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Showing posts with the label It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Top 10 Nontraditional Holiday TV Episodes

Happy Festivus, everyone! To celebrate today (in addition to the feats of strength and airing of grievances), I rounded up the top 10 nontraditional Holiday television episodes over at The Daily Beast , from Community and Seinfeld to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who . (And, yes, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia 's direct-to-DVD special--which just aired on FX for the first time this month--made the list, naturally.) An aside, I could have filled the entire list with just British television shows, from The Vicar of Dibley and Doctor Who (which both made the list) to Gavin & Stacey, Blackadder, Catherine Tate, Absolutely Fabulous , and about a zillion others. But I am curious to know: what is your favorite nontraditional holiday episode/special? Putting aside the traditional Rudolph and Charlie Brown Christmas , what are some of the more out there holiday episodes or specials that add that extra spike to the eggnog? Or make that Festivus aluminum pole shine

Pregnant Pauses and Hot-Button Issues: An Advance Review of Season Six of FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

There are few series that are as gleefully absurd as FX's ribald comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia , which returns for a sixth season tonight after what feels like way too long of a hiatus. Revolving as it always does about the denizens of a low-rent Philadelphia pub, Sunny continues to push its characters into uncomfortable territory, challenging them to not change, learn, or grow even as they sink lower and lower into their own filth. And that's truly the joy of watching this original and groundbreaking comedy. You can't help but fall in love with Mac, Dennis, Charlie, Dee, and Frank, even as you realize that you would immediately cross to the other side of the street if you ever saw these selfish and flawed individuals in real-life. From the safety of your living room, however, Sunny becomes a window into the world of arrested adolescence, where despite pushing their thirties (hard), the gang at Paddy's Pub becomes more a portrait of unfettered id, a l

Top TV Picks of 2009

As 2009 begins to wind down, I figured now was the perfect time as any to look back at the series that that have entertained and inspired me over the past calendar year. And what a year it was for the television industry, which was (and is) still recovering from the writers strike of 2007/08. This past year also saw NBC box up the 10 pm hour for scripted programming, a move that hasn't had quite the effect that the network hoped (I do feel for poor scapegoat Jay Leno), while sending viewers scurrying over to cable, which continued to make huge inroads this year. It was also a year that saw comedy make a huge comeback, from the success of FOX's musical-comedy hybrid Glee to the season's biggest critical hit, ABC's Modern Family and the surprising resilience of NBC's Parks and Recreation (hands down the winner of the Most Improved Series award). And a year that saw much beloved series Chuck teeter dangerously towards cancellation, only to receive an eleventh hou

TV on DVD: "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas"

Looking to do a spit-take with your eggnog this holiday season? FX's raucous and hysterical series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia continues to push the envelope in terms of good taste (and always manages to make this jaded critic roar with laughter in the process) via its new direct-to-DVD Christmas special ("A Very Sunny Christmas") that captures the absurd energy of the television series and then some. Without the cable network censors (lax, though they are) to hold them back, the creators/stars of Sunny push their unique brand of comedy even further with this outrageous Christmas special, which finds the gang attempting to get even with Frank for his tradition of giving himself the gifts that Dennis and Dee want each year and taking a stroll down memory lane as Mac and Charlie come to terms with some unpleasant truths about their own families', er, Christmas traditions. While I found the Christmas special utterly hilarious, it's definitely not for e

The Great Comedy Debate: The Five Best Comedies on Television (Right Now)

Over on Twitter, there's been a great debate waged over the last few days about what the best comedies currently on television are, a subjective discussion if there ever was one. Titles have been thrown about, opinions bandied, and worthiness dissected and then dissected again. The Great Comedy Debate led Time critic James Poniewozik to yesterday publish his list of the top television comedies at the moment (he included just those that are currently on the air right now ) and I thought I do this same, limiting my list to just five US series that are airing new episodes as we speak. So, in no particular order, here are my picks for The Five Best Comedies on Television: Modern Family (ABC) No other series has come close to balancing the sweet with the tart than Christopher Lloyd and Steve Levitan's brilliant mockumentary Modern Family , which each week dazzles its enraptured audience with a winning combination of heart and humor. It's the rare comedy that can make yo

Tune-In Reminder: Thursday Night Premiere Bonanza

Just a quick reminder that there's a ton of new television launching tonight, between series premieres, season premieres, and a secret advance peek at a new FX comedy series kicking off next year. So what should you be sure to set your DVR for tonight? Here goes? Season Five of Bones kicks off tonight at 8 pm ET/PT with a premiere ("Harbingers in a Fountain"), in which Brennan returns from a dig in Guatemala; Angela's psychic, Avalon Harmonia (Cyndi Lauper) reveals while reading Angela's tarot cards that there are multiple bodies buried under a Washington, DC fountain; Sweets certifies Booth mentally fit to return to duty after his brain surgery, but Booth is still experiencing some side effects from his coma. (You can read my advance review of the season premiere here .) At 8:30 pm, it's the start of Season Two of comedy Parks and Recreation on NBC. (You can read my advance review of the first two episodes of the season here .) Fringe returns to FOX at

Road Trips, Gypsies, and Duels: An Advance Review of Season Five of FX's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

There's a chaotic energy to the raucous comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia that's missing from the airwaves between seasons. The gleefully surreal series excels at creating uncomfortable and often exaggeratedly absurd scenarios for its quintet of selfish, self-absorbed lowlifes. Fortunately, the gang from Paddy's Pub returns tomorrow evening for a fifth season that's overflowing with painful humor, bizarro plots, and one of the funniest things I've seen on television all year. (No small praise that.) I had the opportunity a few weeks back to watch the first four episodes from Season Five of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I quickly devoured them in one marathon sitting that had me hungry for more. In its four seasons to date, Sunny has taken an extreme pleasure in making its leading characters as depraved and egocentric as possible. Like Seinfeld before it, these are some rather obliviously inconsiderate individuals; however I think that t

FX Announces Return Dates for "Sons of Anarchy," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "Nip/Tuck"

Ending several months of rumors, FX has now officially announced the launch dates for its returning series Sons of Anarchy, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia , and nip/tuck . Season Two of Sons of Anarchy will kick off on Tuesday, September 8th at 10 pm ET/PT. The second season of the Charlie Hunnam-led series will feature guest turns by Alan Arkin and Henry Rollins. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia returns for a fifth season of madcap adventures on Thursday, September 17th. The twelve-episode season will air Thursday nights at 10 pm ET/PT. nip/tuck returns for its sixth and penultimate season of ten episodes in October (specific date TBA). Guest stars next season will include Vanessa Redgrave, Rose McGowan, Mario Lopez, Barry Bostwick and Gilles Marini. Additionally, the network will also launch an as-yet-unannounced new comedy series as a companion to It's Always Sunny on Thursday evenings. (I'd assume, then, that the poorly-received Testees won't be bac

PaleyFest09 Full Schedule Announced: "Pushing Daisies," "Battlestar Galactica," "Fringe," "Big Love," "Dollhouse," and Many Others to Be Feted

Ending several months of speculation, The Paley Center for Media has today announced the full lineup for PaleyFest09 , the 26th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival. Among the honorees this year are the casts and creators of 90210 , Battlestar Galactica and Caprica , The Big Bang Theory, Big Love, Desperate Housewives, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Fringe, The Hills, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Mentalist, Swingtown, and True Blood . PaleyFest09 will be held from April 10th to April 23rd at the Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood; the Paley Center will also present a special closing night presentation honoring Swingtown at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills on April 24. Other festival firsts this year? PaleyFest09 will be the festival event to honor a new media property, in this case Joss Whedon's celebrated web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog , and will be the first to premiere the last three unseen episodes of A

Top TV Picks of 2008

As it's nearly the end of the calendar year (only a few more days to go, in fact), I figured now was as good a time as any to look back at some of the shows that that have entertained and inspired me over the past year. It's been a crazy year, between the WGA strike affecting everything from truncated freshman seasons for Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money , and Chuck , delayed seasons for FX's Damages and HBO's Big Love (and a host of others), and a generally frantic development season that only saw two relative hits emerge this fall. So, what were the favorite series in the Televisionary household? Which left me wanting more... and which ones made me eager to change the channel? Find out after the jump. Best Reality Series: Top Chef The Amazing Race Flipping Out Top Chef remains my number one reality obsession. Bravo and Magical Elves have done themselves proud with this sleek, slick production that makes the art of cooking into a nail-biting competition in wh

Channel Surfing: Jamie Bamber Thinks "BSG" Should Be a Bigger Hit, Product Integration, Ivan Sergei, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. I had a fantastically relaxing weekend, between the rain and some quality telly on Sunday night with Skins, Amazing Race , and Mad Men keeping me occupied all evening. Showtime is developing drama series The Booths , about the dysfunctional relationship between three actor-brothers Edwin, Junius Brutus Jr., and John Wilkes Booth in the years before the latter would assassinate Abraham Lincoln. The brothers were the sons of British actor Junius Brutus Booth and actress Mary Ann Holmes. While there is no writer or production company attached, Kevin Bacon has signed on to executive produce the project. ( Variety ) Jamie Bamber says that Battlestar Galactica could have become a mainstream hit like Doctor Who if it had aired on a bigger network platform. "[ Battlestar ] is only cult because it's been stuck on Sky One and not pushed. In America it's on the Sci Fi Channel, which has a stigma to it. If it was on a mainstream

Wild Card: Cannibalism, Gas Crises, and Manhunters on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

I don't know about you, but I haven't laughed as hard as I did last night a long time. I'm talking of course about the fourth season premiere of FX's deliriously zany comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia , which aired two gleefully inappropriate back-to-back episodes last night ("Mac & Dennis: Manhunters" and "The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis"), the latter of which was written by new writing staff additions Sonny Lee and Patrick Walsh , who also write the series' equally hilarious Paddy's Pub blog . (If you haven't yet checked out Paddy's Pub, please do ASAP. It currently features excerpts from Dennis' erotic memoirs, behind-the-scenes videos, and Ask Dirty Frank.) Last night's painfully funny installments didn't feature the gang learning any valuable life lessons, maturing in any fashion, or throwing off their outmoded ideas about energy consumption, cannibalism, or, well, hunting a man on the streets

Channel Surfing: FOX Committed to Building "Dollhouse," "Sunny" Questions, "Fringe" Soars, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. I'm in fashion overload after back-to-back episodes last night of Top Model and Project Runway (more on the latter in a bit) but can't say that I am as enthused with either series as I was in the past. Lest you worry about the fate of Joss Whedon's action drama Dollhouse --beset by multiple problems months before the series' launch--you can dismantle the shrine. FOX is said to be still deeply committed to the project. “With months before our broadcast premiere, we have the rare luxury of extra time,” a 20th Century Fox Television spokesman said. “We believe in this show and want to give it every opportunity to succeed.” Let's hope that's true, given the recent reports that the network was decidedly less than pleased with the series' creative direction. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Hollywood Insider ) Meanwhile, FOX must be pleased as punch that its other cult drama Fringe performed so well in its se