Sunday, August 15, 2010

‘Always Sunny’ often funny

(Published Aug. 16, PDI-Entertainment)

By Oliver M. Pulumbarit


One of the funniest shows on TV, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” has idiotic and crude characters, pub owners constantly cooking up inane schemes that sometimes backfire on them. But they’re often unaware of their immaturity, and their misadventures elicit hearty laughs.

Clueless Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Dee (Kaitlin Olson), Charlie (Charlie Day) and Frank (Danny DeVito) keep every half-hour episode of the weekly sitcom lively with boorish behavior. The series, created by McElhenney, has been around for five seasons. The gang’s exploits can be satirical, lewd, or gross, depending on the theme of the week. Sometimes, it’s all of the above.

This latest season is especially uproarious, as the petty, disrespectful characters come up with more hare-brained plots. Sometimes, the personalities are interchangeable and it doesn’t matter; this supposedly unlikable bunch is very watchable, thanks to the gang’s mostly unpredictable nature.

Their current shenanigans are characteristically chaotic. In one of the episodes, Frank’s excessive drinking and unruly conduct start affecting the rest of the Philadelphians, so they stage an intervention. But they’re really unprepared for one, much to the chagrin of an outsider witness.

In another episode, Dee runs into an ex she dumped in high school. But he’s now engaged to someone she knows, and she finds herself attracted to the guy, now that his acne has cleared up. She soon plans to ruin the relationship and win him back, unaware that he’s out to break the hearts of the exes that dumped him.

Another riotous story line pits the gang against rowdy frat boys. Humiliated and mocked, the pub owners hatch a scheme that, they believe, will teach the similarly ill-mannered college boys a lesson they’ll never forget.

DeVito, who joined the cast belatedly, is a great addition to the group; his boozing character Frank’s jackass antics tremendously enhance the already ill-behaved gathering of morons. And while their escapades are usually pointless or mean-spirited, the show crosses lines that regular sitcoms won’t, easily inspiring real and long chuckles.

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” airs Saturdays, 8:30 p.m., on JackTV.

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