Always Sunny Shines Less Brightly in Eleventh Season


William Beckman, Co-Editor-in-Chief

From the moment Danny DeVito joined the cast of Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the show has been one of the funniest on television. After ten years of quality programming, however, the show is in the process of jumping the shark.

After opening on the hilarious episode “Chardee MacDennis 2: Electric Boogaloo,” I thought the season was off to a strong start. I was wrong, however. The follow up “Frank Hits His Head” was the beginning of a slide towards mediocrity that I didn’t think Sunny was capable of.

In this episode, Frank falls out of a window, hits his head, and thinks that it’s 2006. Based on that concept alone, I was predicting a solid episode, but (aside from Frank’s disgusting head gash) the humor falls flat, relying solely on callbacks to jokes from previous seasons. In the grand scheme of things, there have been worse episodes, and the next episode (an 80’s ski movie parody) looked like it would deliver on my high expectations.

Again, this episode, “The Gang Hits the Slope,” underdelivers. It was not the worst episode, and while funny enough, it could have been done much better. As the show runs its course (and most shows are like this), the characters tend to become caricatures of themselves, and Dennis is the prime example of this problem in this episode. When Dennis is written well, he’s either crazy or he’s a rich snob; the writers of this episode try to take him in both directions with a middling result.

With two mediocre episodes so early in the season, Sunny was, at this point, really in bad shape, and things didn’t look to be improving with the fourth episode, “Dee Makes a Smut Film.” This episode had many more redeeming qualities, from Frank’s “Ongo Gablogian” persona to Charlie “doing a Grieco thing.” This episode was the first step in the right direction, but still fell short of the expectations that come with the Always Sunny name.

The next episode, “Mac and Dennis Move to the Suburbs,” was a huge change in the quality of the season so far. Dennis and Mac move out of Philly to the suburbs and go crazy, culminating in Mac feeding Dennis their dog (which died after only two weeks of living with the pair) and Dennis stripping naked and threatening to kill their neighbor, Wally, who tried again and again to make small talk with Dennis by commenting that it’s “a hot one.” This is classic Sunny and shows that the season still has some potential.  

After the most recent episodes, I’m excited again to see what Always Sunny has in store for the rest of the season.