Family can come in all shapes and sizes and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia showcases this idea in the most extreme way possible as it follows the adventures and mishaps of “The Gang” consisting of Mac, a sexually confused and self-proclaimed badass, Charlie, a cheese loving illiterate, Dennis, a sociopathic womanizer, and his twin sister Dee, a foul mouthed aspiring actress. The success of their first season led to the addition of Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds, Dennis and Dee’s wealthy businessman father.
The series was renewed renewed for a thirteenth and fourteenth season, which will tie it with The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as the longest running live-action sitcom in American TV history. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, despite its low budget production origins, has always tackled hot button issues that continue to be relevant to American society such as racism, gun control and religion, all within the crazy schemes “The Gang” gets themselves in.
The first season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was shot on a digital camcorder and is said to have only had a budget of $200. It is a prime example that in the end all that matters in a television show is the content and by shooting it with a digital camcorder it gave a more authentic point of view for the audience. Regardless of how much it costs to create the show, The Gang manages to teach a lesson even if it is on exactly how not to handle a situation.
From the very first episode, “The Gang Gets Racist”, to “Gun Fever: Too Hot”, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has never been afraid to touch seemingly taboo topics. In the pilot, “The Gang Gets Racist”, the tone of the series is set as Mac, Dennis and Charlie uncomfortably fumble around the fact that Dee’s new boyfriend is black. After finally overcoming this, there is then a debate as to whether they wan’t to keep using Dee’s boyfriend as a promoter for the club once they find out he’s gay.
In “Gun Fever Too: Still Hot” The Gang explores both sides of the gun control debates as Dennis and Dee both think guns are too easily accessible while Charlie and Mac both believe there aren’t enough guns on the street. Both sides eventually flip sides on to the other’s views as they come to the conclusion that gun control is a complex issue that has no quick fix.
The Gang are a lovable bunch that get into all sorts of crazy shenanigans, usually at a fault of their own. However in doing so, they address issues that you wouldn’t be able to freely do so and we laugh at their misfortune while learning in some way. If you can handle the vulgarity and slurs they like to address each other by, you’ll find that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia manages to address a variety of taboo issues with a dark sense of irony.