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October 22, 2014

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Dennis and Dee's Mom is Dead

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 20th 2007 10:36PM
It's Always Sunny: Dennis and Dee's Mom is Dead(S03E03) Say goodbye to Anne Archer. Unless she comes back as a ghost.

In this episode, Rob, Glenn, and Charlie have decided to kill off Barbara Reynolds, who is Dennis and Dee's mother and the "whore" ex-wife of Frank. Not such a bad idea; Archer didn't really fit well into the mix last year, so having her kick the bucket is probably the best for the show's chemistry.

Stephen Collins comes back as Bruce Mathis, Dennis and Dee's real dad and a peach of a guy. Unlike Archer, Collins did do a good job last year, and he does a good job here. The rest of the episode? It's OK... a little sitcommy, but OK.

"She had a botched neck lift! She's as dead as disco!" Ah, the unfettered evil glee that comes from Danny DeVito. That line made me think of his last TV role, when he played Louie DePalma on Taxi almost 30(!) years ago (look it up... the show started in 1978). Anyway, the reading of Barbara's will was a bit of a clunker of a scene, even though it had funny moments -- Barbara calls Dee a "mistake," even though she and Dennis are twins. But I just couldn't believe that even the Reynolds clan is stupid enough, even if they're enraged that Barbara gave all of Frank's money away to Bruce, to yell at the executor as if he's the one who's giving their money away.

Oh, and she took all her jewelry with her to the grave. "Frank, that woman is buried down there like Mr. T," says Dee. "I've gotta get to that body while the earth's still loose." I remember watching this the first time and saying, "Buried down there like who?" I'm guessing the reference is to all the jewelry she's wearing and not the fact that Mr. T is buried somewhere. Is that a good example of a dangling participle? You grammarians out there can let me know what that is; either way, it made the line less funny.

Anyway, the only person who got anything was Dennis, who got the house. That's where Mac and Charlie come in. There really isn't much Mac and Charlie-related plot in this one, though. But the boys' attempts to get some new male friends (all their old ones were either dead or hate their guts) to come to the party house was inspired in one respect: the bicep-shaped invitations. For guys who took pains to say "Nothing sexual" twice times in the otherwise suggestive invitation -- must be in shape, must use observational humor -- they never noticed that the invitations look like penises, did they? Charlie got it, calling it their "dick flyer." "I thought we changed it," he said. "If you wanted it to be a bicep, it needed more veins." God, what they can get away with on FX.

The party seemed more like a demented kidnapping, didn't it? Anyway, the best part of that whole segment was Ernesto making Charlie feel sorry for Dee as he hears the contents of her middle school diary (I love how the guys keep coming back to the fact that Charlie is illiterate without making a big deal out of it).

The more developed story was Frank and Dee's attempt to convince Bruce that they're getting married; this way, they can adopt some of Bruce's orphans and get some of their money back. As you'd expect, the gang at Paddy's is usually at its dumbest when they're thinking they're outsmarting someone. Is Frank that ignorant that he thinks he can get AIDS from hugging? What is he, stuck in 1986? Anyway, as Bruce tried to push Frank and Dee to crack by getting them to hook up, then get them married -- he's a philanthropist, marriage therapist, and a minister! Who does he think he is, Eric Camden? -- all I could think of was that this was something that could have been written into an episode of Three's Company. And, as silly as this show can get sometimes, it's still a little disappointing to see such a tired plot on this show. If it were funnier, maybe. It had its moments, but not enough to make it worthwhile.

Though you have to like the boys' support of the fake marriage between Frank / Seamus and Dee. And hearing the word "asswipe" come out of Stephen Collins' mouth is something that should be cherished. But the kicker of the whole episode is the line that Bruce utters after he marries Dee and Frank: "You're the most horrible people alive!" That should be the motto for the entire series, shouldn't it?

Do you think Frank and Dee are now actually married?
Yes35 (26.9%)
No64 (49.2%)
Ewww!31 (23.8%)

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11 Comments

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jurie

i absolutely LOVE this show. everyone keeps talking about how tired all of the plotlines are and I don't get it. Season 3 has been great so far and 'night man' might be the funniest song i have ever heard. ernesto was a great one episode character and watching the boys write the flyer was genius. while charlie is my favorite, season 3 has given kaitlin olsen some great moments. Also, I thought that the will reading scene was well executed. I love rewatching episodes because you can catch the funniest lines when they are all talking over each other.


it's sunny is definatley still funny

November 03 2007 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
addy

the only reason i ever watched this show was that it was on along with "starved" when it first aired a couple of years ago. i thought it was pretty weak. danny devito definitely adds a touch of class to it, although danny devito always plays himself. i still can't understand why this show made it & "starved" didn't. i really wish they'd bring "starved" back & drop this one.-az

September 24 2007 at 12:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel Keller

Malren, it made the line less funny *to me*. If you got it right away, then you probably laughed harder than I did. Sometimes, a joke is just as funny if it takes you a second to figure it out, but in this case, my cluelessness helped make it less funny. You don't think that if the line was a *little* clearer, the joke would have been better? I'm seriously not telling the boys how to write their show; really, I'm just reacting more to my own slow reaction than to their line.

September 21 2007 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

I'll disagree on both counts. I think DeVito is a great addition to the cast, and I thought Archer was fantastic last season when she was on.

Really didn't feel this episode, but I did like the attempts by the guys to pick up other guys at the mall. Perhaps a little clumsily executed, but still funny.

And what was it the archer did? I couldn't understand what Charlie told the others. Did he rob the place or did he commit suicide in there?

September 21 2007 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
malren

Not to be a (bigger) dick, Joel, but you admit to not understanding the joke.

"Oh, and she took all her jewelry with her to the grave. "Frank, that woman is buried down there like Mr. T," says Dee. "I've gotta get to that body while the earth's still loose." I remember watching this the first time and saying, "Buried down there like who?" I'm guessing the reference is to all the jewelry she's wearing and not the fact that Mr. T is buried somewhere. Is that a good example of a dangling participle? You grammarians out there can let me know what that is; either way, it made the line less funny."

You didn't get the joke right away, and because you didn't, you made the claim that it made it less funny. Except that to those of us who got the joke instantly, it was a funny reference to T's (old) penchant for wearing a lot of gold.

Yes, I'm being a dick, I fully accept that and own my jerkedness, but come on, dude, don't backpedal off your own words here. You didn't get the joke right away and decided to blame them.

September 21 2007 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Archer "didn't really fit well into the mix last year?"

I beg to differ. She was great as Dennis and Dee's mom; it's Devito who's bringing the show down.

September 21 2007 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jae

I just started watching this show with the third season premiere, and I need to catch up on the DVDs, but you must've been in a bad mood when you watched this episode, it was friggin hysterical. The whole joke of the party WAS that it was like a demented kidnapping, and you forgot to mention the best line of the whole ep - "You guys are gonna get so much stuff shoved up your asses tonight!". Also, it was great that the kidnapped party guests were at the wedding the next day, still tied up!

September 21 2007 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Verbal

When Dee was saying the line about Mr. T was she supposed to be in black face? I wasn't sure if that was supposed to be a non-verbal joke on their parts. Her makeup was too perfect. Also, who does that when you just wear a ski mask?

September 21 2007 at 10:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel Keller

I got the joke. It just took me a second to get it. I'm sure there have been jokes in this show or others that didn't hit you right away. This one just happened to be one of them for me.

September 21 2007 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
malren

The Mr. T line was frigging hysterical. It's not less funny just because *you* didn't think fast enough to get it...

September 21 2007 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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