"IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA:
THE COMPLETE SEASON 5
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ***** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5 stars)
Charlie Day as CHARLIE
Rob McElhenney as MAC
Glenn Howerton as DENNIS
Kaitlin Olson as SWEET DEE
Danny DeVito as FRANK
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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The gang from Paddy’s Pub is back, and they’re more dysfunctional than ever... sociopathic, even. But all is done in the spirit of good comedy. This season sees the gang get out of the pub more often now as they try to take a road trip to the Grand Canyon but never make it out of Philly. They stage an intervention for Frank with hilarious results. We see some skewering of pop culture as Frank tries on a pair of skinny jeans and the gang weasels their way onto the set of the new M. Night Shyamalan movie. It’s abuse, inappropriateness and sociopathic behavior at its best... and funniest.
WHAT I LIKED
By the fifth season, you should know whether you like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” or not. For me, it’s a wickedly funny show that revels in political incorrectness and the slaughtering of sacred cows. After the show stumbled in the second season with the introduction of Frank, things have settled into a great rhythm. Each character has found its own wretchedness and spun it into brilliant comedy.
The brilliance of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is like that of “South Park.” It takes some of the biggest hot button issues in the country today – from the mortgage crisis and the recession to supporting the troops – and uses them for the highest comedic effect. Even better, the show doesn’t try to teach a message. Rather, it enjoys wallowing in its own depravity.
Part of what makes the show work is how it goes to so many different levels. Season Five really has the show thinking outside of the box, bringing the gang to bigger locations (including a wrestling ring as well as a movie set). But in the end, it’s the gang’s awful-yet-codependent relationships with each other that make me laugh.
A special shout-out is needed for the commentaries on this season. Some of the commentaries include the core cast members, and those are entertaining. But the best commentaries come from “The Gang Gives Frank and Intervention” and “Dennis and Mac Break Up,” which invites Dr. Drew to join in. Now, I think Dr. Drew is the biggest douche in the celebrity world, but it’s actually quite entertaining to listen to him squirm as he watches the gang’s behavior in these episodes. And he does manage to psychoanalyze the characters to the point that even the actors/writers of the show are quite stunned at how much they nailed the dysfunctional behavior and histories.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
There’s really nothing I don’t like about this series. Few shows have a winner in every episode, and such is the case for this. I only wish the seasons were longer and gave us some more hilarious antics from the gang at Paddy’s Pub.
Both the DVD and the Blu-ray have the same special features, which include the aforementioned commentaries with the cast and two with Dr. Drew. There’s also about 20 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, which are pretty funny for fans of the show. There’s also a short blooper reel which can also be fun.
More out-of-the-box features include a five-minute endless loop of “Kitten Mittens,” a slate of video dating profiles for the gang and a five-minute “Schwep Dream Sequences Montage” which chronicles the season in 23,793 still pictures.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of dysfunctional, sociopathic, inappropriate comedy.