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F Is For Family - Season 2

Season 1 of F is for Family premiered in 2015 and followed the suburban misadventures of the Murphy family across six episodes. Frank, a Korean War veteran living with his family in suburban Pennsylvania during the mid-1970s, is often emotionally and verbally abusive to his three kids, as the Murphy family generally throws the idea of the perfect nuclear American family out the window with a manic kind of glee.

F is for Family - Season 2


In the aforementioned Bill Burr podcast, he mentions that the final table read occurred in early December where he mentions the episode number is episode 44. That means that season 5 will be a somewhat shorter eight episodes as opposed to the 10 for the past two seasons.

For viewers familiar with the comedy of F Is for Family co-creator Bill Burr, the original animated series from Netflix certainly met expectations in its brief six-episode first season. It was raunchy, rude, crude, brutally honest, and often very funny, all while matching the dark comedic tone of Burr's on-stage voice. However, the series really thrived in its quieter, heartfelt moments, which balanced against the show's comedy in surprisingly effective ways.

Fortunately, Netflix binge watchers will discover that tonal balance remains a strong core of the series within the first few episodes of season 2. Buried beneath the gross-out gags, creatively assembled expletives, and general familial dysfunction is still an admirable endearment for traditional family values -- the kind that can persevere in the face of extreme hardships.

And the hardships the Murphy family undergo are even more daunting in season 2. Picking up right after where season 1 left off, the first episode of the show's sophomore run finds the Murphys struggling financially more than ever. With Frank (voiced by Burr) having been recently laid off, Sue (Laura Dern) is forced into the provider role while Frank anxiously waits by the phone for his former boss Bob (David Koechner) to beg him to come back. Meanwhile, the bills continue to pile up as the family has to decide which ones to pay and which they can afford to ignore for another month.

While their parents deal with the family's economic woes, the children have their own problems to contend with. Tomboy Maureen (Debi Derryberry) feels uncomfortable being pushed to do "girl things" instead of encouraged to pursue her interests in science and technology; Bill (Haley Reinhart) continues to live in fear of neighborhood bully Jimmy (Mo Collins); and Kevin (Justin Long) is trapped under what he views as an oppressive household preventing him from shining.

Like in its rookie season, one of the strengths of the show continues to be its ability and willingness to divvy up screen time, giving each character arc its due care and attention. However, the season also rightly spends much of its early focus on Frank and Sue, whose conflicting views on gender roles create one of the more interesting dynamics in the show, while also speaking to the shifting social climate of America in the 1970s.

For Sue, having the opportunity to finally be more than just a housewife and mother (which was her primary goal in season 1) is worth begrudgingly playing along with the boys' offensive banter at work. Meanwhile, Frank -- feeling emasculated and worthless in failing to provide for the family on his own, but also too prideful to take a handout from the welfare office -- is the one in need of emotional support, even though he'd rather just have his job back and the normal order of the Murphy household restored. With this reversal of traditional gender roles in effect, we then get one of the most subtle but effective character moments of the series thus far, when Sue shields Frank's fragile male ego from shattering completely by slipping some money into her husband's wallet, allowing him to feel like he can pay for a family meal at a local diner.

And while the show's better character moments seem to stand out (partly because sometimes it feels they are few and far between), we would be remiss if we didn't discuss the comedic elements of the show. As one would expect, and as we mentioned earlier, the comedy is very much in line with that of season 1. It can be crude and Frank's tirades can sometimes come off as so abrasive that they induce cringes rather than laughs, but the writing feels tighter and sharper this time around. In this new season, there are more actual jokes, but much like in season 1, many of the best come from the show's secondary characters, like Frank's hippie playboy of a neighbor, Vic (Sam Rockwell). Some of the biggest laughs also come from the show's clever time-period parodies, including Frank's favorite TV series Colt Luger.

That said, many viewers will find the harsh and hostile exchanges between the Murphys to be the biggest laugh-out-loud moments of the show. Fans of Burr's stand-up will certainly have an easier time with, and may actually be endeared by, the coarse manner in which the Murphys communicate with one another. And for many, a resemblance to their own family dynamics, the time period, and/or the household they grew up in will create humor simply from nostalgia.

"F Is for Family," an animated sitcom starring Bill Burr and Laura Dern and set in the early 1970s, is one of the best new shows out there, period. It's funny, smart and surprisingly touching. More importantly, it offers one of the most incisive insights into American working-class family life seen on any comedy program since "Roseanne."

For the same reasons, it does by definition find itself dealing with some familiar, low-key subjects. The teenage son has fumbling relationship troubles, the mother has to get members of the family who hate each other to attend the same Thanksgiving, slice-of-life stuff that can only be saved by its execution.

This also means expectations are high for season 2, especially when you consider the time between the first and second seasons. I think the second season will more than be worth the wait for the loyal fans who stuck around.

F is for Family season 2 will be released promptly at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT. I expect many fans will be staying up late that night to get their fix of the family comedy. Will you be among those staying up late to check out at least one of the new episodes?

For those who loved the first season of Netflix's animated sitcom F is for Family, you're in luck. Season two, which drops May 30, will feature 10 more episodes of expletive-laden insights into the human condition.

Season one of F is for Family received critical praise for its dark, amusing observations on the sunny topic of emotional abuse. Co-created by Simpsons writer Michael Price and comedian Bill Burr, F is for Family will bring more of the same in season two, with the Murphy family struggling through a difficult winter in 1974. While patriarch Frank, voiced by Burr, is unemployed, his wife Sue must assume a breadwinner role.

"Mike and Molly" (CBS): Melissa McCarthy returns for one final season of CBS' hit sitcom. The shortened 13-episode final season was announced by co-star Rondi Reeds, prompting McCarthy to share via Twitter that she too was "shocked and heartbroken" upon learning of the cancellation.

"The 100" (The CW): The third season of the post-apocalyptic drama picks up three months after the catastrophic events of the Season 2 finale. Clarke is on the run and in danger, and Bellamy is trying to hold things together back at Camp Jaha. And a certain AI is still out there somewhere with a warhead that could destroy what's left of humanity.

"Black Sails" (Starz): Toby Stephens is back as Captain Flint as Season 3 of Starz's pirate adventure drama takes on the battle for Nassau. This season will also introduce Ray Stevenson as Blackbeard.

"The Fosters" (ABC Family): The third season of the acclaimed blended family series sees everyone settling into a new dynamic now that Callie is permanently adopted, while medical problems, secrets and relationship drama threaten everyone's happiness.

"Vikings" (History): The cable network bolstered its hit action series, adding four episodes to the fourth season of the Travis Fimmel-led show. The first 10 episodes air in February, with another 10 set for later in 2016.

F is for Family is the story of Frank Murphy (voiced by Bill Burr himself), a Korean war veteran trying to quietly raise three children in a world that's constantly changing around him. He works a shit job at a failing airline company to provide for his family, but he swallows his pride and tries not to take his bullshit home. Frank tries his best to enjoy himself between two shifts, but the utter madness of raising a lame rebellious teenage son, trying not to fuck up his two younger children and doing right by his family in a world that values individualism a little more every day is driving him closer and closer to the edge. We've come a long way since the 1970s, but it wasn't any easier raising a family back then. It was only a different kind of existential mindfuck.

Perhaps my favorite episode of F is for Family was The Bleedin' in Sweden, where Frank battles his bachelor neighbor Vic (voiced by Sam Rockwell) for the right to host the neighborhood's boxing match viewing party. Frank has to promise his neighbors a color, big screen experience without even knowing if he can afford it. It's a classic senseless consumerism storyline, but I though the historical perspective Bill Burr and co-show runner Michael Price brought to it was interesting. Television was the entertainment center of the family back then and upgrading it was an event celebrated by an entire neighborhood. There were no computers, smartphones or tablets to fragment the experience then. It was a little soulless, but at least it forced us to be soullless together and it kept a family's culture in sync to whatever it was broadcasting. Entertainment has undoubtedly upgraded over the last couple decades, but did our experience upgrade as well? I'm not so sure. 041b061a72


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