F is for Family might feel a little weird to younger viewers, because it’s essentially a show about a dysfunctional family set in the ’70s.
Now in the fifth and final season, F is for Family was loosely based on comedian Bill Burr’s own childhood and his relationship with his father. Burr voices patriach Frank Murphy, who pretty much represents the stereotypical dad of the time.
If you’re a fan of Bill Burr’s work, F is for Family will be right up your alley. Burr may be playing a bad-tempered war veteran who’s bitter about the hand life has dealt him, but you can almost imagine Burr speaking his lines as though he’s recalling his childhood.
Frank’s rants and fits of rage are equally tragic as they are comedic. Without diminishing the performance of the cast – they are rather good – the show hinges almost entirely on Bill’s ability to evoke sympathy and laughs in equal measures. For all of Frank’s flaws, he is the relatable everyman who ultimately wants to do his best for his family. It’s a Bill Burr schtick – if Migs Mayfield in The Mandalorian escaped Morak, settled down and started a family, it’d pretty much be the same show, just less over the top.
Season 5 finds the family in a weird spot as they say goodbye to one family member as they welcome another. Frank’s father passes away just as the two of them are starting to reconcile and at the same time, his wife Susan (Laura Dern) delivers their fourth child. Frank presumably spends the rest of the season seeking closure, while Susan is moved to resolve her own family differences as well. Wild child neighbour Vic Reynolds (Sam Rockwell) too, starts an unexpected life of fatherhood, which means he will be the perfect foil for Susan as they embrace the newest people in their lives.
It’s pretty apt that the series will end at Christmas, which is always perfect for a potentially bittersweet ending – how on-brand. F is for Family streams from 25 November on Netflix.