Thursday, September 16, 2010

FX's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" Returns Tonight!

FX's outrageous and hilarious comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadephia returns tonight for its 6th season. Crazier and more subversive than anything else on TV -- except maybe FX's own recent Louie starring Louis C.K., and much funnier than anything calling itself a comedy on the pay nets -- IASiP might be something that you're not watching yet, despite 58 episodes since its August 2005 premiere. When you watch something like this you realize how tame network sitcoms are (and probably should be), but if you crave something with a very high laugh-per-minute score and a very low good taste level, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia will hit you just about right.

If you're not familiar with the show, all you really need to know is that it takes place at Paddy's Irish Pub, a ratty bar in South Philadelphia. Created by co-stars Rob McElhenney (Mac), Glenn Howerton (Dennis) and Charlie Day (Charlie), the series also features McElhenney's real-life wife Kaitlin Olson as Sweet Dee and Danny DeVito as Frank, Dennis and Dee's rich and enthusiastically eccentric father. All are superb, with veteran DeVito absolutely at home and completely delightful in these utterly raucous surroundings, and especially so in his scenes with Charlie Day. Frank and Charlie are roommates in Charlie's small and scabrous apartment, sharing a bed and getting into some great physical comedy with their wonderfully lowbrow antics.

Actually, most of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is aggressively lowbrow and that's what keeps the anarchic comedy energy bubbling throughout every episode. Never afraid to tackle
crude, lewd, or usually verboten subject matter -- abortion, sexual molestation, welfare recipients, religious fervor, cancer, the mentally challenged, cannibalism, pooping, public masturbation and so on -- IASiP so consistently delivers the laughs that all is forgiven. Even though they're kind of hard on felines in several episodes -- but I did love the way Dennis became super-enamored of the junkyard cat who was pressed into service as "Agent Bauer" when he and Frank became fake policemen -- they're equally as hard on babies, gays, homeless people, priests, gangsters, mothers, and everybody else.

All five seasons of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are available on DVD, used to be available on Hulu, and can undoubtedly be found around the web if all other sources prove fruitless, and you should also visit the FX official show site here. There's a fun make-your-own-trailer mash-up feature to play with, and many other clips and background info for your enjoyment. For a crash-course in all things Sunny, check out their Season 6 viewer guide, too.

We're not going to claim that It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is for everybody. If you like your comedy polite and contrite, this show isn't for you. If you want gentle titters and soft rippling chuckles, also not so much for you. However, if you're looking for belly laughs and spit takes, this show has "YOU" written all over it.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has its 6th Season premiere tonight at 10pm on FX. Encores seem to be scattered around the schedule, including Fridays at 1am, Saturdays at 12:30am, and maybe somewhere else but unfortunately FX runs so much Paid Programming that's hard to suss it out. We hate when real networks run Paid Programming. It's degrading and incredibly off-putting. No wonder people go to the web to watch TV -- so often the networks are wasting hours when they could be presenting their shows and instead running really crappy Direct Response ads. Not. Good. Ever.

But don't despair! It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is back! All Hail the DayMan!

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