There’s just something about “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” It’s that over-the-top, nothing off limits, how-far-can-they-possibly-go quality. And the new season really runs with it.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Season Seven Premiere
Thursdays at 10 p.m.
It all starts at Paddy’s Pub with Charlie (Charlie Day) and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) trying to adopt a stray junkyard dog for the bar. Enter Mac (Rob McElhenney), or more appropriately “Fat Mac,” with a garbage bag full of chimichangas and an extra 50 pounds or so. That leads to Dennis (Glenn Howerton) lamenting how they’ve ended up as “the gross crew.” All that’s left is for Frank (Danny DeVito) to announce that he’s going to marry the prostitute Roxy (Alanna Ubach, “Hung”) in 24 hours. And “Sunny” is off and running.
It’s as if each scene attempts to top the one before, and it’s working. Each new twist feels almost too outrageous, even for “Sunny,” but it manages to all come together in the perfect amount of shockingly selfish, crass inappropriateness.
Now that “Sunny” has hit the seventh season mark, it has added in some throwbacks to previous seasons, a delight for longtime “Sunny” fans. There’s Dennis’s ongoing love of crack and the reemergence of previous guest star Geoffrey Owens (“The Cosby Show”) as the very obviously fake Tiger Woods.
Yet it’s Alanna Ubach, the other guest star for the premiere, who steals the show as the prostitute Roxy. She’s unflinchingly disgusting, and Ubach goes all out. The spoof of the Richard Gere/Julia Roberts romance is hilarious, and the final scene, with a dead Roxy lying in the hall as Roy Orbison sings his classic “Pretty Woman,” is the perfect “Sunny” ending.
The series regulars also give it their all in the premiere. In a memorable scene, Charlie pretends to be a Texan millionaire, then coughs up an astonishing amount of fake blood all over his date (after swallowing a boatload of blood capsules) while yelling, “I think I’ve been poisoned by my constituents!” Oh, Charlie.
And who knows commitment like Rob McElhenny, who gained a very real 50 pounds for the season just for the hell of it. The comedy generated by “Fat Mac” is a feather in McElhenny’s cap, and thankfully he’s lost most of the weight since wrapping filming.
As for the other regulars, DeVito’s comic timing is perfect. While Charlie is vomiting blood on his date, Frank’s in the front (posing as the limo driver) trying to offer her a hard-boiled egg he found in “perfect” condition under a bridge.
As for Olson and Howerton, they’ll have more chances to shine in upcoming episodes, but both did throw out some memorable lines in the premiere. Most notable are Howerton’s assessment of Mac (“You look fat as shit”) and Olson’s admission that she “smoked a little crack on the way over” at Roxy’s makeshift funeral.
All in all, “Sunny” has proven it’s willing to go just about anywhere for the sake of a laugh. And while it’s crude, disgusting and filled with characters that lack any sense of morality at all, we still love it. Here’s to the new season — every glorious, ridiculous, unseemly moment.