What makes animated comedies greater than live-action comedies in some way is their ability to have so many character combinations that the possibilities of the show are almost limitless. That’s why a successful live-action show can start to feel stale around at five seasons, while South Park can go on for close to two decades and still feel fresh. But one thing they both have in common is putting characters who usually don’t go together in a new situation and seeing what happens. That’s how you get Bart and Nelson on a road trip to Knoxville or Cartman pretending to be a robot to mess with Butters.
That clashing of characters is what makes “Mother Daughter Laser Razor” another great episode in this fantastic third season of Bob’s Burgers. Bob is put together with Tina, while Louise is paired up with Linda. Self-conscious of her newly discovered leg hair after hearing two of her classmates make fun of a girl with atrocious leg hair, Tina is adamant about getting rid of hers. But Linda is too busy fighting with Louise to help her shave or wax it, so it’s up to Bob to take care of the situation. Linda takes Louise to Modo Time, a mother-daughter seminar. Meanwhile, Gene is left to follow around Bob and Tina to scream about how Bob needs to get his scrotum waxed.
“Mother Daughter Laser Razor” does two things that Bob’s Burgers is better at doing than almost any other comedy on TV today: It’s able to show the parents’ love for the children while not suffocating the show, and it takes an already hilarious joke and punches it up with a moment that makes it brilliant. With the former, Tina is scared that she has burned her hairy leg friends away in a great vision where she imagines herself as Sarah Connor watching all her leg hairs scream in agony. But Bob simply sits down with her and tells her that it is OK if she succumbs to peer pressure. It’s a sweet moment that shows that Bob truly does love his kids and doesn’t just see them as rambunctious distractions in running his restaurant. But the moment is quickly undercut by a great joke about Bob’s shoes. The sweet moment was made, but it doesn’t linger long enough to be bothersome.
The episode also has a great moment showing Louise in pain over being forced to watch Freaky Friday at the same time Tina and Bob are getting waxed. It’s funny enough to have the two scenes quickly cut together to see them both screaming at their pain. But at just the right moment, you see Gene run by, arms flailing and screaming for no reason other than because he wants in on the action. It’s the kind of moment that Bob’s Burgers excels at, and always does these kind of comedy punch-ups right.
“Mother Daughter Laser Razor” is just phenomenal in how it blends its two main stories, having both parents reinforce how they care for their kids, while not making it too overwhelming. Bob’s Burgers is setting the bar for itself for 2013 pretty high, but the show has proven that just when you think it can’t get better, it most certainly will.