Bill Burr is a comedian that has somehow survived this era of political correctness, and outrage. For me personally, he is my favorite stand-up act, and a hero in the realm of celebrity personalities, along with Conan O’Brien and Robin Williams. Seeing him live at Madison Square Garden this fall, was a momentous day and I’ve been very anxious to see him become more mainstream. That’s not to say he hasn’t been successful, especially in the stand-up world, and landing of small parts of the caliber of ‘Breaking Bad’; however, he’s never got the opportunity to have his style be the forefront in television or film. His pilot with the ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ gang called, ‘Pariah,’ seems to be in developmental hell, but ‘F is for Family’ proves he is worth it. On part of his late-night show publicity tour, he explains to Jimmy Fallon why animation has finally been the key to getting his ideas made: “For years I’ve done failed pilots, that involved real people…[and people end up caring for the characters, so I made my family stories into a cartoon].”
Later on Conan, he describes his dad’s angered catch-phrase and essentially how his family’s inspiration to the show is…”like ‘Lord of the Flies.'”
The show defiantely exhibits Bill Burr’s style of ranting, complaining, and disgust for people in general, and quite frankly the animation allows it to work. It gives the content a pass for a society that has become rightfully sensitive to issues regarding bullying, verbal abuse, language, sexism, and so forth. I believe the show does confront these issues, in it’s own way. It has incredible depth in character motivation, development, and honesty. Even though ‘F is for Family’ is set in a different time, 1973, with different ideals, and a different societal structure, the viewer can pick elements of the storylines and relate. Everybody from the exhausted, overworked, overstressed Dad, to the underappreciated, unfilled Mom, to the kids trying to find their place in the family, and to the hump-happy dog who is trying to love everyone, ‘F is for Family’ provides laughter with emotional depth.
Although only six episodes, I would place Bill Burr’s work as a top three adult-content cartoon with Adult Swims’ ‘Rick and Morty’ and Netflix’s ‘Bojack Horseman.’ All these shows deal with depression and serious elements of human relations, while simultaneously delivering gut-punching laughter.
Some specific things that really make this show go above and beyond:
- The 70’s show “Colt Luger” that is a frequent backdrop. It’s the quintessential 7o’s action show; including it’s sexism, racism, and ridiculous fun. It’s dear to Frank Murphy’s, the dad’s, week.
- ‘The Waffler,” which is a movie the kids watch and is quite reminiscent of something from another dimension’s cable station that would be on ‘Rick and Morty’.
- Any ad, news, or show that’s on the T.V.
- The balanced cynicism with valuing one’s family.
- Frank Murphy’s rants, and Bill’s excellent job at voice acting. The entire casts job, really.
My only issue is the consistency of the animation. Being that Bill Burr’s show only got six episodes from Netflix, it’s fair to say it didn’t have the biggest budget, so the quality isn’t where it could be. There are continuity errors with Frank Murphy’s tie, the answering machine wire, and stuff along the lines as that. Hopefully, the show gets picked up with added money, so they can improve these very minor issues.
This show is a must watch. Bill Burr is a comedic genius!