It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is Back

2007 September 14
by CajoleJuice

Since the creation of The Shield, FX has cleverly and sharply carved out a wonderful niche on cable television. It allows programming that would never be shown on broadcast television, while reaching a level of quality right below HBO, without the extra $10 a month. Shows like Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me and — of course — The Shield, have all received considerable critical acclaim. I have personally only seen The Shield out of those three and it’s absolutely incredible. But I’ve also been watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia since its inception two summers ago. I was hooked from the very first episode.

It was a half-hour block of television that revolved around the dilemma of whether or not to keep running a lucrative gay bar after a black acquaintance promotes it as such, when the three heterosexual owners naturally opened it in the first place to get laid. Of course, depravity ensues, with practical jokes gone wrong and racist remarks being thrown around. The intersection of multiple storylines and the great ending reminded me of a Seinfeld episode. Back then, the show had the feel of some low-budget indie production, which it basically was. It was four friends tackling different issues each episode in their own The seven episodes that comprised the first season were gold, touching on subjects such as abortion, molestation, dead old guys, underage drinking, and Nazism in ways I had never imagined possible. For a show to take on child molestation and make it gut-bustingly hilarious is quite the accomplishment. The four friends – three male, one female – made a Seinfeld-ian cast, and the show pushed the boundaries just like Seinfeld did back in the day, it’s just that now it takes a bit more to be outrageous. The show and characters still maintained some sort of believablity, though.

Before the second season, FX evidently felt it necessary to add some star power to the show, even though it had received a bit of attention already. And by “star power” I’m talking about the addition of Danny DeVito, not exactly a huge star nowadays, but enough of a draw to attract some possible viewers. They pimped the addition of him in the show, displaying his ugly mug predominantly in the commercial graphics, and even on the recently-released DVD set. He isn’t even in half of the episodes!

They even put his name on the top of the DVD set. Total bullshit. I’m a big believer in “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and adding that new factor to the show felt tacked-on and forced, leading DeVito to just seem out of place at times.

But you know what? He might have saved the show (ratings-wise) and allowed it to get to the third season that started tonight. I meant to make this post a few days ago, imploring you to watch the show and also linking to a YouTube pre-season episode (which I will still do). As much as I felt the second season suffered due to the addition of DeVito and a whole dysfunctional family angle along with him, the first two episodes shown tonight were pretty damn funny. The show has definitely changed since the first season, with the characters being more twisted, narcissistic, and juvenile (especially DeVito’s character, the very definition of a horrible human being), and the show choosing to be offensive just for the sake of it, but it seems that the show has learned to handle itself better in that realm of South Park-ness this season. Maybe I’m just getting used to it. Maybe I need to re-watch all the episodes now that I have the DVD set. I remembering loving a few episodes last year. All I know for sure is that it’s been one of the funniest shows on TV for the past couple of years.

Bachy, you would particularly enjoy the ending. Well, maybe not anymore. Just watch it.

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  • Iamthegamer

    Just caught this show last night…it’s pretty much exactly the same TV show I would’ve made if I had the opportunity. I love it. Not only does it has a Seinfeld archetype, but it’s got a bit of Simpsons flair, where almost every episode begins with something unrelated to the plot, then just smoothly segues into it. The show is brilliant though, I gotta pick up the DVDs.

    “‘An Inconvenient Truth’? Yea, I’d love to see that sometime.”

    -throws Big Gulp to the ground carelessly-

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