Netflix TV review: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 9
Andrew Jones | On 08, Jan 2014
It is fair to say most comedy shows entering their ninth season start to show signs of wear and tear. After all, a lot of comedy is based on relationships that can only logically exist for a short period of time before evolving, making dynamics different and maybe not quite as funny. Then again, when The Simpsons went into their ninth season, they were still churning out classics every couple of weeks, so it is feasible to make great TV almost a decade after the conception of a show.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s ability to crack out only a half-season, by comparison to network US broadcasters, means that the spark doesn’t get suffocated with too many episodes all at once. With the ninth season being only 10 episodes long, there’s a lot more focus from the writing team on making the show as funny as it can be – and, somehow, even darker than before.
The first episode (“The Gang Broke Dee”) sees punching bag Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olsen) at her lowest ebb, but she bounces back as her stand-up career takes off. It’s a positive episode, despite her twin brother Dennis (Glenn Howerton) trying to veer her away from a career he believes she has no chance in and offering her men to date. It’s an odd choice to only focus on Dee but the show twists and turns and things come to a finale that really is classic Always Sunny, reminding us that every character in the show is the worst human imaginable.
Season 9 also features the 100th episode, done incredibly well: when the gang head to a shop for supplies and said shop is held up, each character has their moment in the sun, playing out everything that they could hope to amid these crazy scenarios. It’s not only hysterical, but there’s a real sweet almost-sadness to some parts, specifically Charlie’s (Charlie Day) segment. The Gang also deal with making Lethal Weapon 6, after Lethal Weapon 5 was a big hit as an episode concept years ago. It’s a case of diminishing returns, but seeing blackface and hard Aussie accents is never not funny.
If you’ve still not jumped onto the Always Sunny wagon, here are the names of two celebrity fans: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners of Game Of Thrones, who wrote their own episode this year, which sees stupid Charlie become smart, with the help of a scientist (played by Day’s Pacific Rim co-star Burn Gorman), and like any of the gang who rise above their station, faces some harsh repercussions.
If you’ve been following Always Sunny for a while, Season 9 is a surprise. The last season was a bit more duff than any fan would like to discuss, and while the show was for a long time the pinnacle of insane, black comedy, there were fears that we were losing the show we loved for a more tired, desperate series of gags. Thankfully, the truncated ninth season proves that this show has so much life left in it, whether it be from beating down The Gang or the people who are always hurt by them (Rickety Cricket), or from dealing with ‘The Issues’, such as Gun Control, or the fact that the show still hasn’t won any major awards for television.
Always Sunny is now a comedic institution and its availability in the UK on Netflix, in glorious HD, makes it so much easier to watch than way back in the late 2000’s, when your best bet was importing DVDs. You have to do nothing but click onto this show to get taken to a world of horrible people doing horribly misguided things. And Danny DeVito demanding full penetration.
What’s not to love? Nothing, is the answer.