Arriving with little fanfare and awareness, Netflix’s latest original animation is a pleasing mix between King of the Hill, Bob’s Burgers with a hint of Bojack Horseman’s cynicism. From comedian Bill Burr, F Is For Family is an adult sitcom with a great big beating heart that feels authentically 70s.
Created by Burr and Michael Price, Burr voices disgruntled family man Frank Murphy, who is living the low life in 1970s America. Partially based on Burr’s childhood, if you’ve listened to his The Monday Morning Podcast, you’ll be familiar with his explosive rage and expletive-ridden rants.
Some of the spark in his marriage to Sue (Laura Dern) has gone, and Frank struggles to contain his contempt for his job. His home life is riddled with stress, and when Sue goes back to work, the Murphy children (voiced by Justin Long and Debi Derryberry) run riot. If you’re expecting a laugh a minute comedy in the Family Guy style, you’ll be disappointed. However, if you’re a fan of King of the Hill, Bojack Horseman or Bob’s Burgers, then you’re in for a treat. Set very much in the real world, F Is For Family deals with some serious issues, and its brazen language does occasionally give off a mean vibe. The characters are angrier than the average sitcom leads, and the dysfunction isn’t there to fuel cheap jokes. When things get too serious (one argument between Frank and Sue gets very unpleasant), something happens to lighten the mood often with hilarious results.
My only complaint would be that Sam Rockwell’s character Rex isn’t given enough screen time. All six episodes are on Netflix now, and the finale is a Christmas special everybody over 30 should be forced to watch. Bring on season two!