It’s Always Sick in Philadelphia

by thethreepennyguignol

A good orgasm is like a good orgasm. The physical reaction can’t be recreated in any other way (except maybe eating prawn cocktail crisps) and are vitally individual to each person. There are some experiences and events that are simply incomparable to anything else, and there are so few things that aren’t moderately universal. With literally everything shared online, next no to phenomenon, cultural, social, or otherwise, is individual to any one group any more. One of the most important parts of a person, in my eyes, is the little things that are solely theirs; and by far the one I value most in a sense of humour. And I believe I may have found the people with possibly the most wildly creative, surreal and, most importantly, one-of-a-kind sense of humour in the world: Kaitlin Olson, Charlie Day, Rob McElhenny and Glenn Howerton, also known as the main cast and creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

A basic sitcom premise-four friends own and work in a bar in Philly-quickly evolved into being one of the most shockingly unpleasant and consistently hilarious shows on television. The real genius lies in the characters- selfish and shrill Dee, insurmountably disturbed but cheek-tuggingly cute Charlie, half-manipulative, half-blindingly thick Mac, and psychopath Dennis. Many, many shows have tried to create something dark and edgy and boundary-pushing (the only one that has succeeded on this level, and for the same reason, is League of Gentlemen), but their first mistake is making the characters even vaguely likable. While most sitcoms will try to deal with innocent-ish characters battered by a bizarre and incomprehensible world, It’s Always Sunny presents a world that’s constantly horrified and confused by the gang’s exploits.

While similair things have been attempted in sketch shows, these characters work on a long-term basis (nine seasons, no less) because we know what awful, awful people they are. We know the lengths they’ll go to, and we’ve seen them go further-and this works on the double stakes of managing to slightly ground the majority on the wild exploits they wind up on (highlights include: performing an impromptu and highly destructive Extreme Home Makeover on a bewildered Spanish family, kidnapping and torturing a reviewer who fails to heap praise on the bar, applying boot polish to a baby in order for it to have an illustrious career as a latino child actor) because that’s the kind of terrible, terrible people their characters are. They make me want to kill myself in a wonderful way.

When it comes down to it, though, it’s just a funny show. Not since I discovered Community and heard Angela Bisset deliver the line “white-ass cracker bitch” in AHS have I laughed so hard at the wonderfully engrossing world they’ve created in Philadelphia (like all great comedies, the cast of supporting characters are genius creations-look out for the stomach-churning MacPoyle family). Yes, it’s sick, surreal, horrible and shouty, but it’s also one of the most consistently well-written, well-performed and tight half-hours of comedy you’ll find anywhere in the world right now. Cheers to that.