F Is for Family
Season 1 promotional poster
Genre
Created by
Voices of
Opening theme"Come and Get Your Love" by Redbone
Composers
Country of origin
  • United States
  • France
  • Canada
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes44 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Vince Vaughn
  • Peter Billingsley
  • Bill Burr
  • Katie O'Connell Marsh
  • Sidonie Dumas
  • Christophe Riandee
  • Michael Price
  • Elisa Todd Ellis (S1)
  • Brittney Segal (S2)
  • Kristen Zolner (S2)
  • Jane Wiseman (S2)
  • Eugene Stein (S2–5)
  • Nicolas Atlan (S2–5)
  • Adam Fishbach (S3)
  • David Richardson (S3–5)
  • Alexandra Hunter (S4–5)
  • Marc Wilmore (S4–5)
  • Victoria Vaughn (S5)
  • Eric Goldberg (S5)
  • Peter Tibbals (S5)
Producers
  • Heath Kenny (S1)
  • Marc Dhami (S2)
  • Brian J. Cowan (S2–4)
  • Jean-Baptiste Lere (S3)
  • Valeri Vaughn (S4)
Editors
  • Paul D. Calder (S1)
  • Karl Laundy (S2–3)
  • Joe Gressis (S2–5)
Running time25–30 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkNetflix
ReleaseDecember 18, 2015 (2015-12-18) –
November 25, 2021 (2021-11-25)

F Is for Family is an American-Canadian-French adult animated sitcom created by Bill Burr and Michael Price[1] for Netflix. It is produced by Vince Vaughn's Wild West Television, King of France Productions, Loner Productions, Gaumont International Television and Gaumont Animation. Set between October 1973 and December 1974, the series follows a dysfunctional suburban Irish American family in the fictional town of Rustvale, Pennsylvania.[1]

F Is For Family premiered on December 18, 2015.[2] On October 1, 2020, Netflix renewed it for its fifth and final season and the series ended on November 25, 2021 with a total of 44 episodes over five seasons. The first season contains six episodes; the next three contain ten episodes each; and the final season, eight. The series received consistently positive reviews throughout its run, with particular praise for its stark, comic portrait of 1970s America.[3][4]

Cast and characters

Main

Co-starring

Recurring

Guest

Episodes

Main article: List of F Is for Family episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
16December 18, 2015 (2015-12-18)
210May 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)
310November 30, 2018 (2018-11-30)
410June 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
58November 25, 2021 (2021-11-25)

Production

The series was announced in October 2014 as part of a partnership between Netflix, Gaumont International Television, and Wild West Television.[27] The show is a "family comedy" based on the standup of Bill Burr.[28] Moreover, the show takes place in the 1970s, "a time when you could smack your kid, smoke inside, and bring a gun to the airport".[28] Burr voices the Murphy family patriarch, with Laura Dern as his wife, Justin Long as his eldest son, Debi Derryberry as his daughter Maureen, and Haley Reinhart as his young son.[29][30][28] The first season consists of six episodes, shown in a serial manner, written by Bill Burr and Michael Price.[31] Price is best known for his Emmy and Writers Guild award-winning work on The Simpsons.[31] The series is directed by Ben Marsaud (director of Counterfeit Cat & former storyboard artist on The Amazing World of Gumball). Season 2 premiered May 30, 2017.[32] On June 28, 2017, the show was renewed for a third season.[33] On July 1, 2018, Burr confirmed season three. On November 30, 2018, the third season was released. On January 24, 2019, the show was renewed for a fourth season, which was released on June 12, 2020.[34][35] On October 1, 2020, Netflix renewed the series for the fifth and final season which was released on November 25, 2021.[36][37]

Many references are made to the city of Pittsburgh in the series, a city that Burr has visited frequently on his stand-up tours and shares a hatred of the Philadelphia Flyers with local sportscaster Mark Madden.[38][39] This has included the characters flying over the Pittsburgh exurb of Steubenville, Ohio on their way to Cleveland and said jokes about Pittsburgh being made in Cleveland, the character of Bridget Fitzsimmons wanting to run away to Pittsburgh, and the airline Alaquippa Airlines being named after the Pittsburgh suburb of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.

Analysis

Satirizing 1970s America

F is for Family has been described as "a direct attack on the ideals and assumptions we associate with the American Dream".[40] Throughout its 5-season run, the series satirizes and explores several issues exclusive to the socioeconomic and cultural upheaval of 1970s America, including those with or within marriage, labor, economy, war, masculinity, feminism, sexism, domestic abuse, racism, political corruption, education, sexuality and adolescence.[41]

Disillusion of the American Dream

In an essay on why the series is the perfect satire on the American Dream, Author Jack C. Fisher argues that Frank Murphy personifies the general disillusionment with the Dream that took place during the economic stagnation of the early-1970s: "Take everything you think you know about what it means to work hard, get ahead, and achieve your goals in life. Then, kick it in the gut, spit on it, and throw it through a brick wall. That's Frank Murphy's life. That's what F is for Family is all about." He writes that Frank's belligerent personality is a byproduct of that said disillusionment and cites the transformation he goes through in the series' opening sequence as reflecting who he used to be: "an upbeat, optimistic man who reflected the spirit of his time and his country".[42]

Masculinity in crisis

In an essay on the series, cultural historian Shalon Van Tine argues that the primary theme explored in F is For Family is the "changing nature of masculinity in the 1970s", mostly depicted through Frank Murphy's perspective: "Frank believes in hard work and feels that the traditional family structure is ideal, but throughout the show, he learns the hard truth that the American dream is a lie. Much of his persona is based around the notion that he must be a "good man"—one who served his country in the Korean War, married his girl when she got pregnant, works a dead-end job to provide for his family, and raises three rowdy kids to stay out of trouble. Yet, Frank's masculinity is constantly challenged, beginning with him losing his job."[43] "For the average man in the Seventies, and for most of the twentieth century for that matter, losing his job meant losing his identity. The concept of "being a man" was heavily wrapped up in one's work and ability to provide for his family"; Van Tine notes that after losing his job at Mohican Airways, Frank also begins to lose his traditional attributes of masculinity such as a rugged individualism and having the higher likelihood to initiate sex, until he completely loses his "male confidence" and feels too ashamed to even file for unemployment. When Frank's housewife Sue Murphy picks up a job and succeeds at where he is failing, Frank feels emasculated and insecure at the shift in gender roles that, in one instance, he tries to sabotage her promotion. In a later confrontation, he confesses to wanting to see her fail, saying "As a man, I have to do better or what am I?".[43]

Reception

F is for Family has received consistently positive reviews throughout its run. On Metacritic, it holds a score of 75 out of 100, based on 14 reviews, indicating "Generally favorable reviews".[44]

Season 1

The first season was released to positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a rating of 85% based on 20 reviews, with an average score of 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "While the humor relies on vulgarity, the strength of F Is for Family is its substantial heart."[45]

In his review for The Hollywood Reporter, David Fienberg called the series "entertainingly honest", praising the writing, animation and voice acting.[46] Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club described it as a "bitter, but deeply empathetic portrayal of suburban malaise and depression that also doubles as a very funny TV show".[47] Emily St. James of Vox wrote that "F Is for Family is quite a bit of fun" adding, "it isn't a bad way to kill a few hours".[48]

Season 2

The series received further critical acclaim with its second season, which holds an approval rating of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 9 reviews with an average rating 7.1/10. The consensus on the season reads: "F is For Family is a little grouchier and wiser in its second season, evoking an era of American decay with warm pastel hues and articulating blue collar angst through Bill Burr's blustery delivery".[49]

In his review for IndieWire, Ben Travers praised the season for its dramatic shift in genre, writing "F is for Family illustrates why it's important to see series for what they are, rather than through the genre lens thrust upon them."[50]

Season 3

In a positive review of the third season, Merrill Barr of Forbes concluded: "Overall, the third season of F Is for Family continues to deliver on the things that make it such a worthy and unique addition to the Netflix landscape."[51]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2017 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Mo Collins as Ginny, Jimmy Fitzsimmons, Lex, Ben, and Cutie Pie (Episode: "Pray Away") Nominated [52]
2019 Kevin Michael Richardson as Chauncey "Rosie" Roosevelt (Episode: "The Stinger") Nominated [53]

References

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  2. ^ "'F Is For Family' Gets December Premiere On Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. November 6, 2015. Archived from the original on November 9, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  3. ^ "F is For Family: A damned yet hilarious insight into a 70s' middle-class household | MEAWW". meaww.com. May 3, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  4. ^ James, Emily St (December 20, 2015). "Netflix's F Is for Family resurrects the '70s, warts and all". Vox. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  5. ^ "Debi Derryberry". Twitter.com. April 14, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  6. ^ "#FIsForFamily cast rollcall Part 5". Twitter.com. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  7. ^ "I love Mr. Goomer". Twitter.com. December 26, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  8. ^ "Just watched all 6 eps of #FisforFamily". Twitter.com. December 19, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  9. ^ "Vivian Saunders". Twitter.com. June 3, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
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  12. ^ "I play this guy". Twitter.com. December 19, 2015. Archived from the original on December 29, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  13. ^ "He's so so great as Bob Pogo". Twitter.com. December 23, 2015. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  14. ^ "#FIsForFamily cast rollcall part 6". Twitter.com. December 15, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  15. ^ Perkins, Dennis (June 11, 2017). "F Is For Family knows that all family debts come due sometime". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  16. ^ "Season 4 is gonna be 🔥! Love to my @FIFFNetflix fam". Twitter. November 21, 2019.
  17. ^ Burr, Bill (May 7, 2020). "Season 4 teaser of F Is For Family is finally here! #FIFF #JonathanBankspic.twitter.com/Scl4WrKVE6". @billburr. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  18. ^ "Jonathan Banks Joins F is for Family Season 4!". Dankanator. May 8, 2020. Archived from the original on June 5, 2020. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  19. ^ Robertson, Ian (June 12, 2020). "And, of course, we are thrilled and honored to welcome the great Jonathan Banks to our cast, as Big Bill Murphy". Twitter. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  20. ^ Robertson, Ian (June 12, 2020). "And that's SNL's Alex Moffat as Vic's new boss, Sandy Calabasas". Twitter. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  21. ^ Robertson, Ian (June 12, 2020). "This season we also welcomed back @phillamarr, playing Delmont (aka Gas Can Guy) and new character Curtis Higgins". Twitter. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  22. ^ Robertson, Ian (June 12, 2020). "And that's Amy Sedaris playing Samantha, the Lamaze teacher". Twitter. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  23. ^ Robertson, Ian (June 12, 2020). "We also welcomed the great @WillSasso to the cast. He voices Mayor Anthony Tangenti". Twitter. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  24. ^ Robertson, Ian (June 12, 2020). "And the wonderful @JosephPera joins us this season, voicing Frank's rival airport manager, Alaquippa Ed". Twitter. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  25. ^ Robertson, Ian (June 12, 2020). "We are thrilled to welcome the one and only @SnoopDogg to the cast of F IS FOR FAMILY. That's him voicing the Rev. Sugar Squires in episode 407, "R Is For Rosie". Thanks for joining the cast, Snoop! #FIsForFamily". Twitter. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  26. ^ Robertson, Ian (June 12, 2020). "And @richsommer joined us for Episode 9 as Cliff Haskins, Angry Hockey Dad and the Motel Desk Clerk". Twitter. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
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  51. ^ Barr, Merrill. "'F Is For Family' Season 3 Review: As Great As It's Ever Been". Forbes. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
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