In just six short episodes F is for Family warmed hearts and slightly offended all while following a typical (almost too real) ‘70s family, the Murphys.
It’s the relatable nature of Bill Burr’s adult animation that really makes it stand above others. “Generally speaking we really try to have it based more so on reality,” he explains. “What I like is it’s really loosely based on my childhood. Like, my family can watch it and not be mortified, not be embarrassed that I took all of our stuff.”
Burr holds up a great deal of the show, being the co-creator (alongside Michael Price) and a writer, but his voice is quite prominent as the main character – Frank Murphy. “I think I was always going to do the voice of the dad,” he admits. “I’m basically doing an exaggerated version of myself with some caricatures from my dad and then a couple of other people that I know.”
Many would recognise Burr for his well-known stand-up comedy, which inspired the idea for the show. “Initially, I would tell family stories on stage when I was a younger comic and the crowd would laugh,” he chuckles. “As I got older and I became the older comic, an all new generation of kids came along. You know, they wore helmets when they rode bicycles. They weren’t afraid of their dads and stuff like that. So the stories didn’t do as well, but I knew they were funny. So, I kind of stopped telling them on stage and I just had an idea one day – what if I animated them?
“I was just going to make little five minute shorts for my website, which of course I never did. One day I had a meeting with Vince Vaughn’s company, Wild West, and I just threw it out there, and they wanted to do an animated show and then they hooked me up with Mike Price from The Simpsons and that’s when we fleshed it out and it became a show.“
There were many reasons why animation was chosen as the medium, but mostly because of how much freedom there was in term of political correctness. “It’s weird, there’s like a glass ceiling of how funny they’ll let you be on a sitcom and then they’ll let you be a little more funny on a one-camera shoot, like, say The Office or something,” Burr explains. “But for some reason, with animation, they’ll let you be as funny as your ability, which is why I think South Park, Bob’s Burgers, BoJack Horseman… all of those things are really funny.”
F is for Family will be back for a second season, and with the increase in episodes, the show will continue to advance in time. “Every season will be like three/four months of the year. So last year was the end of ’73. This year’s life is the beginning of ’74, and then third season, if we get it, will be like summertime of ’74,” Burr declares. “What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to avoid the late ‘70s disco era. We feel like that’s been done to death. I remember the late ‘70s, and as much as disco was this craze – parents were parents and they weren’t going out dressing like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.”
– Main photo credit: Koury Angelo