Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Case Study No. 0933: Mr. Ambrose

Fanatical from "Topsy" | BOB'S BURGERS | ANIMATION on FOX
The kids have a strange encounter while researching Thomas Edison for their project.

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BOB'S BURGERS returns for a well-done third season. The series follows the ups and downs of BOB (H. Jon Benjamin), who runs his burger joint with the help of his wife and their three kids. Bob has big ideas about burgers, but his family falls short on service and sophistication. Despite the greasy counters, lousy location and dearth of customers, Bob and his family are determined to make every "Grand Re-Re-Re-opening" a success.

Bob's wife, LINDA (John Roberts), stands by her man, though she's easily distracted. Their eldest daughter, 13-year-old TINA (Dan Mintz), has minimal social skills and is a hopeless romantic with a thing for zombies. Middle child GENE (Eugene Mirman), the only boy in the family, is an aspiring musician with a thirst for life and a hunger for food. LOUISE (Kristen Schaal) is the bunny ears-wearing youngest daughter with an off-kilter sense of humor that makes her somewhat of a liability in the kitchen - and with the public.

Fanatical from "Topsy" | BOB'S BURGERS | ANIMATION on FOX
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[scene opens with the three Belcher children in the Wagstaff School library, speaking to the young male librarian (brown hair, blue vest, white shirt) stamping books at the front desk]
LOUISE: I need information on Thomas Edison. Something no one would recognize as plagiarized.
[he continues mindlessly stamping books, not even bothering to look up at them]
LIBRARIAN: Biographies under "E".
TINA: Thanks.
[they start to walk away]
LIBRARIAN: That's my job, and I love it.
[he suddenly stops and leans forward]
LIBRARIAN: [whispers] Topsy.
[they all turn around]
GENE: Hmm?
[the librarian continues stamping books]
LIBRARIAN: I didn't say anything.
[they continue walking away, but the library leans forward again]
LIBRARIAN: [whispers] Toooopsyyyyyy ...
GENE: Are you saying "Top Chef?"
TINA: I think he said "Topsy."
LIBRARIAN: No I didn't ...
[he leans in again]
LIBRARIAN: [whispers] Yes I did!
LOUISE: What's a "Topsy?"
LIBRARIAN: [angrily] I don't know, don't ask me!
[he closes the book in front of him and leans in again]
LIBRARIAN: [whispers] Look it up!
LOUISE: Like, in a book?
LIBRARIAN: Yeah, sure, book are great.
[he leans in again]
LIBRARIAN: [whispers] No, use the internet! Books are stupid!
TINA: I thought books were smart.
LIBRARIAN: [whispers] No, they're stupid!
TINA: But you're a librarian.
LIBRARIAN: [yelling] Yes, so shhh!
[he puts a finger to his lips and violently shushes them]


From tvguide.com:

Bob's Burgers ("Topsy")
Season 3, Episode 16
Episode Synopsis: Louise expects to get a charge out of taking down her Thomas Edison-obsessed science teacher when she re-creates one of the famous inventor's experiments that involved electrocuting an elephant.
Original Air Date: Mar 10, 2013
Megan Mullally as Gayle
Billy Eichner as Mr. Ambrose


From avclub.com:

Louise has her science project volcano all prepared, and while Bob may be skeptical about the teacher accepting it for a second year in a row, she's sure she can convince the teacher. Which may have been true, but a substitute teacher directly confronts her, forcing her to do something new. This conflict is the best part of the episode: Louise is used to getting her way through sheer force of personality, but the sub also has his own force of personality, expressed through his devotion to Thomas Edison. He also has the power in the situation, and he forces Louise to bend to his will, at least temporarily.

The rest of "Topsy" manages to support that tension, even if it isn't fantastic on its own. Louise, with the aid of a creepy/helpful librarian (Billy Eichner), discovers the famous video of Edison electrocuting an elephant, and decides to use that to crush the Edison-loving sub. This spins Gene off into a world of operatic storytelling, with Gail and Mr. Fischoeder, while Tina, playing the elephant, gets increasingly freaked out by the special effects Louise and Teddy set up to simulate the electrocution. This all works, but it doesn't quite rise to the premise of Louise, despite her intelligence and capriciousness, being forced to confront her powerlessness.

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