TV Review – It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

“Dayman!  Uh ahh ahh!  Fighter of the Nightman! Uh ahh ahh!  Champion of the Sun!  You’re a master of karate and friendship for everyone…Dayman!”

I can’t believe this show has been on the air for ten going on eleven damn years.

BQB here with a review of FX’s long running comedy series, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

I can’t quite put my finger on the exact date but at some point in the early to mid 2000s, the traditional sitcom format died.

Don’t get me wrong.  Surf the channels enough and you can still find that sappy “the dad is so dumb and the kids are so smart and mom’s the best” show somewhere, but by and large, people started gravitating towards non-traditional sitcoms.

Always Sunny does involve a situation – four friends and their elderly friend/step-father (depending on the character) own and operate a dive bar in Philadelphia.

In their spare time, which they have oodles of because they avoid hard work and contributing to society at all costs, they undertake a series of schemes, scams, and cons in a never ending quest to get rich overnight without having to do anything for it.

Situation? Check. Comedy? Check. Traditional? No.

Our characters are:

  • Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day) – the bar’s janitor and rat killer, naive dummy, epically disgusting dumpster diver, eternally obsessed with a woman we are only introduced to as “the waitress.”
  • Ronald “Mac” McDonald (Rob McElhenney) – Obsessed with 1980s action films, physical fitness and martial arts.  Always wears sleeveless shirts to show off his guns.  He’s not really that cut but believes himself to be.  Constantly checking out other men’s physiques, claiming purely as an appreciator of muscles but the running joke is he is clearly gay and overcompensates to avoid admitting it.
  • Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton) – Narcissistic sociopath.  Obsessed with himself, literally no lie he isn’t willing to tell or bad act he isn’t willing to carry out to get himself ahead or to get into a woman’s pants.  Inventor of the D.E.N.N.I.S. system to pick up chicks.
  • Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds – Dennis’ twin sister.  Good looking woman but suffers low self esteem due to constantly being called a “bird” but her brother and dumb friends.  Dreams of becoming an actress.  Has no talent and sadly, unable to recognize this fact.
  • Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito) – Dennis and Dee’s step-father.  Has amassed great wealth due to a variety of illegal activity over the years.  Could live in style but prefers to slum it as Charlie’s roommate. Big time scumbag who teaches the youngsters how to be scumbags.

I’ve watched this show since the beginning and wow has the time flew.

I’ll say this – there are times where I have laughed hysterically, times when I thought it was pretty creative and yes, even a few times where I thought, “well, they might being going a tad too far there.”

How they have remained friends so long, I don’t know. Its nothing but a sea of them calling each other names, backstabbing and trash talking one another and so on.

Every week, they try a new scheme or get themselves into a bind.

Here are some of the most memorable off the top of my head, in no particular order:

  • Dayman/Nightman Song aka “The Nightman Cometh” – Charlie writes a musical and is too stupid to realize that it is filled with sexually explicit innuendo.
  • Kitten Mittens – Just how it sounds. Charlie puts mittens on kittens.
  • “World Series Defense” – the gang explains to a judge a terrible ordeal they had while trying to attend the World Series. Charlie dawns his “green man costume” and a generation of drunk frat boys running around in face-less green suits is born.
  • “Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare” – and to convince the welfare office they’re destitute and hopeless, they acquire and smoke crack….and become hooked. You wouldn’t think crack is a funny subject but darned if they didn’t find a way.
  • “Who Pooped the Bed?” – a poop is found in a bad. The gang, in classic whodunnit mystery style, becomes determined to solve the crime.
  • “Storm of the Century” – a massive storm heads Philly’s way.  Dennis becomes obsessed a well endowed TV weather girl, so much so much so that whenever he spots her ample bosom, he hears the lyrics to the 1980s hit song “Alone” by Heart.  He spots the boobs, he hears and apparently thinks, “Till know…I always got by own my own…” Priceless.

I don’t know. I could go on forever with my favorite episodes. If I do, I’ll ruin them. You should just go on Netflix and watch them.

Above all else, what I love about this show is that it was created by a group of friends who were trying to make a go of it in Hollywood and after struggling for years, got together, made their show, sold it to FX and were even able to get a well-known star like Danny DeVito to not only sign on in the second season but to be willing to completely debase himself over and over again for a decade.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, 3.5 readers.  If things aren’t working out, take a page from the Always Sunny crew and make things happen (but uh, try to not be so alcoholic…or gross…or engage in any of their 9 million bad habits.)

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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