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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 land where no impulse is ever denied, no matter how moronic, dangerous, or utterly selfish. And it's a beautiful thing.

Season Six once again juxtaposes outlandish situations with hot-button issues as the executive producers--Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, and Charlie Day--tackle social conventions within the context of comedy, pushing the characters to take stands even as it challenges the audience to often side against them. This season, those topics would include gay marriage, matrimony, divorce, pregnancies, and, um, boat ownership, all in the first four episodes of the season alone.

The brutally funny first four episodes of Season Six, sent out to critics for review, represent a hilarious and strong start to the new season. The first episode in particular, entitled "Mac Fights Gay Marriage," finds the gang tackling the controversial issue of gay marriage--or at least McElhenney's Mac, anyway--while the rest of the gang is able to reap the rewards of matrimony, including Frank (Danny DeVito) and Charlie (Day), who get a civil union so that Charlie can get on Frank's health insurance.

Look for a painfully uproarious scene in which the duo attempt to crack one another's backs and Kaitlin Olsen's Sweet Dee to battle her gag reflex in a recurring, er, gag that's hilarious, while Mac's attempt to slam gay marriage--which includes the use of electrical plugs to demonstrate his point--is both eye-opening and hysterical.

The plot of that episode--which involves Dennis (Howerton) getting married to a high school sweetheart--becomes a major arc for the season, spilling into the following episode ("Dennis Gets Divorced"), while the whodunit aspect of the fourth episode ("Who Got Dee Pregnant?") sees the guys attempt to figure out which one of them could be the father of Dee's baby after a series of hijinx at the Halloween party.

Yes, a baby could be making its way into the Paddy's Pub gang and one can only hope that they learned a thing or two about parenting from the dumpster baby incident a few seasons back.

Then again, this is Sunny we're talking about: if these guys learned anything about life, it would be an absolute miracle.

Season Six of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia kicks off tonight at 10 pm ET/PT on FX.

Comments

Anthony Strand said…
Oh, good. Charlie and Frank in a remake of "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry."
Penelope said…
Hurray for more Sunny! I can't wait to see how Sweet Dee deals with pregnancy. I already feel bad for that baby.

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