Friday, July 15, 2011

Exfanding Radar: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I don't watch a whole lot of TV. Currently, I can count the number of shows I watch regularly on one hand. Community, The Office, 30 Rock, and, um, True Blood.

Sure, every now and then I'll catch an episode of something on FOX where Gordon Ramsey is yelling at people, mostly because that's just good for the soul.

But for the most part, if the television's on, it's because I'm watching a baseball game.

And if there's a show that seems to be up my alley, I'll just wait for the season to end and I'll buy the DVD. No commercials. No waiting a whole week for the next episode.

Just keep on watching until I fall asleep.

Most times, because I'm pretty clueless about most things, someone needs to recommend a show to me before I even find out about its existence. Like, say, Firefly.

In the case of the FX show, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I didn't even know that FX was a channel. Exfanding reader Dr. Nick had to bring the existence of both things--the show and the channel--to my attention.

Honestly, though, I still have no idea where FX is on cable, so instead, I've taken to buying and watching the DVDs as each season comes out.

Last night, I finished up season 5 of the show, and I can't wait for season 6 to hit stores (by which I mean Amazon) in September. I've held off on writing about the series for so long because I'm always uncomfortable writing about the things I love the most.

Like The Goon or even Firefly, I want to make sure that I do right by them in my review. And because I'm so bad at reviews...well, you see where I'm going with this.

Also, in the case of Sunny, it's really hard to describe what the show is about.

Ostensibly, it revolves around The Gang--Charlie, Mac, Dennis, Sweet Dee, and Frank--and, for lack of a more eloquent description, they go on a series of whacky adventures.

Like that time they (tried to go) to the Grand Canyon. Or when Charlie and Mac faked their own deaths. Or when Frank and Dee became door to door knife and vacuum salesmen. Or when Charlie created Kitten Mittens.
The short summary is this, really. Mac and Dennis own a bar in Philly--Paddy's--and Charlie is the janitor. Sweet Dee is Dennis' brother and she also works at the bar. Frank, played by Danny DeVito, is Dee and Dennis' father.

Although they do everything together and claim to be best friends (and, in the case of Dee, Dennis, and Frank, actual family members), The Gang's apathy towards one another is on the same level as their staggering cluelessness about the world in general.

They're not good people, they don't ever try to be good people, and they think everyone else is stupid. To say that they act with a reckless abandon is like saying Americans like football or that Sam Kinison liked to yell.

The Gang's actions are usually criminal and borderline psychotic. Until, of course, they're 100% psychotic. Sunny takes that old, wonderful trope of "main character has hair-brained scheme" and cranks it up to a level not seen before on television.

The plots are absurd, such as the one when The Gang decides to copy the good deeds of Extreme Home Makeover in order to get good vibes sent their way because Dee skimmed The Secret.

What begins as an awful and dangerous idea ends up as a horrifying terrorist-like kidnapping of an innocent family.

But, as it always does on Sunny, hilarity ensues.

I have honestly never laughed to the point of near-vomiting over anything before I watched the episode where The Gang takes a road trip. I swear to you that I fell off the couch, holding my stomach.

When does that ever happen?

Avant-garde, raunchy, messed up, manic, and always, always the funniest thing I've seen on any given day, Sunny has ruined all my other favorite shows. Because it's just so much better, and funnier, than anything else on TV.

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