It’s time I talk about another gem from FX that people may have overlooked for a very long time. It’s time I tell you about how sunny it can get in Philadelphia.
Charlie, Dennis, and Mac own a bar that does moderately well most nights. Dennis’s sister, Dee, works there as a bartender and…that’s all the set-up we get. In fact, the whole scenario is designed for the purpose of giving the characters flexible hours and a lot of down time to concentrate on all the shenanigans that occur within the show. Later, they are joined by Danny DeVito who plays Dennis and Dee’s step father, who basically becomes one of the gang and is about as crazy and vain as the rest of them.
This show is one of the dumbest smart social commentaries on television, which is to say, it is like a live-action version of South Park. I like to think that this show explores the worst in all of us and turns it up to eleven. Add to that the outrageous scenarios that they find themselves in and you’ve got one hilarious comedy for the ages. Sure, they’re all basically jerks here, save for possibly Charlie, but they eventually get what’s coming to them. They never get what they want and they usually chalk it up to life screwing with them once again instead of taking an introspective journey to realize that they’re terrible people because they’re just like us and we all refuse to look inward for all that is wrong with us. That part of the show resounds with me more so than the comedy bits.
Or perhaps it shouldn’t be taken seriously at all, but where’s the fun in that?
If you don’t like watching a group of jerks doing terrible things and, or raunchy comedy, this may not be for you. If you’re one of those people who feel that they need to be invested in the characters to enjoy the show, then this show may not be for you. Otherwise, I don’t see anything wrong with it, unless you’re offended by Danny DeVito’s awkwardly constructed, disproportionate body on full display…then this show may not be for you.
I love this show. The first few episodes tackle racism and abortion, but in retrospect, they’re just baby steps compared to what comes later. The writers and the actors do their best to amp up the ridiculousness every season and they tend to win me over every year. Sure, working to raise the bar on what most of us consider to be crude sounds like a formula for obnoxious comedy, but while it’s definitely not tasteful, it is done with a lot of finesse and the writing is solid. Plus, they’re not trying to promote or preach to us about anything. Rather, they’re trying to show us how idiots and jerks respond to certain real world issues and we all gasp in horror at how much it mirrors ourselves.
Then we laugh it off nervously.
Written by Daniel Lee