This one will be brief. In this confusing time after television-Christmas but before real-Christmas, both The Simpsons and Family Guy are going to be gone until 2015, so there’s only two new shows to report on tonight: Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Bob’s Burgers.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – “Stakeout” (NEW)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine offered up a fun installment this week that examined the friendship between Peralta and Boyle. After the Captain assigns the force to go on a stakeout for eight days to watch over suspicious activity, the two insist they can do it together for all eight days, despite the Captain’s advice that no two people should be cooped together for that long. The two begin their stakeout well, but slowly their “No-No Lists” of things they wish the other not to do in their company grows longer and longer until the two can’t stand each other anymore. Meanwhile, Santiago and Gina start worrying about how others perceive them when they find a cartoon the Sargent made that depicts each of them as a pushover and bitch respectively. But what was most fun tonight was the Captain’s response to Diaz and his nephew beginning a relationship. You’d think it was his own son, but the Captain simply cannot process any crossover between his work life and personal life, nor can Diaz, and the two agree never to talk about anything ever again, but do so on good terms. This week’s plots were all about relationships, and it was good to see Peralta and Boyle get tested in their otherwise perfect friendship. It was also good to see Gina and Santiago both accept and attempt to improve their images by addressing some of their flaws that lead others to see them the way they do. I was glad to see the show attempt to mix up the usual pairings for plots this week, as traditionally the Captain and Diaz do not get a plot together. I hope to see this arc continue into the future.
Bob’s Burgers – “Tina, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (NEW)
As much as I like Tina, I actually don’t like episodes that focus on her as the main character. Tonight, after retiring from the Thundergirls (Girl Scouts), Tina is recruited back to go undercover and find a mole that has been sabotaging her troop to aid a rival troop. Louise tries getting in on the action, but she and Tina quickly find each other at odds when they have different approaches to espionage. Meanwhile, Linda goes blonde. This was indeed a good, and funny episode, but as I said in the beginning, I just don’t enjoy Tina-centered episodes as much as others. The last few Tina-focused episodes I remember are “Tina and the Real Ghost” earlier this season and “The Equestranauts” from late last season, both of which were good episodes, but not as outstanding as this show often can be. It seems the writers must have picked up on the popularity of Tina, as she has been the show’s break-out star, and as a result, dedicated episodes to her, but I just don’t find her to be a good fit for main protagonist. Tina’s humor comes from the brilliant one-liners she passively says in response to other characters, such as her unprovoked declaration that her crotch is itchy in the pilot when Bob asks how the kids are doing. That’s what makes Tina so funny. But when she is in the starring role, its harder for her to have an opportunity to respond to others like that. Its easy for her to outshine the others when she’s not the focus, but when she is the star, its harder for her to shine as bright as she can.