I love Bob’s Burgers. It’s a hilarious animated show on Fox centered around Bob, the owner of a hamburger shop, his bootie shaking wife Linda and their three wonderfully weird kids. It’s also probably the most sex-positive show on t.v. The oldest daughter Tina is a prolific writer of erotic fan fiction (usually themed about grabbing boys butts) and in the episode “It Snakes a Village”, on a visit to Linda’s parents in Florida, they discover that the retirement community is in fact a swinging kinky senior sex condo. They are in danger of being kicked out for not attending parties (if you don’t play, you don’t stay) and ends with Bob encouraging his father in-law to pursue his long-neglected balloon popping fetish and go party.
The nice thing about this episode of Bob’s Burgers was just how… sweet it was. Kink as a punchline is nothing new. BDSM has been used as a joke in movies and t.v. for a long-time now. It’s an easy gag to put the quiet, shy mousey girl into a dominatrix outfit or show the A-type aggressive macho guy getting spanked on his knees. But mockery makes for lazy jokes and there’s often a very fine line between funny and insulting.
However, animation has a way of dampening the edges around taboo subject matter allowing characters to say and do things that coming out of a live actor would be inexcusably offensive or too extreme.
Since BDSM has been creeping more and more out of the dungeon, it’s been all over network primetime, two dimensionally at least. Even Marge and Homer tried to get a little frisky. Well, they tried and (of course) decided in the long run that they didn’t need any fancy schmancy “snuggle swings” to show how much they love each other.
Maybe because it’s a cartoon doing the heavy lifting it’s easier to have more fun with kink instead of making fun of kink and big props to Bob’s Burgers for going for a more obscure fetish like balloon popping. Plus, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Mr. Slave.