Deadpool Annual (2014) #2
I am literally just sitting here with my mouth hanging open.
1) is capable of human relationships, be they romantic, platonic, or anywhere in between.
2) considers Spiderman his friend, even if Peter’s a little leery on the subject.
3) Would kill for his friends. Has killed for his friends.
4) Is awesome.
5) Is awesome enough to not out a fellow super-bro
So there are a lot of reasons why Bob’s Burgers is such a great show but today, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite parts of the show: Tina.
Or more specifically: How the family treats Tina.
I stand by a statement that I once made: Tina Belcher is everything that Meg Griffin could have been in Family Guy hadn’t screwed up.
Tina is an awkward thirteen-year-old girl and the oldest of the Belcher siblings. The show doesn’t hold back at showing some of her awkward moments. She frequently fantasizes about boys but she never knows how to act around them, she writes erotic fan/friend-fiction, she’s socially awkward, she easily panics, she often says the wrong things, etc.
And yes, members of the family have occasionally pointed out how awkward she is. But here come the best part. They don’t care! They still love Tina! She is rarely the butt of a joke and the Belchers would never tell her to shut up or otherwise abuse her unlike some other shows on FOX.And the family is always going out of their way to do things for her because that’s what a family does. Especially Bob. Bob is such a great father and the way he’ll do anything for his kids (especially Tina) proves it. ‘Fighting’ the teacher of a Capoeira class because he refuses to give Tina her yellow cord. Driving a cab at night to make extra money to throw her a birthday party. Getting his legs waxed alongside her so that she’s not afraid. Going to the equivalent of a Brony convention to get her favorite toy back. Etc. Linda treats Tina just like the rest of the kids and fully embraces Tina’s ‘weirdness’. Even when Gene and Louise tease Tina, it’s made clear that they still love her and that teasing each other is just what siblings do. Most of the series shows the three of them doing things together and the episodes always equally involve all three siblings and using them to their full potential. All three are hilarious, all three have their moments, and all three shine. And when Tina is upset, Gene and Louise are always there to try and save the day. Whether it’s getting her to her favorite concert, getting back at a bully, letting her have her time to shine at a Bat Mitzvah, etc.
Also, her weight is never mentioned. I don’t think anyone’s weight is mentioned in Bob’s Burgers, other than a scene where Bob cheers Teddy up.
Anyway, the point of this post is to show how amazing a show can be when they have an awkward character who still has great moments, has a family who loves her, and is actually funny, instead of making her the butt of the jokes by having her constantly be abused by her family and the writers of the show, DO YOU SEE?
Girls and women I know (and myself included) relate to Tina a lot. We identify with at least some part of her as a reflection of ourselves. We laugh with Tina because we’re laughing at ourselves at the same time, in a comfortable lighthearted way. With Meg, everyone is asked to laugh at her, and she rarely gets a chance to redeem herself or grow.
There’s also a Family Guy episode where the show tried to explain the shitty behavior towards Meg, and it was equally shitty.
I can’t remember what episode it was exactly, but it involved Meg finally speaking out about how her family treats her. She called out Peter and Lois’ shitty parenting and their family unit literally shut down once she did. They all started bullying each other, not just Meg, and it was left to Meg to realize that she was the mediator of the family. The show literally allows Meg to realize that she is the punching bag of the family to keep the family non-hostile. She tells Brian this and, when she makes the decision to tell them that she was wrong and that the fact that they’re now fighting is actually her fault, he praises her for her bravery. Her qualms are then settled, she becomes the family punching bag once more, and she feels content in her placement in the family.
The show doesn’t just plainly make Meg the punching bag— it allows her to know WHY she is the punching bag. It gives her the ability to stop being that punching bag, but takes away her power the moment the family is compromised. The show has her willingly reenter a toxic family environment because it would rather explain the shitty way that Meg is treated than make an alteration to the lazy, crude character tropes that the show has already filed each character into.
“I am sorry to disappoint you, but I am stronger than I look.”
Disney Pixar’s Inside Out, coming June 2015
When you and your party enter a room and find a high level monster
me: *eating microwaved ramen noodles and watching kitchen nightmares* cannot believe this asshole didnt use fresh chicken in his paella, unbelievable
Gavin: “In the Lego Movie, the word ‘Lego’ isn’t said once.”
Burnie: “Really? It must be because they live in a world of Lego.”
Gavin: “Yeah, but we live in a world of…”