Friday, November 30, 2018

REVIEW: 'F Is For Family' - Frank Hopes to Maintain Some Summer Traditions in 'Are You Ready for the Summer?'

Netflix's F Is For Family - Episode 3.01 "Are You Ready for the Summer?"

The Murphys kick off summer with a trip to the town Memorial Day parade, where bottled-up frustrations and fears about the new baby boil over.

In 2018, it makes no sense to provide full-length reviews of each individual episode for shows released all at once on the streaming services. Sure, there are some shows out there that value the power of the episode. They do make a point in differentiating each episode to ensure it's not just one big slog to the finish. However, the ability to watch the entire season at one's own viewing pace has largely changed the way we consume and discuss these shows. So, some brief summary thoughts are really all that's actually necessary with these seasons. As such, here are my latest thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's F Is For Family.

"Are You Ready for the Summer?" was written by Eric Goldberg & Peter Tibbals and directed by Olivier Schramm

The wait between seasons of F Is For Family is absolutely excruciating. It comes at a time when Netflix is really investing in animated series as well. So, there is the hope that the creative team is able to turn around the episodes faster than 17 or 18 months if the show is renewed again. That will help the audience remember everything that happened at the end of the previous year. That makes it appreciated that this premiere is mostly just summing up everything that is currently going on with the Murphy family and their neighbors. It still addresses some profound themes of economic anxiety and fear of inadequacy. But it's also just catching the audience up on what remains important for this family right before it puts them into new situations that are bound to change their lives. Of course, the biggest bombshell is something that was confirmed in between the seasons. The second season ended with the suggestion that Frank and Sue were about to get pregnant thanks to a condom with a hole in it courtesy of Smoky. And now, Sue is officially pregnant. She is expecting her fourth child. It comes at a time when she and Frank were determined to finish their dreams and have more fulfilling lives. It's agonizing to her that she never seems to complete anything. She loves her family. And yet, they have gotten in the way of her completing things in the past. She doesn't even think about it until it's right in her face. She started putting the wallpaper up when she was pregnant with Bill. Only now is she trying to finish it. Because it's a struggle, it seems incredibly daunting for her. She wants to actually achieve her dreams. Right now though, everything seems to be working against her. Frank would rather slowly go back up the stairs than let his wife know that he sees the struggle that she is currently going through and wants to help. That continues to prove that Frank is a man who would rather bottle up his emotions than properly express himself to his family. He is very demanding. He wants this to be the same summer that the family has always celebrated together. And yet, his children are getting older and chasing their own independence. Frank only wants to see the world a certain way as well. He doesn't notice that Kevin and his friends are getting drunk at the parade or that Bill has a crush on Bridget. Nor is he able to capture the moment Maureen decides to fight against sexism in the computer club. He is too busy getting into a fight with a child. He only sees that as wrong in hindsight because the child's father happens to be a police officer. That's absolutely horrifying and proves that Frank's values are still wildly off. He is furious at the world for not abiding by his views. He wants to present as someone who is an ally to whatever his family aspires to do. His marriage went through a very rough patch in the second season. He and Sue are back together and seemingly stronger than ever before. And yet, a new baby won't be able to fix their problems. In fact, it may only compound them. They still end up in bed together. A major sunburn can't stop Frank from being with his wife. And yet, there is the fear that this couple lacks complete empathy in being able to understand each other. That means that the marital drama may only be continuing this season. They present as a team. But right now, Sue is the one actually trying to finish something she started. Frank is just happy that his life at Mohican Airlines has gone back to his normal.