It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia season four - An early look
You'd have thought that after 32 episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (premieres on FX, next Thursday, 9/18 at 10PM) that Mac, Dennis, Dee, Charlie, and Frank would have tackled just about anything you can think of that's offensive. They've hit on underage drinking, Nazis, sex offenders, dumpster babies, religion, retardation, homosexuality, and homeless people. Well I'm here to tell you that it's far from over. There's still plenty of off-color material for these five fools to rape (considering the context... I think that is the right word) and it isn't stopping with this season, which will run for 13 episodes. FX president John Landgraf has confirmed that 39 more episodes will follow. But I'm getting ahead of myself. My thoughts on the season four premiere are after jump.
Much like the last two seasons, It's Always Sunny's fourth chapter will start off with double episodes for the first few weeks before it switches back to one new/one repeat for the remainder of the season. I've seen the two episode, hour premiere ("Mac and Dennis: Manhunters" and "The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis") and guess what else can be added to that that list I started? How about hunting humans for sport, cannibalism, water-boarding, terrorism, and... tea-bagging. Go do a Google search if you really want to know. And while you're at it, search for "gorilla mask" too.
"Manhunters" plays out much like all Sunny eps do, although rather than a strong A plot and weaker B plot, both stories carry equal weight as Mac and Dennis hunt down Rickety Cricket (played by David Hornsby, who also writes/produces) while Charlie and Dee seek out human flesh for a snack. It's an instant classic, but that isn't saying much for this show because just about all of them are.
The second half-hour focuses on the gas crisis, prices, and what the gang can do to turn a profit. I won't give away too much on that one other than to say that water-boarding is a terrible thing to be a victim of. However, getting water-boarded with your head in a urinal is surely worse.
Besides the return of Cricket (apparently his legs healed up just fine after his last appearance), this season will also feature the return of the Waitress and Dennis and Dee's real father, Bruce Mathis (Stephen Collins... very briefly). Also making guest appearances are comedian Sinbad and Rob Thomas (of Matchbox 20). Fred Savage is also back and directed the first six episodes of the season.
As for topics, season four will deal all sorts of things like death, swinger's parties, pooping in bed, heart attacks, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. However, one episode title does have me intrigued - "The Nightman Cometh." Could this be a follow-up to the classic Charlie/Dennis song, "Nightman?" One can only hope.
One thing I did notice was Danny DeVito's appearance. Maybe it's a creative choice, but he looks far more haggard than usual. His hair looks like he stuck his finger in an electrical socket and he's now donning eyeglasses with lenses as thick as Larry's dad on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Then again, it could have something to do with his channeling of John Rambo in "Manhunters." Again, instant classic.
At this point, we've all heard this show get referred to as "Seinfeld on crack" and I can't think of a more incorrect way to describe It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. First off, it wouldn't be crack. It'd pot brownies deep-fried in 151 proof rum and then sprinkled with crushed Vicodin and drizzled with a creamy heroin syrup.
And secondly, this isn't a show about nothing. It's about everything - more specifically, everything that's taboo, offensive, disgusting, and just plain insulting. And as Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, and Charlie Day have proven, that's a long list.