Heyooooo! Rejoice, jabronis, for the new season of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia lands in the US tonight. This’ll be the commencement of the show’s 11th season, a significant milestone that’s testament to the show’s rich mix of incisive, stupid and often dark style of laugh-out-loud comedy.
Despite clocking up so many miles in the tank, it’s still not too surprising if you’ve never heard of it – although Always Sunny has maintained a steady rise in popularity in the US, it’s generally only ever been a cult concern over here in the UK (it’s never been broadcast on any freeview channels, for one thing). But with the wide availability of streaming services (and not to mention an internet community intent on sharing everything and anything that’s remotely funny), word about the exploits of the self-styled ‘The Gang’ has spread to the point that a swelling army of fans on both sides of the pond are eagerly anticipating tonight’s return to Paddy’s Pub.
So why should you be watching Always Sunny? Come join us on a trip to the greatest city on the east coast and find out…
Its cutting, close-to-the-bone humour
If you’re easily offended, then you might find Sunny a little alarming upon first viewing – we certainly wouldn’t recommend watching it with your nan. But, if you sit on the other side of the humour fence, then you’ll absolute lap up the depraved and manic brilliance of the show’s brand of humour.
It’s Danny DeVito as you’ve never seen him before
Yup, the Danny DeVito – but he’s not playing some cartoonish villain (see: Matilda, Space Jam) here. In Sunny he’s the disgusting Frank Reynolds, introduced in the second season like a blessing from the heavens. Originally around as Dennis and Dee’s dad, the subsequent disproving of his biological link to the two (although it may be the opposite side of the story for his relationship with Charlie) has all but been forgotten as DeVito has become a star of the show entirely on his merits. Whether he’s being birthed from a couch after a botched attempt to eavesdrop on his moaning employees, tripping balls (see below) or losing his rum ham at sea, Frank has more often than not been the source of some of Sunny’s biggest laughs.
Kitten mittens, Pepe Silvia, Green Man – Charlie will become your immediate favourite member of The Gang once you start on the slippery slope to an Always Sunny addiction. The squeaky-voiced, long john-wearing, paint-huffing wildcard is played by Charlie Day, who you might recognise visually from Horrible Bosses and vocally from The Lego Movie. He’s the jewel in the Sunny crown, and he’s also pretty versatile, co-writing a large number of episodes and serving as executive producer on the show alongside creator Rob McElhenney (that’s Mac to me and you) and Glenn Howerton (Dennis).
It introduced the world to the D.E.N.N.I.S system
Supreme narcissist Dennis is also a terrifying sociopath – serial womaniser, manipulator and just general bastard. But it’s why we love him so, and, when he’s not getting impossibly-angry over his inability to recognise that people won’t buy a car that’s half-submerged in the sea, he’s divulging to the gang his twisted scheme for wooing the opposite sex. The D.E.N.N.I.S System, demonstrated in the 2009 episode of the same name, is a worrying six-step program that its creator attempts to explain to the rest of The Gang with little success – they balk at the sociopathic meaning behind the acronym: “Demonstrate Value / Engage Physically / Nurture Dependence / Neglect Emotionally / Inspire Hope / Separate Entirely”. But then, wouldn’t you?
It similarly introduced the world to Charlie’s’ musical ‘The Nightman Cometh’
Incredibly, Charlie managed to write a musical, and, even more incredibly, he managed to get The Gang to co-operate and work together to put on said musical. The finished product is a joy to behold. Indeed, reaction to the season four episode was so positive that The Gang took the musical on tour in real life, delighting six US cities with renditions of soon-to-be-classic numbers ‘The Troll Toll’ and ‘The Dayman’. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s got nothing on Always Sunny.
It’s following on from a strong previous season
Season 10 was spectacular, even by Sunny’s standards. There was the gang attempting to outdo baseball player Wade Bogg’s beer-chugging record on board a Philly to LA flight, the dysfunctional group’s appearance on the game show ‘Family Fight’, Mac and Charlie’s attempts to get the reformed ‘Psycho Pete’ to be “fun psycho” again, and, of course, ‘Charlie Work’. If there’s an episode as superb in this coming season as Charlie’s incredibly choreographed health inspection was last time round, then we’re all in for a treat.
Some of your favourite bands are fans
Tame Impala somehow managed to get access to the Sunny set in LA whilst on tour a few years ago, posing with Mac, Charlie and Dennis in what’s surely set to become a picture for the ages.
Kings of Leon went one better and appeared on the show back in 2011 – huge fans of Always Sunny, the band were asked to appear on the season seven episode ‘High School Reunion’, with Caleb, Nathan and Jared stepping into the Philly universe. Danny DeVito, Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day would later repay the favour when they starred in a zany promo for the band’s most recent album, ‘Mechanical Bull’.
It’s on Netflix
So really you’ve very little excuse to not go and binge-watch all 10 seasons right now.