It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Seasons 1 & 2
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Take the best elements from Seinfeld and Arrested Development and you have It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Combining the social-degenerate-buddy formula (three men, one woman) with the beyond-dysfunctional-family element, Philadelphia creates scenarios that are so hysterical, wrong, appalling, familiar, embarrassing, uncomfortable, and entertaining, the show is addictive like staring at a car wreck when you know you shouldn't, but you just can't look away; it's invigorating like a fresh, loud, wake-up slap on the face. The writing, the quick timing, and the performances are so natural, one wonders if anyone is even acting (but hopes to heaven they are). Danny DeVito joined the cast in the second season, in one of the best roles on TV. DeVito is "Frank," the buddy dad that just wants to be part of the gang, the dad that looks good on paper, but the experience for his kids is more like taking care of a vicious dog that isn't potty-trained. Three of his four talented cohorts (Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, and Rob McElhenney) not only star in the series, but write it as well. Thanks to their new take on old themes and a willingness to stretch the boundaries of appropriateness and exploit the audiences' inner insecurities, originality is back on TV.--Rachel Moss
Stills from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Seasons 1 & 2
Disc 2 Season 2:
Top Customer Reviews
Time and again, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" pulls off those mean feats.
Perfect example: Upon learning that his elementary school classmates were possibly molested by their gym teacher, one of the characters is thrown into a crisis of self-esteem, essentially: Why was the coach attracted to the other kids and not him? He was a much cuter kid than they were ... wasn't he???
Much like Ren and Stimpy used to change size and proportion depending on their surroundings, the boys and girl of "Sunny" alternate in their thought processes between brain damaged and strangely elloquent -- but since it's usually in the service of making a cultural or political point, it's a device that works really well.
"Sunny" is easily one of the best sit-coms on the air right now. The masses who continue to mourn the loss of "Arrested Development" would do well to turn their attention to this underseen little gem.
This is a potent blend of high- and lowbrow -- a kind of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" centered around a quartet of boozy brats, or "Friends" with a more realistic amount of toxicity and "pushing 30 desperation."
The dialogue flows like good improvisation and the plotting is always clever and more complicated than you'd expect (in that respect it even one-ups "Curb" whose twists can be viewed from a mile away [though that's admittedly part of "Curb's" charm]).Read more ›
Not since the departure of "Arrested" has there been such a narcissistic group of characters. In fact, these folks make the Bluth bunch seem downright nice. FX's lowbrow comedy features a trio of friends who co-own an Irish pub - Dennis, Mac, and Charlie (who also co-created and write the series). Adding some estrogen to the mix is Dennis' twin sister Dee, an aspiring actress. They leave nothing sacred and no taboo safe from scorn. Like the Seinfeld gang, they are equal opportunity offenders - other races, religions, elderly, and even the disabled - each is treated with the same nihilistic disdain.
Whether the gang is trying to "altruistically" give teens a safe drinking haven, fighting over who's the sexiest man candy to their suddenly all male-clientele, coaching a team of at-risk youths in a basketball league, tossing flaming poop bombs into neighboring businesses, changing sides while cruising for hot chicks in a pro-choice/life rally, "banging" an inappropriate partner, or running for office hoping to resign with a bribe, each episode is pure comic genius. And the casting of swarthy and height challenged Danny DeVito as the twins father (who'd much rather be a buddy) in the second season is an inspired choice.
Touted as Seinfeld on crack (and two characters even experiment with it to secure unemployment benefits), no character is more put upon then Charlie. Like Kenny from South Park, many of the episodes are devoted to putting him in harm's way ("Charlie Gets Crippled; Charlie Got Molested; Charlie Gets Cancer").Read more ›
Joining the three to compose "the gang" are Dennis' twin sister, vulgar Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson), who has illusions about her appearance, talent, and social viability, and the twins' raucous, ready-for-anything stepfather, Frank (Danny DeVito).
Whereas many post-1987 American television comedy series, from 'Seinfeld' (1989-1998), 'Roseanne' (1988-1997) and 'Mad About You' (1992-1999) to 'The King of Queens' (1998-2007) were supposed to be funny but simply were not, the vehemently politically incorrect 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' is that rare thing: an American television comedy that actually is funny.
The three leads--McElhenney, Howerton, and Day, who also write or cowrite many of the episodes--are extremely deft and nimble in their verbal and physical interaction, which is critical, since, despite a parade of elaborate set pieces in a number of episodes, typically, the funniest portions of each arise directly out of Mac's, Charlie's, and Dennis' explosive repartee. In this regard, Olson and DeVito contribute only slightly less.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a liberal and no prude, so this is not about offensive topics or language. I'm all for that kind of thing. It's simply not very interesting or funny. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Rebecca Long
As funny as the others - the plots are hilarious and the acting is natural - if you can get past the vulgarity and ignore the filthy language it's fun to watch and provides side... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Barbara84603
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