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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Always Sunny’ is still going strong in 11th season

    A still from official teaser for “It’s Always Sunny in Philedelphia,” season six.

    Narcissistic characters, disgusting potty humor, occasional violence and frequent screaming are not traditional aspects of a sitcom. One television show, however, has proven these elements can work time and time again.

    FXX’s hit comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” returned for its 11th season on Jan. 6. The show revolves around the misadventures of five narcissistic, alcohol-obsessed friends who own and run Paddy’s Pub, a bar in South Philadelphia.

    There’s Charlie, the illiterate idiot with a big heart; Dennis, the overly confident womanizer and possible psychopath; Mac, the fitness freak who thinks he’s a total badass; Dee, the aspiring actress with no chance of ever achieving stardom; and Frank, the eccentric cat food eating billionaire. Their bar is certainly a less than classy establishment, which makes it even more hilarious.

    A large amount of the show is the characters yelling at each other and trying to out do one another at ridiculous tasks. But somehow, the writers and actors manage to keep the show fresh and clever. This couldn’t have been easy, but the dynamic between the characters is so strong and each character is so well developed that everything still feels new and funny.

    Old jokes and previous plot lines aren’t used unless it’s for a specific purpose, so nothing about this program ever feels stale or overdone.

    The formula for “Sunny” really hasn’t changed over the years: It’s the same five main characters, known as the “Gang,” who really haven’t gone anywhere in life over the past decade.

    The gang revisits an old board game in the season premiere, “Chardee Macdennis 2: Electric Boogaloo,” they created earlier in the series. It’s very entertaining to watch them glue back together a broken beer bottle, drink alcohol through an IV drip and take an absurd amount of laxatives to see who can hold it in the longest.

    It serves fans and makes for a night of hilarity.

    Season 11, episode two serves as a homage to the very beginning of the series. In “Frank Falls out the Window,” Frank, as you may have guessed, falls out of a window, where he hits his head and suddenly thinks it is 2006. The gang, as self-centered as they are, concoct a plan to trick Frank into giving them all of his money. This revisits some old “Sunny” moments like Dennis and Dee getting addicted to crack and then going to the social services office to get welfare to buy more crack.

    During Frank’s concussion-driven wanderings, he keeps having visions of old moments from the show, so this episode serves as a clip for the series.

    It’s a throwback to whom the characters were in 2006 and a reminder they haven’t really changed. It’s the realization that these really are fully developed characters and perhaps a hint that maybe the show won’t be on for all that much longer. The episode is a testament to how long they have already been around.

    Episode three, “The Gang Hits the Slopes,” is a spoof of old 1980s ski movies, with all the partying and absurdness that comes with them.

    The episode provides all the fun of a 1980s film while acknowledging how ridiculous it all really is. One of the funniest concepts is the events are all justified by people referencing “mountain rules.”

    The irony here is also that Charlie, the designated dumb one of the bunch, is the only one who seems to think these “mountain rules” don’t make any sense.

    Episode four, “Dee Made a Smut Film,” airs Wednesday, so there is still time to catch up and put “Sunny” on your weekly queue.

    Thanks to the characters’ brilliant relationships and the writers’ ability to make basic outbursts of anger ripe with hilarity, “Sunny” is still a hysterical treat.

    Once you get to know the characters and understand their dynamics, it becomes clear that even in its 11th season, it is still one of the funniest shows on TV.

    “Sunny” airs Wednesday nights on FXX.

    Follow Alec Kuehnle on Twitter.

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