F is for Family Review


Originally posted 2016-02-13 17:00:56.

F is for Family Review
Netflix Original Series
Grade: B+

 

As South Park has taught us, if it’s too inappropriate for real life, make it animated. As Netflix proves with F is for Family, if it’s too inappropriate for cable, put it on Netflix.F is for Family

From the dark and twisted comedic mind of Bill Burr, alongside Simpson’s writer Michael Price, comes the latest in Netflix original animation, F is for Family.

Loosely based on the childhood of Burr, we follow the Murphys, a highly dysfunctional working class family of five; Frank(Bill Burr) and Sue Murphy(Laura Dern), and their three children, Kevin (Justin Long), Bill (Haley Reinhart), and Maureen(Debi Derryberry), and their dog of course, who’s only characteristic is his propensity for leg humping.

Despite the show’s dark and illicit humor, there is a light-hearted optimism in every episode. Disguised in the screaming, cursing, and belittling insults is a genuine affection every family can relate to.

While the story arc mostly follows Frank’s attempt to navigate an employee strike at the airport¸ there are a few sitcom tropes thrown in as B stories; failing classes, taking on the bully, an unsatisfied wife, etc. Only six episodes, the characters are all pretty shallow, but with strong reviews and viewership, it shouldn’t be long before we get a confirmation of a second season where we can explore these characters more.

The animation is standard quality, but what’s being animated puts it over the edge. A few wildly inappropriate visuals that you’d never see on cable add shock value and fill your hairy balls quota for the next year. The opening sequence is really unique, and it shows Frank’s transition from optimistic youth to grumpy old Dad as well I can imagine.

Some really great voice actors join the cast to give the show a little more familiarity. Frank’s extremely obese boss Bob(David Koechner) and hippie neighbor Vic(Sam Rothwell) are two of the show’s funniest characters.

The strength of the show is in Burr’s writing. Dark and creative, F is for Family doesn’t rely on jump-cuts or absurd situational humor like a certain Fox show. I only hope Burr’s able to stick to his dialogue driven wit for season 2 rather than plunge down the ludicrousy rabbit hole.

Final Thoughts:

The comedian’s comedian, Bill Burr is a genius. It’s great to see him shine in a venue other than standup for a change.

I can’t hear Sam Rothwell, who plays Vic, speak without thinking of this Gif from Iron Man 2.

Sam Rothwell GIF

Definitely not one for the whole family, unless you’re the sadistic type who is trying to ruin your kids lives.

 

Andy Knauff