Show 101: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

SHOW: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

PREMIERES: Thursday, September 16 at 10pm on FX

WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: If you like lampoonish, over-the-top comedy that is really a commentary about karma biting you in the ass because you’re an awful person, then tune in. If you like off-the-hook absurdity, cringeworthy moments, and perfect comedic timing—not to mention dudes who wear sleeveless shirts and huff glue—watch an episode. It’s Always Sunny in Philladelphia is like a cracked out combo of Taxi's perfect casting and Curb Your Enthusiasm’s neverending worst-case scenarios. Episode titles that might give you a sense of the show's inane antics include "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis," "The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover," "Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person," and "Who Pooped the Bed?"

WHY YOU MIGHT HATE IT: If none of the above appeals to you, or if you don’t like incessant yelling, crass jokes, or watching so-called "adults" behaving badly, then maybe this show isn’t for you.

THE PREMISE: The gang—Mac (Rob McElhenney), Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day), Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito), Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton), Deandra "Sweet Dee" Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson)—spends its days at Paddy’s Irish Pub, a run down bar in South Philadelphia that all of them work at and/or own. They are not, what you would say moral upstanding citizens, and frequently ruin other people's lives for their own benefit.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Hey-o! Almost all It's Always Sunny... episodes are self-contained, so you can easily jump in at any point. A few running plot points, character backstories, and jokes: Dennis and Sweet Dee are brother and sister, and Frank is used to be their father. Frank and Charlie live together in a disgusting apartment where they share a bed, and Frank is possibly Charlie's dad due to a one-night stand and a failed abortion many years ago. Mac and Dennis are best friends. Charlie can't read. Sweet Dee looks like a bird. Mac rarely wears sleeves and thinks he's a master of karate. They are all pretty much the epitome of awfulness, and they are all totally unaware of their awfulness.

I leave you with this parting thought, from the Season 5 episode "Paddy's Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens":



But you should probably watch the Auto-Tuned Season 6 trailer and the cast's Season 6 overview, too:



See you tonight, bitches!

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For newcomers, I should add to the "What You Need to Know" list that there are some recurring characters with strange relationships with the principal cast. The first is The Waitress - nobody knows her real name, Charlie is passionately in love with her (even though she clearly despises him) and in his demented way thinks stalking her is tantamount to some sort of relationship, she is in love with Dennis and once slept with Frank. The next is "Rickety Cricket" - His real name is Matthew Mara but everybody calls him Rickety Cricket, he's always been in love with Dee, he used to be a priest but left the church when Dee suggested she might have feelings for him (which she subsequently took back) and now he lives on the streets and wants revenge against the gang - even though he still seems to have feelings for Dee. Next are the McPoyles - an incestuous white trash family that wants revenge against the gang for various reasons. Luther/Mac's dad is an ex-convict whom Mac inadvertantly sent back to jail for violating his parole terms (Mac mistakenly thought Luther was going to kill him; Luther was really planning to violate his parole by taking a vacation with Mac); Luther has forgiven Mac but still seems pissed. Perhaps Charlie's mom used to be a whore, and perhaps she had a fling with Frank nine months before Charlie was born. Bruce Mathis, Dee and Dennis' biological father, is a wonderful person. Carmen used to be a pre-op trannie who slept with Mac; she is now penis-free and married. Last season, the gang defiled bar owner Art Sloane's bar and house, and started a new rivalry with Dennis' former frat (forget the name). No idea whether these characters will return, but they might. I think those are all the recurring characters that require explanation. Maybe I accidentally left out a couple. It's a great show - probably my favorite on TV right now - and you should love it.
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This is my kind of humour. As an avid fan of this show, I am over the moon that its returning. Bigger and better! With the most hilarious, most politically incorrect characters in the world, this show deserves all the praise it gets. And then some!
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i definitely need to get caught up...
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Uh, Frank isn't Dennis and Dee's dad anymore, but instead sort of Charlie's dad, possibly. But yeah, really looking forwards to season six.
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The "Why You May Like It" is not going to help get many new watchers. I love this show, but if someone had told me about it saying it had over-the-top comedy and cringeworthy moments, I would have never even given it a shot.
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