What happens when a lower-middle class man with 50’s sensibilities tries to raise rebellious teenagers in the 70’s? Throw in a wife who goes against the grain by trying to leave the house and pursue a living, a horrible boss and a hair trigger temper and you get Frank Murphy (voiced by Bill Burr). Murphy is the centerpiece of the Netflix original series, F is for Family. Always funny and nostalgic the show is at times as raunchy as it is warm and heart felt. Executive Producers Vince Vaugh and Peter Billingsley (yep, Ralphie from A Christmas Story) have brought us a family, loosely based on standup comedian Bill Burr’s real life upbringing, that is one-part Married with Children and one-part King of the Hill.
The show is the story of the Murphys, a lower middle-class family struggling to stay afloat in 1970’s suburbia without killing each other or their neighbors. Rabbit ear antennas, 8-Track tapes, disco and hippies are the ingredients for this hilarious look at a father straining to raise a family on a baggage handlers salary and his patient wife who struggles daily with feelings of inadequacy and a lack of professional fulfillment. As Frank Murphy deals with rebellious teenage boys, a wife who wants some respite the housework and an obese foul-tempered boss he comes closer and closer to putting his kids through a wall.
Oldest son Kevin (Justin Long) attempts to straighten up and fly right at the behest of Frank, but cant stay away from the bong hits and cheap beer no matter how hard he tries. Youngest son Bill (Haley Reinhart) struggles with a neighborhood bully and his clingy little sister Maureen (Debi Derryberry) while stay-at-home mom Sue (Laura Dern) tries to satisfy herself by keeping house, selling plastic Tupperware and soothing Franks frayed nerves.
It’s only a 6-episode season and does at times feel a little rushed because of the amount of story telling and personal crisis resolution they crammed into what felt like it deserved at least 10 episodes. Bill Burr, as an aside, is a hilarious standup comic and a few of his standalone sets are available on Netflix. I recommend watching them as well.