Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia : Season 3

"The gang" is back for season three of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. This is easily one of the best comedies on television today, and odds are you've probably never seen it. Very few television comedies can achieve what It's Always Sunny... pulls off with what seems like effortless ease and in this third season it really finds its stride and makes for some unique and original comedic television.

It's Always Sunny... revolves around the lives of four delightfully egotistical and self-serving friends who run a pub in Philadelphia. That's pretty much it. The show has been called "Seinfeld on Crack" which is actually a good description because the show deals with situations and conversations you would probably have in everyday life but they heighten the living the hell out of it and blow it to hilarious proportions.

A complaint some had about Seinfeld is that the characters were unsympathetic. If you're one of those people, then It's Always Sunny... is not for you. And if that's the case I feel very sorry for you. The characters can be seen as unsympathetic, but there's a great balance they've found with the show to where you do care about the main characters and can't help but watch what happens next. The characters do deplorable things to get their way, but in strange way, it's a cast of underdog characters who happen to have little morals. It's that underdog element and the way their motives are so cranked up that it keeps you hooked without tuning out. Even watching how they completely ruin the lives of fairly innocent characters, like Rickety Cricket and the Waitress, you can't help but be entertained and enjoy their tragic turns. It's something that's so tricky to pull off in comedy without being completely mean, but It's Always Sunny... knows how to execute it perfectly.

The season starts off strong with "The Gang Finds A Dumpster Baby" and continues being solid with episodes like "The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation," "Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire," and "Dennis Looks Like a Registered Sex Offender." However, it seems to get weaker at the end of the season but even the "weak" episodes are better and funnier than most comedies currently on television. This season features probably the best episode of the series, " Sweet Dee Dates a Retarded Person," in which you get to witness the debut of Charlie's musical masterpieces "Night Man" and "Day Man." You'll be singing the "Day Man" theme for months after seeing it.
The cast is a big part of why this show works so well. Danny DeVito is great as usual, but the chemistry between Charlie Day, Glen Howerton, Rob McElhenney, and Kaitlin Olson is fantastic. It's a cast that works so well together and can make misery look like ecstasy. The standout actor for me is Day who is extremely funny in this show. His mannerisms and way of speaking and reacting are some of the funniest character work around. I say "character work," but it makes me wonder how much of it is him or the character. That's why this cast works so well. Nothing seems forced or fake. It all flows naturally even when the situations are extremely ridiculous.

The special features in this set are entertaining but a bit spare. Special features include Commentary, Sunny Side Up Volume 2 Featurette, Meet The McPoyles Featurette, Danicing Guy Featurette, Gag Reel, and Season 3 TV spots. The features are fun, especially how they make comments at the expense of the directors (All three are former "child" actors, most notably Fred Savage). But I really wish this set had more commentary tracks. The two supplied for the episodes "The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation" and "Dennis Looks Like..." are funny, but I really would have loved some commentary on other episodes like "Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire" and "Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person".

This may not be a comedy everyone can enjoy, but it should be. There's so much pleasure to be had with all the twisted and hilarious things this show offers. Turn the dial down on your PC filters, sit back and treat yourself to the hilarious gem that is It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

No comments: