Adult animation has taken many forms since the dawn of animation with the Loony Toons and Tom and Jerry all the way to The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, and so on, but fuse the adult humor of those shows with a sitcom drama and you have something far more jolting. From the inspiration of comedian Bill Burr as well as his team which includes, Michael Price (The Simpsons) and producer Vince Vaughn. If raunchy, aggressively well thought out humor isn’t for you then I can already tell you to stop reading, plain and simple, but if you’re like me then you know that satire helps the world from burning itself more than it already is.
Bill Burr, whose stand up specials can all be seen on Netflix with a subscription, is one of the best comedians alive, if not ever, and one of his stand out trademarks are his overtly Irish temper that leaks into any and everything he sees people doing. Bringing that attitude and humor to animation just adds to the hilarity that ensues with this family set in the 1970’s America we hear stories about. The miserable housewife, blue-collar fathers with no filters, children getting into trouble, and of course, cocaine. All that coupled together with voice work from Burr himself, Laura Dern, Justin Long, Haley Reinhart, and a standout Sam Rockwell couple all the humor with an astounding amount of character development which separates this show from its counterparts.
Season 1 is definitely an in your face introduction to this animated rendition of the 70’s which boasts some of the most genuine issues this family faces while also keeping that cartoonish vibe with outlandish gags, character traits, and side plots. It’s the overall arc of the first season that will make you realize that this is something you want to follow rather than mindlessly lose yourself in. While the laughs come in abundant, vulgar, visually unsettling (but still hilarious) times, there is something genuine to the story of a father who struggles to keep his motley crew family from sinking.
It’s with Season 2 that you realize this show isn’t some mindless gross out show that you’d expect from the style of animation, similar to the low budget Adult Swim cartoons of past and present, and you get this edgy family drama instead. Burr’s voice acting is up to par with some of the best in the business which is a testament to his ability to respect and hone in on the craft because while him screaming and being angry is what makes him so funny, it’s the subtle well thought out grievances he has with the world that put it all together. The themes in the show are what made me binge the second season in one night. From realizing that marriage is difficult for people in financial struggles to reminding us all that puberty sucks, and having people ignore your potential is frustrating as hell, but in the end, if they’re your family then they still get a pass.
I think people that enjoy dark comedy and aren’t offended so easily will get a huge kick out of this show. It’s strictly for adults so don’t think you can slide this kind of show into the day when the kiddos are awake. It’s a well written, well devised story line that keeps your attention, but also has those gags and jokes that make you crack up. The humor is intellectually sound, but manages to throw that realistically visual humor in there as well. I’m pissed Season 3 isn’t going to be out for a little while, but I can honestly say that the show leaves on a great note that will make you want more.