Episode 1 | “The Ring” (But Not Scary)

Brief Synopsis (Spoilers Ahead):

Tomorrow (9/3, allegedly) is Bob and Linda’s anniversary, but Bob isn’t going to be shocked this time. He’s got everything planned out, right down to the ring. Bob has never actually proposed to Linda with a ring before, and he intends to make amends now. The only problem is that he didn’t anticipate his children discovering it and taking it to a water park with them. It becomes trapped on Gene’s finger and stays there till it slips off.

They notice it’s missing later and are taken aback when they realize it’s Bob’s ring for Linda. They contact Nat, the limo driver, and decide to visit the shuttered water park that evening. Bob, on the other hand, notices them sneaking out and chooses to join them. Linda has her hands full with Gale while the kids and Bob look for the ring. At the water park, everyone eventually meets together. Even if they don’t recover the ring in the end, Bob and Linda’s love was never lost in the first place.

Our Opinion:

Everyone, welcome to season 10! Bob and his family have returned, and it’s always a treat to see them on our televisions. The season premiere is a strong episode that focuses on Bob and Linda’s love for each other, which cannot be measured by a ring. It’s a charming, enjoyable episode that involves a lot of different characters in a short amount of time, which is exactly the kind of season opener I enjoy. The Ring (But Not Scary) does an excellent job of summarizing the show as a whole in its premiere and finale.

The underlying plot isn’t really original or different from what we’ve seen before: the kids bung up something, and Bob is dragged into their plans reluctantly. Despite the fact that the general subject was not particularly original, there were enough of memorable moments to enjoy. From the customary one-liners to the way scenes were set up, this episode was plenty of laughter. For instance, when the kids and Nat were talking on the lazy river while revolving in circles the entire time. It simply brings life to what would otherwise be a quite dull spectacle to witness! The kids’ expressions when they overhear Bob hinting to Linda about the ring are also amusing. When Bob discovers of their involvement in the lost ring, he begins a series of more absurd punishments: they’re no longer his children, they’re not permitted to speak to him again, and they certainly won’t be allowed to attend his funeral. Finally, the scene in the water park where Bob had to tell the owner the story of the evening while wearing only in his underwear and surrounded by a motley gang of marijuana enthusiasts had me laughing out loud. It’s what Bob’s is known for: taking a bizarre scene and rooting it in commonplace emotions.

One aspect of this episode that I particularly liked was how it brought everyone together. I think interconnected shows are the most engaging; when two separate narratives are intertwined (like in many later Simpsons episodes), it feels a little slapped together. As a result, having the kids’ search be directly overtaken by Bob is an excellent decision. It’s also fantastic that Nat is so involved. She was a hilarious character last season as she chauffeured the girls about in the limo, and her character gets elevated even further this season. (She has a gigantic pet lizard, a pal who ‘owns’ the water park, and can perform a fantastic classical music impersonation!)

Teddy and Gale are given tiny roles to perform what they do best. They’re usually at their best in shorter bursts, so this works in their favor.

I’d be negligent if I didn’t highlight a couple of fantastic one-liners. “How about when I want to say toodle-oo with my fingers waggled?” Gene, haven’t we all longed to do it at some point? “Warning: nerd alert!” I mean, you’re so accountable!” When Louise begs for sunscreen, Linda has the best reaction. “I’ll get dessert if you help Tina with her diarrhea.” Linda’s laid-back demeanor is unmistakably hers. Bob’s reaction is also hilarious: “It’s really gross, but sweet?”

The way the premiere brought the two storylines together, Bob’s anniversary plans and the kids’ mischief, was one of my favorite aspects of the debut. There was a good sprinkle of heart among the jokes. This was an episode that focused on Bob’s love for Linda, but it also focused on him and his children. In a way, they’re physical proof of Bob and Linda’s love for each other, and the scene where they’re apologizing to Bob as he goes beneath is particularly touching. (Especially when Louise suggests that they go to an orphanage for a bit.) I’m overjoyed that Bob’s is back. Remember, fingers are the hand’s weiners until we meet again next week.


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