TV Rewind: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I’ve watched a lot of television in my life, yet I still find shows that I either initially shrugged off as being no good, skipped because I found something I thought was better on at the same time, or was completely unaware of. With all of the time I have on my hands, what with being unemployed and all, I’ve decided to go back and catch up on some of those shows. With this new segment, TV Rewind, I’ll go back and watch every episode of the shows that I’ve previously passed by. In this inaugural post, I’ve decided to go with the FX comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Being from Pittsburgh, it should be tough for me to say anything nice about Philadelphia. And I’ve only met a handful of people that have publicly expressed interest in It’s Always Sunny. To be honest, I only started to show interest in the show because of a girl. But I’m glad I did. It’s Always Sunny is a somewhat unique show, with a relatively small cast of characters that mesh so well with one another you’d swear you were watching real interactions.

The show seems that way because the main cast – Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, and Charlie Day – are not only actors on the show, but also the creators and help write it as well. In an interview with Film.com, Charlie Day also says that about a quarter of the show is improvised. “Sometimes we get it right in the writer’s room, and sometimes we get it close and then try to push to make it better” he says. And that on-the-spot method really gives the show its charm. The dialogue just flows right out of the characters, so much so that you could swear the whole thing was improvised – but very professionally so.

Other than Danny Devito, who joined the show at the start of the second season the give the show a ratings boost, the whole cast, both main and recurring characters, are a pretty tight-knit bunch. Charlie Day is married to Mary Elizabeth Ellis (starring in NBC’s Perfect Couples), who plays “The Waitress” on the show, the object of Charlie’s affection, yet wants anyone – and everyone – other than him. And Rob McElhenney is married to Kaitlin Olson, who plays “Sweet Dee” Reynolds. The two of them even had a child a few months ago, which they used as a story mechanic late into the sixth season. David Hornsby, who plays “Rickety Cricket”, also serves as a co-executive producer.

One of the best things about It’s Always Sunny is its continuity. One benefit to seeing all six seasons within the timeframe of a single month is that every episode is still fresh in my mind, so when the show would make a joke about something that had happened a couple of months or year prior, I was able to enjoy it to its full extent. The season six finale is a prime example of this. In that particular episode, they brought back nearly every male (or formally male) character they’ve had on the show in order to try and determine who the father of Dee’s baby was, some of whom had not been on in several seasons, and even then only for single episodes.

I also enjoy seeing a lot of the outside talent they bring on to the show as well. Even if they’re only for single-episode stories, seeing the likes of Dave Foley, Jason Sudeikis, Jimmi Simpson and Stephen Collins is quite something. Every person that is cast does a fantastic job. I can’t think of a single instance where I thought the acting was sub-par.

It’s Always Sunny just ended its sixth season on December 9, 2010, so it will probably be another seven or eight months before we see a new episode. However, FX has at least another 14 episodes order, so when the show does return, you can count on me being there.

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