Frank Murphy, our protagonist of the Netflix original series F is for Family, is a temperamental father who can’t express his emotions in any way other than anger. He is a man with a short fuse and limited sense of humor. So when halloween hits the Murphy’s small town, the children are excited to do some trick-or-treating (emphasis on the tricks). But, as per usual, Frank finds a way to ruin it for everyone.
Sue Murphy (Laura Dern) has grown tired of selling Tupperware to ungrateful housewives for minimal income. When she learns of an employment opportunity at the Tupperware company, one in a real office that makes real money, she is ecstatic. But before she can accept, she needs to talk to Frank, who can’t find anything more catastrophic than his wife leaving home and giving him more responsibilities to do at home.
One day, while Sue is running an errand, her boss calls to tell her the job opportunity is official and it’s hers if she wants it. However, Frank answers the phone and lies that Sue no longer wants the job opportunity. When Sue finds out, she leaves the house to blow off some steam. To make matters worse, she leaves the night of Halloween.
Frank is now left to do all the chores that come with October 31, ranging from taking his youngest Maureen (Debi Derryberry) trick-or-treating, helping Kevin (Justin Long) with his history homework, and dealing with the consequences of Bill’s (Haley Reinhart) not-so-friendly drama. It becomes a night of family fights and heartbreak, typical for the Murphy Household.
Halloween in the 70’s
There is so much chaos in F is for Family. From the vulgar language and political jokes to the graphic imagery, the show never hesitates to pull out all its punches. The fact that Bill Burr is one of the creators of the series also aids in the show’s crudeness, which is especially fun in the show’s holiday specials. “F is for Halloween” has its wholesome friend-and-family moments like any other sitcom, but with more sexual references, stoned teenagers, crucifixion jokes; the list goes on.
The few horror references in the episode are apparent in the costumes and a television movie in the background (which always reminds me of the movie Norman watches in the beginning of Paranorman).
The bright hues of green and purple and blue are a great contrast to the accurate depiction of how everything in the 70’s, from the homes to the clothes, was a million shades of tan and brown. Most notable are the many costumes Maureen creates, only for Frank to shut her down because she doesn’t fit in with his ideal Halloween gender roles.
While F is for Family is a show meant to be watched in order, “F is for Halloween” can be the exception if you are looking for a funny, spooky time. The episode is filled with many of the shows comedic trademarks, like Frank’s temper tantrums and Kevin’s weed-infused escapades. But there are also touching moments that are sweet and sad, which serve a kind balance to the obscenity.(4 / 5)
Check out more Dark Deviations here at Haunted MTL.