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Bob's Burgers - All That Gene - Review: Lights, Cameras, Beans!



Gene has always been theatrical and this episode runs with that idea. It opens in the Belcher's kitchen, with Gene getting ready to perform the latest incarnation of The Gene Show, which Linda very much supports and the rest of the family tolerates. Hint: this is called foreshadowing.

We then cut over to Teddy in the restaurant, who turns down fries. Seems weird, until he admits that he's been seeing more of Kathleen, the Irish lady introduced last season who he took a shine to. It seems the shine hasn't worn off and he's been hanging out with her at the local theater company where she does the books and he volunteers. He marvels that local theater doesn't have much money and Louise, with superb timing, turns to Bob and asks in a Dickensian orphan voice, "Papa, do we work in a theater company?" which is then punctuated by a forced high five. This was probably the highlight of an overly enjoyable episode.

When Teddy mentions that one of the child actors scored a commercial and had to drop out of the theater's latest play Linda seizes on the opportunity for Gene to expand his talents outside of his self-titled one man show. Off they go for Gene to audition for the part of Quiet Eli in "A Potluck in the Grass" by Alabama O'Callahan. I'm not a theater person, but I'm going to say that this is a made up play for the show.

The audition does not go well since the entire process of theater, with lines and stage directions and structure, goes against Gene's freewheeling nature. He can't seem to deliver the line "Gosh mister, those beans smell delicious" without some sort of ad lib. Plus his semi-nudity wasn't in the script. When Donovan, the director, calls Gene "a bit much" it's actually a kind assessment.


Gene is as crushed as when Louise told him that the California Raisins died in a plane crash when he doesn't get the part, and Linda can't have that. She talks to Donovan in private and they agree to a deal: if Gene gets the part then Linda will sell all the unsold tickets. As I've learned recently this is called a quid pro quo and is generally frowned upon. But Linda has become both a stage hand and a stage mom and she's super excited about both jobs.

What she is less excited about is selling 50-something tickets (her math isn't very good). It turns out the local theater company is not the hottest ticket in town. She ends up asking Bob for help, who then strikes an unholy deal with Louise and Tina: sell all the tickets and they can poke his love handles, which they've discovered is a fun pass time. After unsuccessfully accosting a customer at the restaurant, they wonder who has the free time to sit around and watch theater. They have an epiphany and end up selling all the tickets to the residents at the local old folks home. As someone who goes to regional theater and whose presence brings down the average audience age by thirty years, this checks out.

We meet some of the other actors in the play, one of who is a familiar face: Mr. Ambrose from school. He's a bit of a gossip and clues Gene and Linda in on all the intra-company canoodling going on. Mr. Ambrose also overhears Linda and Donovan talking about their deal and ends up spilling the beans (do they smell delicious?) to Gene. Who in turn gets really mad at Linda.

Gene's cold shoulder to her has Linda questioning her parenting style, but Bob tells her that all she can do is try her best. They take solace in words from The Rock, who Linda finds handsome and Bob agrees has a great body. This is a nice little reminder that Bob is probably at least a little bi. There have been clues dropped throughout the ten year life of the series that Bob also finds men attractive and I love that it's continued for so long.

When Linda calls Donovan to tell him that Gene is dropping out of the play because he found out she got the part for him Donovan has his own bad news: all the other actors have the flu and since the show is sold out, he's going to try and stage it by himself. Linda takes the family to the theater to see how they can help, but Gene is acting weirdly flat and serious as he offers to play Quiet Eli again, freaking Donovan out. Linda takes Gene aside and tells him that she just wants Gene to be himself and not change for other people. Gene snaps back to normal and is ready to be the loudest Quiet Eli the world has ever seen.

Donovan starts off the play acting out all the roles, but it's clear that the audience is not digging it. Linda sees an opportunity and encourages Gene to get out on that stage and make some magic. He ends up doing some bits from The Gene Show, and the episode ends with Gene breaking a table as he's doing the caterpillar on top of it. It's a hit. Gene's a hit.

Odds and ends:

Favorite quote: "Firm but fair, unlike your body." Don't be body shaming your dad, Louise.

Favorite blink and you'll miss it moment: When Donovan mentions that everyone has the flu because of how intimate actors can be with each other Tina suddenly becomes interested in the theater.

Too much information?: Tina identified Teddy's new cologne by smell. If a teen boy sprays it Tina can ID it.


Did serious Gene freak anyone else out? Thoughts and comments can go below!


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