'F is For Family' Season 4 Review: Frank finds reconciliation and so do most characters in the Netflix show
Spoilers for ‘F is For Family’ Season 4
For a show that has waded its way through three seasons with anger, curses, and resentment, season 4 of ‘F is For Family’ offers a chance at reconciliation. The animated sitcom set in the ‘70s revolves around the Murphy family, a white middle-class Irish-American household from a suburban area in the midwest.
The dysfunctional family has had its share of ups and downs, but nothing has ever put it to test like season 4. It begins with Frank (Bill Burr) trying to deal with the sudden reappearance of his estranged father William (Jonathan Banks) in his life. There is the teenage Kevin (Justin Long) struggling to find his musical identity -- influenced by his coke-sniffing groovy radio jockey neighbor Vic (Sam Rockwell), who is going through his own existential crisis.
There is young Maureen (Haley Reinhart) struggling to deal with being in a family that never has learned to express emotions. There is Bill (Debi Derryberry) who is slowly understanding his genetic inheritance -- hating his father.
There is a lot of conflicts, but as mentioned earlier, season 4 offers reconciliation. Frank, an angry white man shackled by fragile and toxic masculinity, learns over the season to accept certain things. At the Lamaze class he takes with his wife Sue (Laura Dern), he learns how to control his anger. Through conversations, he learns how to ask for love. Through arising victorious out of the difficult traps life sets up for him, he learns how to forgive, not just the ones he is angry at, but also himself.
There is a lot that season 4 gets right that the first three seasons barely scratched the surface of. And one of those things is the father-son relationship. In episode 5 of the season, we see Frank, his father-in-law, and his neighbors gathered together, watching a bowling tournament. All the men take turns in explaining why their fathers were such a**holes to them.
Yes, Frank has a lot of resentment for his father. But through various incidents, we see Frank and William slowly mend their fences. Burying the hatchet comes easy for neither of them, but it happens.
But that’s not the only father-son relationship that mends this time. Jimmy, the middle-school bully, and his father, the janitor-cum-hockey coach find reconciliation after three seasons of neglect and contempt. In a way, even Vic finds meaning in his life at the very end of the season when he learns that he is about to become a father.
‘F is For Family’ started off shaky in its first season. But at this point, it has more than a solid story. All the characters, even the absurd ones are multidimensional and well-written. And above all else, it has heart. It may not be the best animated adult comedy series out there. But it is certainly a remarkable one.
‘F is For Family’ Season 4 is available for viewing on Netflix.