May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia “The Gang Gets Racist”

Season One, Episode One

Yeah, this show will do nicely for a while now.

Oddly enough, despite Disney+’s Hulu hub having this show there, it looks like it isn’t the entire run of this show.

Now, for the record, I’ve always somewhat suspected I would very much enjoy this show, but I don’t think I have ever seen more than a single episode of this show from start to finish.  I’ve seen bits of episodes, I know who all the characters are, and I have even found the show to be quite funny.  I know at least one of my sisters is a huge fan, and heck, my dad is from Philadelphia, so I look forward to see how often city landmarks pop up on the show.  Yes, I am aware it won’t be that often aside from the opening credits and the occasional establishing shot since the show is filmed in L.A., but there may be something here and there.

As it is, this is basically a show about awful people, the sort that make the cast of Seinfeld look like saints.  Considering the series came when the series’s three creators/stars,  Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, and Charlie Day, with Day’s girfriend/eventual wife Mary Elizabeth Ellis, “the Waitress,” along for the ride, made a series of sketches and scenes showcasing the awful characters they would be playing on the show.  The pitch they used was a sketch of a scene where a man tells a friend that he has cancer only for the friend to seemingly ignore the news.  That will apparently be an episode of the show sometime in season one.  McElhenney would himself eventually marry the lone woman in the main cast Kaitlin Olson, and for some reason, this show is still going strong today with no sign of slowing down, perhaps helped out a great deal when Danny DeVito joined the show.

Of course, this is the pilot episode, and DeVito isn’t in it.  Like all pilot episodes, this is the episode that is meant to let the audience know who these characters are.  And if there’s any better way to tell the audience who these people are, the title is right there, flashing on the screen during the opening credits, showing some nice scenes of the city of Philadelphia while pleasant music plays.  The opening scene shows the men being more than a bit racist to Sweet Dee’s latest date, a black man from her acting class.  But the guys change their mind when Terrell promises to get a lot of people into Paddy’s Pub, their decrepit bar where nobody really seems to go to drink.  Terrell’s plan does work, but this is Paddy’s Pub, and these guys aren’t going to be keeping him on for long.

The thing is, these people are pretty rotten, and while the characters are still in a rudimentary form here, there are some distinctive characteristics on display, whether that’s Mac’s homophobia or Charlie’s obsession with the Waitress, something that leads somewhere as Charlie’s repeating something Terrell said made Charlie think the Waitress thinks Charlie is racist when she clearly doesn’t like him much anyway.

Oh, and it turns out Terrell is gay, meaning Paddy’s is soon the most popular gay bar in the City of Brotherly Love.

It doesn’t last, of course.  Charlie not only doesn’t get a date with the Waitress, but he gets a black eye when his date, a woman who happens to be Terrell’s sister, finds out he was using her to not look racist.  Mac does get his way when the bar loses its gay clientele, something he managed on his own by getting Dennis blackout drunk and letting him think he maybe had a fling with two gay men, sort of.  That said, for all that Mac (and Dee) get what they want in the form of a return of the status quo, it’s also a place where they’re basically poor again with the bar barely making enough money to pay the mortgage.

But sabotaging each other and themselves is something the Gang does very well…perhaps the only thing they do very well…