a limp amalgam of "Simpsons" familycom and "Family Guy" scattershot snark. The characters are drawn as unappealing sad sacks, the pilot plot is stale and the voice actors just sound dreary.
Some of the jokes do hit their targets. But whenever the show threatens to find some footing, gags about excess saliva or cannibals pop in straight from the cheap-laugh bin.
BOTTOM LINE "Bob's Burgers" might be meatier if it gave us some reason to watch these characters. The title isn't the only thing that feels generic.