Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It's Tina's time to sink or swim on a beachy Bob's Burgers

Illustration for article titled It's Tina's time to sink or swim on a beachy Bob's Burgers
Image: Fox

Tina Belcher’s confidence level is something to behold. She embraces her sexuality and celebrates the weird feelings toward the opposite sex that puberty brings. Even when she knows she’s objectively bad at something, she refuses to give up and ultimately becomes a better person for it. It’s her obsession over cute boys and her unearned conviction as a swimmer that carry the exceptionally entertaining and inspiring “Boywatch.”

After seeing a bunch of teens rolling around in the sand, Tina is inspired to join the junior lifeguard squad if only to be able touch cute boys and be around swimsuit butts all day, despite the fact that she doesn’t know how to swim at all. It’s a rare occasion this season where Tina is left to her own devices without any familiar friends or adult figures around. It’s interesting to see that when doubt is put into her mind by those close to her, she sometimes lets it get to her head. But when complete strangers who she is trying to win over tell her outright to her face that she is doing a bad job and affecting the safety of others, she doesn’t let it bring her down.

Back in the restaurant, customers discover the Belcher’s wifi and suddenly business is booming. Moments like this really highlight how behind-the-times Bob’s Burgers is as a restaurant, which is an accurate reflection of many small businesses in the country. They’re not focused on technology or even keeping up with the times, they’re just trying to keep their family afloat and maintain their morals. So of course in this episode, the Internet ends up being villainized. First, Linda sees the way it affects the way customers interact with her and each other, then Sgt. Bosco goes undercover (in shorts!) and finds out that a computer hacker is among Bob’s wifi-using customers. It’s a amazing that it took eight seasons for the restaurant to enter the 21st century, and it seems like it needed to be done, but Gene and Louise are woefully under-used in discovering the cyber-culprit.

Tina, however, is instrumental in saving the day on the beach. For a minute it looks like it will be another unwarranted life-or-death situation when Tina tries to prove herself in the rough waters. But of course, Tina’s own observational skills and never-give-up attitude, not any actual lifeguard training at all, are used to spot and solve a potential disaster. By being herself, Tina gets the ultimate reward: affirmation from cute boys and a quick roll in the sand.

Stray Observations:

  • Burgers of the day: “Portobello the Belt” (I think?) Burger, “Walk this Waioli” Burger, “Quantum of Salsa” Burger, “The Gouda Wife” Burger
  • “That’s a lot of contact ... so much contact.” -Tina
  • Lifeguard requirements: gotta love but also respect the beach, be into discipline, be a strong open ocean swimmer
  • Things about Tina: goes to school, lives at home, pretty single
  • “Some old guy made a Swiss roll that made me feel something FOR ONCE.” -Gene
  • “I don’t want to live in a world where people don’t look up at me when I say hilarious stuff.” -Linda
  • “It’s the bare minimum, but you did it.” –lifeguard leader
  • “I’m sorry, I know how much fun you were having being around boys.” -Bob

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Loves David Bowie and flamingos more than everything else.