F Is for Family’s second season is available to stream, May 30 on Netflix.
By Jeremy Koffsky
Bill Burr is my favorite stand-up comedian and hosts my favorite podcast. I cannot get enough of his work, and when I found out he made a TV show called F is for Family last December, I was excited. Unfortunately, I found the first season of F Is for Family to be lacking something. I still can’t quite pin down what it was, but I think part of my disappointment came from the fact that season one was only six short episodes. There were still some funny moments, yet the characters were just off putting to me. All three kids (Kevin, Bill, and Maureen) seemed nothing more than basic archetypes. I also never got a good sense of why Burr chose the 1970s as a place to have the show and as someone who was born in the 2000s many of the scenes depicted had me scratching my head. Surprisingly, my negative feelings towards the show changed while watching this spectacular ten episode season.
F Is for Family has quickly jumped to one of my favorite shows on TV. In season two all the episodes are consistently hilarious and contain masterful setup and delivery of jokes. The 70s setting is the animated sitcom’s strongest trait. The subtle sexism, racism, and homophobia presented in the cheery tone of the show causes some of the funniest scenes in recent history. Because of the period, the show is able to easily present crazy and antiquated beliefs and not have you instantly hate the characters.
F Is for Family is also great because of how they are able to present recycled sitcom plots in ways that feel fresh. For example, at one point this season Sue (the mom) has to get a job because Frank (the dad, voiced by Bill Burr) lost his. She finds work at a manufacturing company and instantly wants to be heard by the men who run the place. We’ve seen this story a thousand times. Sue will go in there and the men will initially be sexist. As soon as they hear her ideas they’ll realise that she’s equal to them and they’ll accept her, right? Not in this show. Sue goes in, presents her idea and the men never stop pounding her with an insane amount of (quite funny) sexual innuendos. To really be listened to, Sue learns, is to play the same game the men play. She proceeds to make even more insulting sexual comments back to the men, which causes them to enjoy her company and hear her out. It’s hilarious.
The show also has satisfying arcs for every character. Burr gives each member of the family their due. Kevin (the eldest son) was a typical dumb aspiring rock star in the first season, but has now transformed into a truly likeable guy. Similar to Sue, Bill’s (the middle child) arc also plays off a generic trope and flips it on its head. Bill is always bullied by a classmate until Bill unintentionally gets him sent to military school. Now that Bill is free of the bully we expect him to be happy and have an innocent time with his friends. Nope. Bill steals, starts swearing, and becomes a jerk. It’s a great play on bully stories where the bully is the antagonist and the victim is always just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maureen (the youngest child) gets the least amount of screentime but is still really fun to watch.
The main focus of this season is Frank and Sue’s marriage. This was a perfect route to take, as it was very unclear in season one how they really felt about each other. This is why the in-depth development of their relationship is really nice, funny, and even emotional toward the end.
Overall this was a great season, with a great theme song, and a great voice cast. I highly recommend it.
I give F Is for Family’s second season an A-.