You Need To Start Watching This Raunchy Netflix Sitcom With Star-Studded Cast

By Robert Scucci | Published

f is for family

Safe family sitcoms are fun, but not as fun as F is for Family, which comes from the brilliantly unhinged mind of stand-up comedian Bill Burr. The best way to describe this cartoon is as a combination of That ’70s show and King of the Hill, but with a healthy dose of middle-aged rage that only Bill Burr can convincingly deliver to the masses. As a long-time fan of Bill Burr’s observational comedy, I knew right off the bat that F is for Family would be one of my new favorite shows upon its release, and my appreciation further blossomed when I had kids of my own during the series’ run.

Set In The ’70s

f is for family

Set between 1973 and 1974, F is for Family is a series that celebrates middle-class America in the most hilarious (and arguably, realistic) way possible. Despite its aesthetic, the series proves that the average working-class family in the ’70s experienced similar struggles to that of a modern family trying to stay afloat during times of economic distress. Throughout its 5-season run, F is for Family runs the gamut with its portrayal of not only adolescent life, but also the parental dynamic as Bill Burr sees it.

Frank Murphy

Bill Burr’s foul-mouthed Frank Murphy takes center stage in F is for Family as he navigates his way through what he considers to be an unsatisfying version of adult life. Though Frank is rough around the edges and known to fly off the handle, it’s immediately apparent that he’s hopelessly devoted to his wife, Susan (Laura Dern), and his three children, 15-year-old Kevin (Justin Long), 12-year-old Bill (Haley Reinhart), and 10-year-old Maureen (Debi Derrybery). Having been laid off from his long-standing position as a baggage department manager for Mohican Airways, Frank selflessly subjects himself to various humiliating odd-jobs so he can continue to provide for his family.

Frank, Heads, And Walls

f is for family

Frank has a weird way of telling his kids that he loves them, as his primary catchphrase in F is for Family is “I’ll put you through the f***in’ wall!” Never actually resorting to physical violence toward his family, Frank is the father-figure who will always sacrifice his own happiness if it means that his wife and kids are well fed and have a roof over their heads. His many career setbacks throughout the series result in Susan starting a career of her own, which makes him question his own masculinity on several occasions.

Frank’s anger is easy to relate to when you consider his family dynamic. Kevin, an aspiring musician, frequently gets into trouble with the neighborhood kids, and Bill is subjected to relentless bullying at school and on the playground. Maureen, who can do no wrong in Frank’s eyes, is academically gifted, but also quite manipulative when she puts her mind to it. As the series progresses, bathroom delegations become all the more difficult when baby Megan is born at the end of season 4.

Still Timely

Though F is for Family is set in the 1970s, its subject matter is extremely relatable because Frank’s problems are universal no matter what decade you’re living in. I’ve definitely questioned my ability to provide for my own family during the height of the pandemic when many of us were facing unemployment and trying to stretch our earnings against the rising cost of living. The immediate regret I once felt upon ordering a couple of large pizzas after sending the rent check out was a real-life analog to Frank buying a brand new TV right before getting laid off from his job in season 1.

A Show With A Big Heart

Despite the struggles that are depicted in F is for Family, the series has a whole lot of heart, and even more laughs. It may be apparent that Frank doesn’t always like his family for reasons beyond his control, but his love for his wife and kids keeps him on the straight and narrow no matter how brutal his situation may be. If Hank Hill was Frank Murphy’s neighbor, they’d probably drink beer in the alley together while working through their issues.

The Finale Wasn’t Great

f is for family


F is for Family is not a “family show” by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re familiar with Bill Burr’s shtick, you’ll thoroughly enjoy it. It’s a shame that Netflix didn’t renew the series for season 6, however, as Frank’s story arc could have benefited from further exploration. I want to call it a perfect series, but the finale definitely felt rushed, inconclusive, and ultimately unsatisfying.

Though I’m not thrilled with the destination that F is for Family arrived at, the ride it takes you on is still worth your time.