Why We Love the Characters on “Bob’s Burgers”

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It’s not every day that you come across a new, hilarious animated series on television, so when a good show comes your way, you better not miss it. “Bob’s Burgers” is worthy of that slot by all accounts: the show is a story of the Belcher family and their daily adventures of owning a burger restaurant. Bob Belcher lives above his shop with his wife Linda, tween daughter Tina, son Gene, and another rather psychopath-ish daughter, Louise.

Bob faces a new problem in each episode, but his problems are not necessarily ones that can happen to anyone. In one episode, Bob’s sister-in-law comes to visit and paints portraits of animal anuses that are supposed to be displayed at the town’s art fair. However, the art fair deemed the paintings too inappropriate, and Bob had to display them in his restaurant. As you can see, these aren’t the problems of a typical restaurant owner, but the way Bob handles them is relatable to audiences.

Linda is quite odd, to say the least. She is perpetually excited for almost everything that happens, and she really doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. She might be bizarre, but her family, friends, and the viewers love her vivacious qualities. Linda and Bob do not spend their days making jibes at their kids (like you’d see on “Family Guy”). Comedy is not created by parents being mean to their kids, but by other idiosyncrasies between these two well-developed characters. It makes it really easy for the audience to love them.

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Gene is a hyperactive kid who runs around with a synthesizer, while Louise is a bit of a narcissist who constantly stirs up ways to be evil. Their awkward sister Tina is probably the most popular character on the show: she’s slated to be the butt of most jokes, but it’s the very reason that makes Tina the most powerful character on the show. Tina is reaching her teenage years and is constantly discovering her sexuality, which she makes known to all she interacts with in a really awkward fashion. It’s hilarious to watch because at her age, sex is an awkward topic to discuss, which gives way to a lot of comedy.

The show is not about each individual character, but about the family as a whole, since the character’s chemistry is phenomenal. The Belchers are a believable family who actually love each other, despite any of the problems they run into. Bob goes through the travails that any breadwinner would; one of the central themes is his difficulty providing for his family while living his dream, but he always makes it work. Bob is an admirable father who strives to provide for his family, which is clearly relatable to viewers. Familial love is also a theme that makes the show stand apart from the rest.

Bob’s Burgers is still in its infancy when compared with other shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons that belong to the same lineup. However, “Bob’s Burgers” has been able to attract and maintain its audiences, because the characters and storylines are easily relatable. The characters of the show are what the viewers have really connected to because they’re all oddballs.

In regard to an animated series, the creators have a free hand. They can make an episode as crazy as they want by introducing an alien ship, a huge robot, or even start a war (think “South Park”)! All of this adds to the comedy quotient of a show, but the Bob’s Burgers creators attempt to chill it out a bit and show restraint to make the show relatable. “Bob’s Burgers” is goofy, without a doubt, but the show’s relatable nature is what keeps viewers entertained every week. Check out Bob’s Burgers on FOX with a cable TV plan in your home.

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Why “Chopped” Is So Addicting

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Chopped has been on Food Network for almost 8 years now! Every episode showcases four chefs competing against each other in a cook-off. Each round is an elimination round, and the last chef standing gets to take home a grand prize of $10,000. There is nothing incredibly original about the show, but once you get around to watching it, there is a high chance you can’t stop at just one episode. The show has this addictive quality that keeps you coming back for more. So, what are the different elements that come so beautifully together that they create such an entertaining show?

The first and the most obvious factor that makes Chopped so interesting is the completely crazy set of baskets that are given to the contestants to cook from. Now, this basket can have any combination of ingredients, and most of these ingredients are not something that you will ever put together, but the chefs have to create a delicious, exciting dish regardless. How about creating a dessert from Margherita pizza and baby food, or using boxed mac and cheese and a beef tongue for an entrée? Yeah, these are the kind of combinations that the participating chefs have to use to put up a winner dish in front of some of the most respected people in the food industry. That’s a daunting task, to say the least.

Now, you may have seen the mystery box challenges in MasterChef or Top Chef. But Chopped has the mother of all “mystery box” challenges. Not only are the contestants given four ingredients that do not go well together, they are also supposed to use each and every one of them in the dish they finally present. Moreover, the participants have to go through three such rounds. In the first round, they have to create a starter using the ingredients from the first mystery box; for the second round, a main course; and for last round, a dessert. To make the task doable, the competing chefs are given access to the pantry as well as a completely stocked fridge where they can use any other ingredients they want.

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As the competition progresses, it becomes more and more intense, and the audience is captured by it.

‘What can possibly be created from these ingredients in one dish?’

‘I want to see what they can come up with this time.’

The beautiful dishes the chefs are able to churn out round after round makes you think outside of the box. The success of the show lies in the very fact that it makes its viewers think what they could have created from the four whacky ingredients.

Another factor that works in favor of the show is its compact format. The contestants are held to a strict tight time frame that makes them push even harder to excel in each round. So, in its entirety, Chopped is pretty much a high adrenaline fest that keeps you guessing and your fingers crossed.

The panel of judges also changes with each episode, though there are judges who return often. This makes sure that each time you are watching Chopped, you can expect a different kind of expertise, taste and critique. Some of them are kind to the contestants, while others are not that easy to impress. You get to see the likes of Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, Marcus Samuelson, Chris Santos, and other famous chefs judging the show. They have very different ideas of what they like and dislike in a dish, which offers a really well-rounded final result.

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The format of the show is different in the sense that the contestants, judges, and ingredients change with every single episode. The only thing that is constant on Chopped is the host Ted Allen. Though you may think that he is just there standing repeating his lines, he is really the glue that holds the show together. Without him, Chopped would not be one show, but a collection of completely unconnected episodes. His comments on the food, his conversation with the judges, and of course, his hosting with a touch of humor, is really what makes the show make sense to the audience.

The format that Chopped follows never gets old — it can go on forever and no one will feel that it has gotten old. There will always be weird ingredients, great chefs, and good judges. No one person is required for the show to be successful and that kind of makes it immortal. As an audience member, you get this rush of adrenaline in each episode, which urges viewers to watch it over and over again. Check out Food Network shows like Chopped with a Comcast cable TV subscription.

Is “American Horror Story” Losing Steam?

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Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy hit a milestone in American television with American Horror Story. The anthology horror series is now approaching its sixth season – the first premiered in 2011. The seasons are designed in such a way that each season narrates one complete story. The characters, places, and plots all change in the next season, and each season’s narrative is wrapped up in its season finale. However, one thing is constant: the plots are always creepy and disturbing. Though the stories portrayed in the show are fictional, they are spine-chilling all the same.

The first two seasons of the show are, by far, considered the best; they created the name positive reputation enjoys even today. Apart from a huge fan base, the series has also received an immense amount of critical acclaim — the cast, especially, has been highly appreciated for the splendid performances they deliver. Jessica Lange is arguably the most popular cast member of the American Horror Story, and has won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild award, and two Emmy Awards for her different roles in the series. Kathy Bates and Lady Gaga also have some awards to flash for their respective roles on the show.

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The first season of the series became the biggest new cable series when it first premiered. Since then, the show has raked in consistently high ratings for the FX Network. However, most of the fans of the show feel that the quality of the show has decreased in the past few seasons. Generally, this is a slippery slope: once a show loses its appeal, everything goes downhill from there. However, the sixth season (rumored to be a play on Stephen King’s “The Mist”) is slated to premiere on September 14.

Jessica Lange leaving has probably been the biggest blow to American Horror Story so far. Though the stories, characters, and actors in the series change every season, there are a handful of performers who act in multiple seasons as different characters. Lange has been sensational in all her roles: whether it was the lunatic nun of Asylum, a witch in Coven, or Elsa Mars, the ringmaster in Freak Show, she has performed brilliantly. Her departure came as a big shock to the fans, because many watched the show just because of her performances. Unofficially, she is the face of the series. However, Lange quit the show before its fifth season, which made the show feel different from that point on. A lot of audience members lost the connection they had with the show, and Lange’s departure is a big reason behind the show losing out on its popularity.

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Lange quit the show because she needed some time off and some rest from the frequency with which the show was produced. Since the show is in production each year, you can imagine the dizzying schedules and deadlines around which these show creators are working. It must be difficult to work in such narrow timeframes, develop a good story, and fit into the actors’ schedules. It feels like Falchuk and Murphy need a break so that they can come up with some original ideas and have ample time to develop them before they jump into production.

American Horror Story’s incredible initial success meant that it attracted a large number of fans. Now, when a show like this becomes insanely popular, every channel wants to cash in on it. Television success can mean the channel (FX in this case) asks for more quantity, which usually kills creativity and affects the overall quality of the show. The channels see the show as a cash cow, which should be milked to the fullest. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it also means that the quality of content is no longer a top priority. Season 6 of American Horror story airs September 16 at 10 p.m. on FX. Keep up with AHS when you have a TV package from XFINITY.

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“Jason Bourne” and A Hollywood Formula That Never Fails

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The Bourne Trilogy (that everyone presumed to have ended with The Bourne Ultimatum) was a rare occurrence in Hollywood –the film’s take on the secret world of spies, espionage, and sanctioned executions by governments was quite unlike anything anybody had ever seen on the big screen. It was, for all practical purposes, James Bond… that is, if James Bond was actually a fighting machine who knew how to use everything from pens to magazines as weapons. At that, Bourne movies were what Bond movies would be if there was actually some action. And they worked like a charm.

Then came the spinoff, The Bourne Legacy, with Jeremy Renner, which was a huge disappointment; it was Hollywood’s attempt to milk a cow even after the cow was dead. Now, “Jason Bourne” could have easily been Hollywood’s attempt to revive a dead cow in the hopes of milking it. But thankfully, director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon did not let that happen with “Jason Bourne.”

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We have come to expect some things from every Bourne movie – a continent-hopping plot, one or two brilliant car chases, and numerous close combats and fist fights between Bourne and random assassins. Apparently, even Hollywood believes that this is the formula for success of Bourne. After all, all the original Bourne movies amassed huge money across the globe, didn’t they? “Jason Bourne” also features the same set of ingredients, to make things work like they have always done. We get all those shaky camera action with Jason pulling off insane stunts, and more. That being said, it doesn’t offer anything new.

In the beginning of the movie, Bourne is a fighter for hire who fights for money in the Middle East. He is tracked there by his old CIA colleague and rogue agent, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles). This begins Bourne’s journey of continent-hopping: he meets Nicky in Greece, and this puts him back on the radar of the CIA. Some of the top bosses in the CIA are still wary of Bourne because of the earth-shattering secrets that he holds about the organization’s operations across the world. Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) is one of them, and he tries to get rid of Bourne once and for all. He is helped by his security analyst Heather (Alicia Vikander). An assassin (Vincent Cassel) is set on Bourne’s trail to kill him.

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If the entire plot feels all too familiar, it’s because it is; it is the same thing we have seen in each movie in the trilogy. You will still love the action scenes, Bourne maneuvering through the surveillance net of CIA everywhere he goes, and how he always manages to stay one step ahead of everyone. The fights are all spectacular, and you will be convinced that the magic of Bourne continues to live on.

One area where “Jason Bourne” suffers a major hiccup is in the tech department. Since the beginning of the franchise, the Bourne movies have always showcased tech that was either futuristic or quite impossible to achieve with the current technology. However, to the dismay of many viewers, the tech execution in the latest installment is disappointing.

For the first time in the history of Bourne, the holes in the movie’s tech can be noticed by an average audience member. But, we can forgive that. After all, Bourne is no sci-fi movie.

If you are seeking thrill, then the film does not disappoint. If you wish to experience again the magic that comes with Damon’s Bourne movies, then “Jason Bourne” delivers! To watch the Bourne movies when they air, subscribe to a TV package from Comcast!

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