Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 5

Looking back, Sunny wasn't quite as good last year as it had been previously. Still one of the funniest shows on TV, but not up to its own standards. I was glad to see that this year they made a nice recovery, bouncing back and being probably the best pure comedy to air. There are a couple troubling elements - there was a fair amount of overt product placement that did seem a little weird at times, and Charlie's illiteracy/general mental ineptitude is still funny, but starting to take over his whole character. In previous years I would hands down call him my favorite member of the gang, but this season definitely felt like it belonged to Dennis, especially the second half. Everything he did seemed to be pure gold, from explaining his system for winning over and then getting rid of girls to his concept for the ideal action movie to his foaming rage at and subsequent revenge against members of his former college fraternity.

It's hard to say what makes Sunny so good. There's something about just the way the characters talk with each other that's totally natural and off-the-wall hilarious at the same time. I still think episodes where the main characters all just let slip how much they really don't like each other are the best, with "Mac and Dennis Break Up" being a great example. In a lot of ways they hate each other, but they also desperately need each other just to survive. There's a collective dysfunction that makes them into a strange sort of family, and it's one of the best group dynamics in a TV comedy ever. And the Christmas special, while lame for being only viewable on its own DVD, is worth checking out to see what the show would be like if it were an R rated movie.

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