Meet the Murphys, an unfiltered, unabashedly raw family living in the 1970s. This animated series, “F Is For Family,” created by Bill Burr and Michael Price, paints a picture of a bygone era.
Frank Murphy, the loud and often inappropriate father, leads the family through a comedy filled with crude humor and sharp wit.
His wife, Sue, and their children complete the ensemble, each with a unique personality that delights and shocks the audience. “F Is For Family” isn’t your everyday family comedy; it’s an outrageous ride through the past.
F Is For Family
Burr and Price, raised during the ’70s, reflect on that era, feeling both nostalgia and an acknowledgment of the dangers of childhood then. Burr, a master of rage-fueled comedy, has drawn comparisons to Louis C.K., earning him the heavyweight champion in that comedic style.
With four successful Netflix specials, Burr naturally became the selection to lead an original project for the platform.
He draws much of his stand-up inspiration from his challenging childhood, particularly his father’s angry tirades, which he frequently imitates in his performances.
Burr modeled the lead character of “F is for Family,” Frank Murphy, after his father. He roots many scenarios and jokes in the series in real events from his youth, and with the help of Price and other writers, they seamlessly integrate these memories into the storyline.
This integration adds authenticity to the show’s sometimes exaggerated interactions and plot twists, resonating with those who grew up in a time that was itself slightly more exaggerated.
Program creators: Bill Burr, Michael Price
Opening theme: “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone
Animation services: Big Jump Productions; Oasis Animation
Genre: Animated sitcom; Black comedy; Comedy drama; Satire
Original network: Netflix
The 70s Revived
The creators of “F Is For Family” took us back to a time when life was less politically correct and more rough around the edges.
This isn’t just a show about a family; it’s a period piece with nostalgic details that’ll make you feel like you’ve stepped into the 70s.
Everything about the setting screams authenticity from the cars to the clothing to the archaic technology. The art style is equally engaging, combining a caricatured appearance with real emotions that make characters truly come alive.
The Voice Cast of F Is For Family
In the role of Frank, Burr delivers the bitterness that his standup audience expects and skillfully retains his human touch. An impressive supporting cast, fully committed to their roles, strengthens his performance, especially Justin Long.
Known for his parts in Jeepers Creepers and Kevin Smith’s perplexing recent film, Tusk, Long depicts Kevin with striking directness and unexpected subtlety, uncovering a character with more complexity than a typical pot-smoking teenager.
Sam Rockwell, famous for roles that might prompt you to think, “I’ve seen that guy in a movie” like his performances in Moon, Frost/Nixon, and Iron Man 2, also stands out. He portrays the easygoing neighbor Vic, channeling Matthew McConaughey with finesse that surpasses McConaughey himself.
Rounding out the cast, American Idol’s Haley Reinhart plays Bill, seasoned voice actress Debi Derryberry, known for voicing Jimmy Neutron, takes the role of Maureen, and Jurassic Park’s Laura Dern portrays Sue.
Themes That Resonate
“F Is For Family” isn’t just about laughs; it delves into themes that resonate with many viewers.
The struggles of a working-class family, the clash between generations, the pursuit of personal dreams, and the juggling of family and career are all explored.
These themes give the show a dimension that transcends mere comedy, adding layers that can touch the hearts of those watching. This underlying emotional connection elevates “F Is For Family” from simple entertainment to a meaningful exploration of life.
When you dive into “F is for Family,” you’re immediately greeted by an animation style that strikes a chord of familiarity. Why does it feel so recognizable?
The creators have artfully blended the simple line drawings that echo the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the ’70s, stirring up nostalgia and a touch of shock as they twist that familiarity into edgy humor.
But don’t stop there; the visual intrigue runs deeper. The animators found inspiration in “King of the Hill,” a series that, like “F is for Family,” transforms animated characters into figures so life-like they could walk right off the screen.
Spotting this unique quality, the animators embraced the challenge, pulling cues from “King of the Hill” to master their “animated live-action” style. The result? A visual masterpiece that is both refreshing and rooted in animated tradition.
Music and Sound
What’s a 1970s-themed show without a killer soundtrack? The creators of “F Is For Family” have painstakingly curated music that complements the era.
Iconic tracks from the 70s and original scores provide an auditory experience that perfectly complements the visuals.
It’s not just about the big musical numbers; even the background sound effects contribute to the show’s authenticity. The clunking of old appliances, the hum of vintage cars – every sound in “F Is For Family” is a step back in time.
Characters of F Is For Family
Frank Murphy (voiced by Bill Burr): Frank is the patriarch of the Murphy family. A Korean War veteran, he’s a middle-class worker with a short temper. Despite his brash and often crude behavior, Frank’s character also reveals vulnerability and a deep love for his family, even if he doesn’t always show it in conventional ways.
Sue Murphy (voiced by Laura Dern): Sue, Frank’s wife, is a complex character with dreams and aspirations of her own. Juggling her role as a mother with her ambitions for an entrepreneurial career, Sue’s character explores a woman’s life navigating societal expectations in the 1970s.
Kevin Murphy (voiced by Justin Long): The oldest of the Murphy children, Kevin is a teenager struggling with his identity, school, and relationships. His character often engages in rebellious behavior but shows glimpses of sensitivity and depth.
Bill Murphy (voiced by Haley Reinhart): Bill is the middle child, who often gets caught in the chaotic dynamics of the family. Bullied at school and navigating a complex home life, his character development provides a compelling coming-of-age story within the show.
Maureen Murphy (voiced by Debi Derryberry): Maureen, the youngest Murphy child, is highly intelligent and has an interest in science and technology. She provides a different perspective within the family, often challenging the norms and stereotypes of the era.
Vic (voiced by Sam Rockwell): Vic is the laid-back, womanizing next-door neighbor. His character is a humorous contrast to Frank and adds flair to the series.
Phillip Bonfiglio (voiced by Trevor Devall): Phillip is Bill’s best friend, a shy and awkward kid who deals with a challenging family background.
Bob Pogo (voiced by David Koechner): Frank’s boss at the airport, Bob Pogo, is morbidly obese and usually seen eating. He’s a complex character, often antagonistic towards Frank but also showing moments of unexpected wisdom and compassion.
Rosalie (voiced by Mo Collins): Rosalie is the teacher at the kids’ school. Her character represents a type of authority figure within the show, and she has various interactions with the Murphy children, reflecting the broader educational themes of the time.
Jimmy Fitzsimmons (voiced by Mo Collins): Jimmy is the school bully who often torments Bill and his friends. His aggressive behavior hides a troubled home life, giving his character depth and occasionally eliciting sympathy from viewers.
Announced in October 2014, “F Is For Family” emerged from a collaboration between Netflix, Gaumont International Television, and Wild West Television.
This family comedy, set in the 1970s, is inspired by Bill Burr’s standup, highlighting a time known for its lax societal norms.
Voiced by a cast including Burr, Laura Dern, Justin Long, Debi Derryberry, and Haley Reinhart, the show’s first season consisted of six episodes, written by Burr and Michael Price, an Emmy and Writers Guild award-winner known for “The Simpsons.”
Directed by Ben Marsaud, the series spanned five seasons, with the final season being released on November 25, 2021.
The debut season of “F Is For Family” earned high praise from critics, boasting a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, derived from 20 reviews, and achieving an average score of 7.5 out of 10.
While the show’s humor leans on vulgarity, critics have noted its significant emotional core, with the consensus stating, “the strength of F Is for Family is its substantial heart.”
“F Is For Family” doesn’t shy away from pushing boundaries, and this boldness has led to its share of controversies. The show’s unfiltered approach to humor and the portrayal of family dynamics can lead to divided opinions.
Some laud its raw honesty, while others find it too crude or insensitive. In many ways, these controversies are a testament to the show’s impact. It’s a conversation starter, a show that doesn’t just entertain but provokes thought and challenges norms.
F is for Family Opening Credits