Friday, November 30, 2018

REVIEW: 'F Is For Family' - Frank Bonds with His New Neighbor to Avoid Sue in 'Paul Lynde to Block'

Netflix's F Is For Family - Episode 3.02 "Paul Lynde to Block"

Sue's hopes of a romantic night with Frank at the drive-in are dashed when he brings the new neighbors along. Kevin's bandmates drop a bombshell.

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.

"Paul Lynde to Block" was written by David Richardson and directed by Sylvain Lavoie

Frank is given a new foil here. He has a new friend to bounce ideas off of and commiserate about the world. Chet Stevenson immediately presents himself as a character of importance. He has seemingly had the life that Frank has always wanted. He actually got to serve in the Air Force. He has flown planes into war zones. He is a hero. Frank applauds that service so fiercely. Moreover, Frank doesn't have any children. He just has a hot wife that he got from his military service in Vietnam. Of course, that should be absolutely horrifying to the audience because it embodies the idea that the United States went to Vietnam in order to destroy the local community and take all of the women for themselves. Nguyen-Nguyen is more like a prize that he won through conquering instead of a woman he genuinely loves and appreciates. And yet, this new friendship immediately strikes the right tone because Chet is just as envious of the life that Frank has. He revers the sacrifices and service that he made as well. It doesn't matter that Frank is frustrated right now. He's a family man who should be treated with respect too. In fact, that's the basis for the story here. Frank believes that he has to care for Sue and tiptoe around everything she does because she has gone crazy with pregnancy hormones. Of course, that mostly shows just how inconsiderate he can be because he doesn't want to genuinely care for the mother of his children. He just wants to talk with someone who can understand. That bond is strong. However, this episode also points out how the worries of the Murphy family are incredibly silly in the grand scale of things. Sure, their financial difficulties are very real and genuine. That's been a very profound story that recognizes that kind of impact on their lives and the people in the same economic position. However, Sue is complaining about her idea being stolen and being full of self-doubt to a woman whose country was destroyed and she was kidnapped by the army that did so. It's horrifying for Sue to make that realization. She at least makes it though. And yet, that only makes her feel worse because she knows it but still ends up talking about herself no matter what. To her, the next great invention is all that she can focus on. She needs to come up with this invention before her time becomes consumed by the new baby. Plus, her husband doesn't want to spend any alone time with her. He would rather take the entire family to the drive-in than give Sue exactly what she wants. That shows that their marriage isn't really as strong as both of them thought it to be when they decided to get back together. All of this is having a serious impact on the children as well. In fact, it's easy to feel so much sympathy for Bill because he has been traumatized in many different ways. His father keeps telling him to just repress his feelings. If he doesn't talk about them, then they will go away. But here, he is plagued by terrifying nightmares. He has seen his parents having sex. He has seen his father held at gunpoint. He has seen two people die because of a bomb. All of those are disturbing and gory to his young mind. Plus, he feels like his parents don't care about him because he's the middle child. Frank is yelling at Kevin because of his grades while Debbie constantly needs a babysitter even though she wants nothing more than to be left alone. Bill is caught in the middle and isn't able to do anything that he wants from his life because of the horrors of his family.