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Between great talent, awesome stories, and gags ‘F is For Family’ : Most Underrated Animated Show on Netflix

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Netflix’s F Is for Family is a weird little hybrid of a show. It’s sometimes very funny, and it’s sometimes very sad, which isn’t that unusual for a comedy — even an animated comedy — in 2018. But what makes F Is for Family notable is how both its sadness and its humour stem from exactly the same spot.

It would be tempting, if you only watched a single half-hour episode of F Is for Family, to conclude that it’s a series lamenting the rise of “political correctness.” Set in the ‘70s, it centres on a loud-mouthed white guy named Frank who’s at least vaguely threatened by women demanding something more like equality, and by the growing sense that the social order he stands atop is slowly eroding right beneath him.

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What’s more, Loudmouthed white guys threatened by the change aren’t unusual TV protagonists, either for comedies set in the ‘70s or for animated sitcoms. But F Is for Family’s spin on the type is defined as much by his sputtering frustration and total lack of confidence in himself and his abilities as it is by his anger. When Frank (voiced by series co-creator Bill Burr) shouts at his kids, F Is for Family doesn’t want you to laugh at how times have changed as much as it wants you to feel how limited he can be by his narrow range of emotional expression.

And at times, that description fits F Is for Family — a funny show, but one that will never sacrifice a character moment, heartfelt or depressive or otherwise, in the name of a joke. It’s a long, boozy story, told by a very funny comedian, late at night, right before the bar closes. And you start out laughing, but then you’re just smiling, and then finally you’re realizing this guy has seen some shit. And then the story’s over, and the lights come on, and everybody goes home, through quiet streets.

Yet the series isn’t afraid of occasionally dropping the hammer, of leaving viewers wondering where some darkly emotional turn came from. And so goes the end of “Battle of the Sexes,” the third season’s fifth episode.

F is for Family has some truly great acting for the series with everyone bringing a lot of energy and personality to their characters. In 2018 and 2019, F is for Family was nominated for Emmys for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance with Mo Collins nominated in 2018 for “Pray Away” and Kevin Michael Richardson nominated in 2019 for “The Stinger”.

Between great talent, awesome stories, and gags that will leave you in stitches. It’s the perfect time to check out F is for Family as we all try to make sure that, despite everything opening, we still try to minimize the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

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