July 15, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia “Charlie Gets Crippled”

Season Two, Episode One

And now the cast is complete, as Danny DeVito’s Frank Reynolds makes his first appearance.  And heck, I could maybe write up this entry on a work computer.  Oh, I still won’t.  But it’s  a lot less controversial right now as far as episode titles go.

Also, Tiffany Haddish appears briefly as a stripper.

The story, as told by the show’s creators, was the network liked the show, but the ratings were terrible.  The network types suggested that they add a recognizable actor, specifically referring to DeVito.  Initially, the guys said they weren’t so sure, but then the executives basically said it was bring in DeVito (or someone like him) or get canceled.  “No show” was worse than ” bring in someone new they didn’t know,” so they said to bring in DeVito, and it turned out the guy was game to do whatever they asked of him, and as Frank Reynolds, the stepfather to Dennis and Sweet Dee, he fit right into the selfish, sniping, jackass protagonists of a show about arguably some of the worst people in the City of Brotherly Love.

I mean, this episode’s cold open shows Dennis and Dee’s panicking over the fact their father is coming over rather suddenly, the Gang tries to make a run for it to go somewhere (the strip club for the men, anywhere for Dee), Charlie opts out because he has no money, and when Frank pops up in front of Dennis’s car suddenly, he panics and goes into reverse, running over Charlie and putting him in a wheelchair.

Oh, and Frank’s there because he’s divorcing the twins’ mother, so he decided he’s going to give his money away and spend more time with his kids.

Yeah, I know Frank isn’t actually their biological father, but this episode plays it like he is.

The Reynolds twins initially decide to swipe as much as they can from Frank’s house before he gives it away to charity while Mac and Charlie decide to hang out with him, see if the rich guy will pay to take them to the strip club, and what comes out is wheelchair-bound Charlie is now a subject to pity, leading to his getting free lap dances.  And yes, that does mean going back with two strippers to Charlie’s place, but Frank manages to bed both of them before proposing he become Charlie’s roommate, living in the same squalor he used to live in and that Charlie still does.

Of course, the real thrust of the episode is how all the members of the Gang one by one decide to fake a disability to get pity, attention, dates, free stuff, and what have you.  Charlie actually needs the wheelchair, but he decides to add a Vietnam veteran costume to his attempts to get more strippers to take him home.  None of this works.  I mean, Dennis decides to claim he had polio, Mac steels that bit, and no one asks them how they can have a disease that has been more or less eradicated in the United States.

Naturally, this all leads to a massive argument outside the strip club where Charlie has been spilled to the ground, Dee and Frank bicker loudly, and Mac and Dennis (both drunk) plow into Frank and Dee with Dennis’s car because, well, Dennis is drunk.  Mac is too, but he wasn’t driving.  Fortunately, as Frank notes, no one important was hurt.

You know, except the guy Dee almost took home.

Yeah, Frank is going to fit in real well with these people.