It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: The Great Recession
by Annie Wu, posted Oct 2nd 2009 10:00AM
(S05E03) Something was a little off about this episode. I still can't tell what triggered this reaction. I think it was because I only half-laughed once or twice during the entire thing, or perhaps it was the heavy-handed product placements that were too involved to be casual and excusable. Certainly, it wasn't terrible television; it just didn't live up to the quality that I've come to expect from the show.
If I wanted to be harsh and really ballsy, I could say this was one of the weaker episodes from the series. But I won't. Because I have no balls (I haven't perfected the technology for me to engineer a pair).
There was something a little lacking in the content. All the story lines involved had major potential to be hilarious, but nothing was fully explored. Let's take a look at a selection of different things that were happening: The street outside Paddy's becomes a makeshift trailer park, Frank and Dee start a door-to-door business, Mac and Dennis make currency, Charlie goes Deadliest Catch (sort of), Frank is freaked out by the recession, Charlie isn't extra-comfortable with his uncle.
Yes! All around! Very funny material. Two or three of these, really pushed to their limit, could make an extremely successful episode. It was strange that they didn't go crazy with these, especially when one considers how much they did with just one mission in the season premiere. Many rather significant matters were brought up for a moment and then never talked about again. What happened to Frank and Dee's trailer situation? And where did that leave Frank-less Charlie?
Also, the product placement was almost too intense for me. Usually, I find it pretty amusing when a show has to blatantly force a name or two, because I realize product placement is something that some shows have to do, but the amount of "love" for Dave & Buster's and Coors was a bit much. Thanks, Dee, for reminding me that the mountains turn blue when the beer's the right temperature for slammin'. And Mac and Dennis's entire half-realized Paddy Dollars plot felt like a vehicle to say "Dave & Buster's" as many times as possible. I'd rather have them try to create a nice DirecTV set-up again.
There were only a select few moments that were worthy of laughing out loud, a notable difference from how much I've enjoyed other episodes. Charlie's interactions with his uncle, Dee's more offended than worried "I can see your bones!" and, of course, her vomit-face were instantly hilarious.
I really hope there wasn't a potential fan that chose this episode to start giving the show a try. To that fan, I say, like I've said to so many others that have watched a not-so-hot episode with me as I've tried to introduce something new to them, "It's not usually like this! Let me show you my favorites on DVD! Where are you going!?"
[Watch episodes and clips of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and other shows over at SlashControl.]
[Enjoy the best steak you can have in an arcade setting at Dave and Buster's.]