Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia
And so Season 8 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia ends with The Gang doing what they do best: Screaming at each another in Paddy’s. And with each of them shucking most of their usual insane traits (save for Mac’s staunch Catholic-ness) and finding themselves within the comfortable middle of half-genius/half-moron. Frank, arguing loudly with a tape of pre-recorded Charlie directions in his car, runs into the back of Dennis’ car, causing him to spill his giant milky bowl of cereal everywhere. Yes, Dennis was eating cereal in the car. And that alone is almost enough to love this season ender.
Sometimes Sunny works best when everything plays out in a more traditional TV comedy way, again with everyone here making both solid and idiotic points while in the midst of a Paddy’s Pub mock trial… which featured both Frank and Dennis as dueling defendants. First Frank tried to present his “nitwit school” certificate which specifically stated that he didn’t have donkey brains, then Dennis fired back by “accidentally” spilling red wine all over Frank’s shirt in order to present an example of the accident. But then… things began to get logical. Which might just make this the craziest Sunny ever.
Firstly, Frank was still shown to be at fault for the wine spill because he “assumed the responsibility for any future spill.” “I knew the risk,” Frank explained. Then Dee, who was looking to set up serious and established precedent for totaled cars, tried to discredit Mac by introducing his “steel-bending” mutant babies theory.
But, in the end, it was Mac, who often took three hour breaks to construct elaborate presentations with pictures and cutouts, who out-argued the entire gang and had them believing in createnism over evolution. Mac, who’s never been the funniest member of The Gang, and who hasn’t had all that much to do this season, came through like some sort of savant; labeling past scientists as “bitch!” for not fully knowing the scope of the universe. As Charlie would say, “a good judge, an even better bailiff.”
?It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? has had an okay season so far. This may not be an all-timer, but there’s definitely been some good to great episodes, and only a few mild clunkers. Last week’s episode “Charlie Rules the World” was one of the best, so here’s hoping with tonight’s penultimate season eight episode, “The Gang Dines Out.”
The episode starts at 8:17 PM on a Saturday at the restaurant Guigino’s where Dennis and Mac are having their monthly dinner. They spot Charlie, who shows up with Frank (in a toupee) to celebrate the anniversary of their moving in together. They then spot Dennis and Mac and decide to get their own table, while both parties wait for the other to come over to say hello. It also turns out that Dee is there and annoyed.
Dee was there first and is also waiting for everyone else to come over and pay tribute to her (she’s also reading the book ?Lust & Found’), even though no one’s seen her. Dennis is getting annoyed that Frank and Charlie haven’t come over, and Dennis has a freak out on the waiter because his chair is wobbly. Dennis then orders Frank and Charlie a glass of house red wine. Charlie and Frank are arguing about who should come over and when the wine arrives and Frank feels that it’s an attempt to agitate them. He says two can play that game.
Dee flags down a gentleman to her table and tells him that men are staring at her. But when she simply wants him to join her for dinner he leaves, while Dee refuses to order. Dennis gets some matches for the chair, but wants another and tries to bribe his way to a new one. They get a bottle of a wine from Frank and Charlie that they’re told is the most expensive in the restaurant. Dennis decides to pour it out. Frank is upset, and then points out to Charlie that the other two treat him poorly, which gets Charlie riled up.
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The High School Reunion Part 2: The Gang’s Revenge
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” wrapped up its seventh season in style tonight, with the gang trying desperately to show up their tormentors at their high school reunion. The switch in perspective in the final scene was one of the biggest laughs the show gave me all year, and that’s saying something, considering how strong this seventh season was. There was only one outright bad episode, “Frank’s Brother,” and even there I can respect that they were at least trying something different that didn’t work. (That, or I can again note that Frank tends to be much more useful for generating stories than generating laughs.)
It’s always been apparent that high school was a pivotal time for the gang, and none of them seem to have changed very much since those days. Dee may have physically changed – from the Aluminum Monster to some kind of beautiful bird beast – but she’s still that needy girl desperate for attention and acceptance. Dennis is still living under the delusion that he’s Big Man on Campus, while Charlie seems quite comfortable in his role as the huffing, spider-eating, atomic wedgie-getting weirdo who makes everyone laugh (in a bad way). Oddly, Mac’s defining characteristic in high school wasn’t his competitiveness or bravado. Instead, he was a narc who outed the school’s drug dealers so that he could become the top supplier (well, OK, that’s pretty competitive), earning him the nickname Ronnie the Rat. Why Ronnie? Well, thanks to the reunion nametags, we finally find out Mac’s real name: Ronald McDonald. The build-up and reveal of this was the funniest bit in the episode, and even more satisfying than the unveiling of Cosmo Kramer.
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The High School Reunion
The first part of “High School Reunion” did not disappoint. After all, when you take an event that is already prime for awkward moments and throw the gang in the mix you know that you are in for lots of laughs, revelations and a bit of FACE! In the first half of the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” Season 7 finale, the gang heads to their high school reunion. Although there were plenty of familiar names and faces and some good moments, the episode wasn’t up to the level that I expect from “Sunny” – especially for a season-ender. Hopefully, the second half will wrap up this season in the proper demented and darkly funny fashion.
In addition to perennial punching bags Rickety Cricket and the Waitress, we also got Dennis’ ex-wife, Deadtooth Maureen, and the Waitress’ one-time fiance, Brad Fisher (last seen receiving a box of hornets from Charlie). We’ve learned to expect the former two to show up at these things, and I suppose it was only logical for the latter two to be there since it’s already been established that the gang knew them from high school, so I’ll give the episode a pass for now for not doing much with them besides reminding us of the central jokes of their respective past episodes. Also, the Kings of Leon were there.
Speaking of teeth, Dennis’ ex-wife, Maureen, made an appearance and it seemed just to antagonize Dennis and disgust Frank. The stench of a dead tooth must have been pretty intense to make even Frank run away. Dennis again slayed me with his out of control haughtiness. Really, Dennis? Because it seemed like no one could stand you back in the day.
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How Mac Got Fat
Tonight we got to see a little insight into Mac’s thinking process. How does he come to his conclusions? Apparently, by telling his priest long stories in the confessional. In a stained wife beater. While eating pizza, M&M’s, and chips. Oh, where do I begin? This is another great episode. It’s all over the place, but it’s supposed to be.
The episode opens with Mac confessing to a priest that he’s fat. Mac blames the rest of the gang, and asks God to smite them.
Apparently, the bar suddenly became wildly successful a few weeks prior to the opening of the episode. The gang wonders what happened to make the bar so successful all of a sudden. They decide whatever it is they are doing, they need to keep doing it.
Mac, still skinny at this point, surmises that The Gang has reached their peak, their zenith, their tipping point. They’re enjoying a level of success that can only be sustained if every member of The Gang continues doing whatever it is that they’re doing. So whether it’s Dee telling bad jokes, Charlie cleaning out toilets, or Dennis taking care of his hair, The Gang agrees that they all need to continue doing what they’re doing and to start getting some rest. Frank doesn’t buy into it and so, despite his best efforts, there is no sabotaging The Gang’s success.