It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Thursdays 10/9 Central) (FX) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Rob McElhenney as Mac, Kaitlin Olson as Sweet Dee, Charlie Day as Charlie, Danny DeVito as Frank, and Glenn Howerton as Dennis

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Thursdays 10/9 Central)

FX

Sep 17, 2009 Web Exclusive
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After a hiatus of almost 10 months, the Paddy's Pub crawlers, Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Charlie (Charlie Day), Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson), and Frank (Danny DeVito) return to exploit, harass, scheme, and rile the denizens of Southern Philadelphia. The endlessly quotable, It's Always Sunny in Philadelpia, may have started out as a low budget sitcom with Seinfeldian itches in the most disgusting places, but the last two seasons of their nobrow antics saw the fivesome tapping into a comedic wellspring.

The genius of Sunny is that these dimwitted, evergreen optimists, unknowingly explore major political/social topics. Past episodes on the Unites States' dependence on foreign oil, abortion, welfare, and terrorism are deliriously skewed. Of course, there's also plenty of Nightman Cometh musicals and Greenman antics to be had as well.

In the fifth season's first episode, "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis," the hapless crew aims their unruly thieving at likeable suburbanite families who are fighting home foreclosure and infertility. Of course, sympathy is wasted these guys, who just want to flip houses and auction off Dee's fetus to the highest bidder. If you're already interested, then you're probably a Sunny fan. Of course, this new season also sees the selfish fivesome pathetically grabbing for fame, fortune, and attention.

In the next three episodes alone, a road trip to the Grand Canyon goes horribly wrong ("The Gang Hits the Road"), an intervention for Frank turns into a wino soiree with Diet Coke cans ("The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention"), and the Paddy's folks butcher more than M. Night Shyamalan's last name ("Mac and Charlie Write a Movie").

The latter episode is clearly the comedic standout and the "twist ending" will have you looking at the muscly Rocky IV star Dolph Lundgren in a hilarious new light. Howerton's Dennis always seemed like the insecure pretty boy, but here he truly puts his best foot forward. Longtime director Fred Savage also does a brilliant job of segueing between the fictional Shyamalan picture about Serbian war and the group's antics.

For the most part, the gang usually plays to their strengths as a tight-knit ensemble, but 24 supporting actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, plays the creepy, stoner cousin to Dee and Dennis extremely well. She's collectively known as "The Snail," and is already being set up as another classic recurring character on par with the McPoyles. The gang's continual irreverence towards even base common decencies is still the show's main selling point. Just when you thought they couldn't become any more despicable the gang throws a curve ball and becomes one of the wittiest shows on television.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ably fills in a large hole where niche shows such as Arrested Development once slouched. There's enough pitch-perfect comedy squeezed out of every five minutes of Sunny than what appears in whole episodes of the oftentimes too dramatic How I Met Your Mother, The Office, and Scrubs. Justly, FX recently renewed Sunny for at least two more seasons. Now we just need someone to nominate this show for a much-deserved Emmy! (www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/sunny)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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Ted
September 18th 2009
1:13am

I concur my friend.

Green Car
April 21st 2010
4:22pm

There are so few television comedies that generate as much humor with generally unlikable characters, and Sunny probably tops the list.