Our sixth Screen Scholars March Madness pits two sharply written family comedies which deftly mix often darker themes with an endearing sweetness.
It’s been a steady rise through six seasons, but Bob’s Burgers can easily lay a claim as the best animated program on television, and certainly both the smartest and most likable. Every member of the Belcher family could conceivably be labeled the best character on television, but eldest daughter Tina actually did win an EW poll two years ago. Tina’s deadpan nature is hypnotic, but so is Eugene’s bubbly curiosity, and Louise’s brash passion, mother Linda’s childlike distractibility and propensity to break into song, and Bob’s, well, Bob-bishness. And beyond those five, Bob’s Burgers has erected a vast universe of characters and landmarks to rival The Simpsons or Parks and Recreation — from politely dying schoolmate Regular-Sized Rudy to brutishly loyal burger-eater Teddy.
Blackish also quietly built a following with the affable African-American Johnson family surviving in an affluent L.A. suburb, led by amiable, if flawed (i mean it is ultimately a sitcom) patriarch Dre (Anthony Anderson). While it built an audience in its first season with its agile dialogue, original plots, and sweet, sweet opening sequences. However, in the second season, the show began taking on more edgy topics, including the best take on the Ferguson incident and police brutality.
So, think hard, and make your best guess between two of the smartest programs on television.
Blackish airs tonight and every Wednesday at 8p on ABC. You’ll be more likely to find Bob’s Burgers now that football season has ended, and it will return on Sunday nights on FOX on April 3rd. Click on the titles and watch episodes online.