The characters in Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia are another example of characters in TV shows that are unlikeable and extremely disliked by the people they interact with in every episode, but that viewers somehow still manage to love despite their many flaws. I think that there are probably various reasons for why we like these characters so much. One reason is likely that we find comfort seeing these characters struggle as it makes us feel better about ourselves. When we see their quirks and flaws, it likely makes many of us feel more normal and sane ourselves.Another reason for liking these characters is that we grow to know and love them for their flaws. Charlie in Its Always Sunny, is lovable for his childishness and his stupidity. While others around him in the show may get annoyed by his ignorance and foolishness, his childish personality is what viewers expect from him and what they have grown to appreciate about him. I think that this idea kind of goes hand in hand with another reason we may like these unlikeable characters and that is that we may like them because they are similar to what we would like to be, or they do or say things that we want to do or say but cannot. For example, many of us may wish that we could live our lives like Charlie, without a worry in the world but our own silly projects and ideas, like a child without any true responsibilities. Another example is Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry is disliked for his straight-forward, no holds barred personality by most of the people he encounters, but the viewer loves Larry for the same thing. When Larry tells it to someone like it is and doesn’t hesitate to speak his mind, it makes the viewer like him more because this is what we all wish we could do in situations of anger or frustration, but would rarely actually do. We cannot act like children or speak our true feelings out loud to people or behave in many of the different unlikable ways that sitcom characters behave in, but watching them behave in such a manner only makes us like and appreciate them more.
Max Lissette (Week of 2010s post)