Welcome to The Indiependent’s Top TV of the Decade! In this feature, Libby Briggs looks at the longevity of beloved US sitcom, It’s Always Sunny…
Now the longest running US sitcom ever, FXX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been making us laugh for a whole 14 years. With such dark comedy at the heart of the show (including jokes about racism, sexism, AIDs, and addiction) it might come as a surprise to some that the show it still with us, but we couldn’t be happier about it.
‘The Gang’, as they like to refer to themselves, can be found running Paddy’s Pub in ‘Philly’ or cooking up a new scheme to line their pockets and/or meet and seduce women. Making up this self-absorbed, shameless group of friends is; Mac, a closeted and deluded ‘beefcake’, Dennis, a womanising sociopath, Charlie, Paddy’s very own illiterate janitor, Dee, Dennis’s twin sister and pathetic gold-digger, and finally Frank, Dennis and Dee’s millionaire step-father and financial aid to the gang’s despicable plans.
Dee: Are you really going to throw away all of your convictions for a chance to get laid?
Dennis: I don’t really have any convictions.
Kicking off in 2005, creators Rob McElhenney (who plays Mac) alongside developer Glenn Howerton and producer Charlie Day (Dennis and Charlie) weren’t holding back with the pilot episode, titled ‘The Gang Gets Racist’. And it only gets worse. From holding a funeral for a fake baby to pretending to be terrorists, The Gang really are intolerable. So, what makes every episode a comedy goldmine?
Not only is It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia so quotable (odds are you’ve seen a meme flying around the internet with a Sunny screenshot, even if you haven’t seen the show), but the characters are like nothing seen before in such a well-loved sitcom. As the only voices of reason are characters from outside their incredibly small bubble, not only do they find themselves in ridiculous situations, but know how to manipulate each other into getting exactly what they want. As for the plan, they individually find a way to mess it up for the rest of them and then it’s back to Paddy’s for an unhealthy amount of alcohol.
Episodes such as ‘The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis’ and ‘The Gang Solves The North Korea Situation’, have proven the long-running show can stay relevant even after more than a decade. With genius writing, iconic scenes and episodes, an outstanding cast (not to mention stars like Danny DeVito), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was one of the best TV shows last decade, this decade, and hopefully the next.
Words by Libby Briggs