‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’: Crude, Dirty, Consistently Hilarious

Written by Guest October 30, 2011

I cannot really think of many shows that do not feel stale after seven seasons. Usually writers’ run out of ideas and provide ludicrous plotlines involving pairing random main cast members together romantically, having a character jump over a shark on water skis or the dreaded over-reliance on celebrity guest stars to shift the focus and try to Houdini the viewer into forgetting that the characters have gotten stale. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia actually somehow makes itself feel more fresh and funny in its seventh season than many of its earlier episodes without relying on cheap tricks to maintain interest.

It’s Always Sunny premiered back in 2005 on FX on an obviously ridiculously low budget. It’s Always Sunny centers around five soulless, crude, sociopaths that run a bar in the crappy end of Philadelphia. Since it is such a terrible bar, it has minimal attendance, leaving the gang free to go out and satisfy their selfish desires or explore an issue that they see (usually for some pathetic reason) as pressing. The title of the episode sums up the premise of the episode and the title is usually always provided as a punch line to a joke. Some examples being “Frank Sets Sweet Dee On Fire”, “Who Pooped The Bed?” or “The Gang Finds a Dumpster Baby”.

The show stars Glenn Howerton (from everyone’s favourite That 80’s Show) as the psychotic and horny Dennis Reynolds. Kaitlin Olson is Dennis’ neurotic and heavily-mocked twin sister. Rob McElhenney plays the overconfident and macho Mac, Charlie Day (from this summer’s hit Horrible Bosses) shines as the illiterate Charlie and finally Danny DeVito (from an actually prolific career) portrays the disgusting Frank Reynolds. Any pairing of the five characters can be hilarious and the show’s writers/creators/stars know how to utilize their strengths to full force, at least most of the time. Like every show, there are a few clunker episodes here and there. There is rarely every a streak of slumps though and the show rebounds quickly.

When I first heard of this show, I was afraid it would rely too much on gross-out humour like Two and a Half Men. This show is more about characters who toe across the boundaries of normal human social interactions and through this, the humour is drawn. It’s Always Sunny takes current topics like gay marriage and abortion and draws humour out of them by providing the view of the politically unaware person manipulating the issue to benefit themselves. For example, in a first season episode Mac with his Catholic pro-life stance joins a pro-life rally because he wants to bang its organizer, but switches to the pro-choice side by the end of the episode once he strikes out with her pulling a 180 on his religious beliefs in order to get laid.

Despite not being the funniest show ever created, or even one of the funniest shows even on TV presently, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is one of the most consistent shows. You will always be guaranteed a solid laugh with the Gang and you will grow oddly attached to some of the most unlikable scumbags to every disgrace your television screen.

Best episodes to test to see if you will like the show: ‘Mac and Charlie Die’, ‘ ‘Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth’, ‘The Gang Gets Held Hostage’, ‘Charlie Has Cancer’, ‘Mac & Dennis: Manhunters’

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