Thursday, January 21, 2016

Review of “F Is for Family”

If you haven’t checked it out yet, go see F is for Family on Netflix.  It is a show that can be appreciated by Gen-X folks as, in my opinion, reflects the kind of world we grew up in as kids.

The Good

The show captures the environment of 1973 for regular common people.  At this time, President Nixon took us completely off the gold standard, which has resulted in continuous inflation to this day.  But you were beginning to see it then.  On top of that, free trade agreements were becoming more and more rampant, so televisions were coming in from Korea, for example.

The social atmosphere was an unusual one as well.  Kids were allowed to be kids but at the same time, there wasn’t much for kids to do.  Your father had control of the TV and you had very few toys.

The show represents all of this very well.  It isn’t idealized, just shown as a different time.  The Murphy family, the main family, are shown as highly dysfunctional but at the same time highly committed to each other.

Frank Murphy is voiced by Bill Burr and he does an excellent job of it.  He has a crap job, failing health, two shitty cars, no savings, and three kids who cause way too much property damage.  Despite all of this, he tries to do what he believes is right for his family.  Well, most of the time.

Laura Dern voices Sue Murphy, Frank’s wife. She starts out as a stay-at-home mother and wife but during the course of the show, she gets a part-time job, despite Frank’s efforts to stop it.  What was great about this was the show didn’t portray the newly “independent” Sue as suddenly finding fulfillment.  Instead, she ends up hating her job as much as Frank hates his.

The kids are shown to have their own struggles in life with the oldest trying to navigate puberty, the middle trying to figure out how to be a man, and the youngest trying to find her dog.

Frank also has a neighbor who he initially regards as a rival of sorts.  Vic is a man who has everything handed to him because he was born with good looks.   The is in sharp contrast to Frank, who is below average in appearance and struggles just to get a new television.  As the show progresses, though, Frank warms up to him because Vic is also an all-around nice guy.

The Bad

More could have been done with the daughter Maureen.  She was the typical princess character who can do no wrong in Frank’s eyes but also has a mean streak at one point even calling her older brother Kevin a “pussy”.  More could have been done with her character in my opinion.

The Ugly

The show was only six episodes.  Way too short because I wanted more.

In conclusion, check it out.  I think it was an excellent show and very funny to boot.