Monday, January 9, 2017

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 11 Review

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-)
Season 11 - 10 episodes (2015)

Rent It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 11 on Amazon Video
Created by:  Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney
Starring:  Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson, Danny DeVito
Rated: TV-MA

Read my Season 10 review!

Five egotistical and arrogant friends run Paddy's Pub, an Irish bar in Philadelphia. They are despicable, selfish people, but it makes them fun to watch as their illusion of grandeur land them in ridiculous situations.

Always Sunny has always been a group of shameless people that will abuse each other and anyone else to win. The stakes never matter, and they each take anything much farther than any sane person would.
The comedy from this show has always been derived from taking any situation to the extreme. It's absurdist humor, but by making them caricatures, there's no basis for "the implication" from season 6 when the gang buys a boat. At this point Dennis wouldn't imply, he's so far past that he often references abduction and murder. Episode nine directly references the implication, but it feels like pandering.
The best episodes this season stand out because they change the setting or style. They are good episodes, but even season 10 would take a somewhat normal premise and crank it to eleven. Most episodes this season start well into crazy. While the show may be getting tired, it's definitely not dead yet. Despite the characters being over the top, this is still a hilarious show. It may not be prime Always Sunny, but it's funnier than anything else currently airing. Bring on season 12! 
Watch it.

This season is less subtle. Dennis is a sociopath. He's always considered himself a ladies man while in reality he's a creepy stalker. This season has him equating love to disembodied heads in a freezer with no pretense whatsoever. All of the characters are becoming extreme examples of themselves. You could call it development or fan service, but it's also eleven years of the show.
While this season is more self referential, including a mention of the fan favorite "the implication", it's still hilarious. It's just not as fresh. This isn't a bad season, and ithas great episodes, like a parody of '80s movies set at a ski slope, a Frank first person point of view episode, and a trial.
The only dud is Frank falling out of a window and thinking it's 2006. It's a complete miss.
The first episode has the gang demonstrating their Chardee Macdennis game for a board game executive. It's solid, but not as great as the season ten opener, The Gang Beats Boggs.

Episode two was a dud. Frank falls out of a window and thinks it's 2006. Of course the gang tries to take advantage. It's half an episode with a premise and no punchline.

Episode three is an '80s tribute and parody of ski movies. It's got the music and nods to nonsensical movie conventions. It's memorable, but the notable episodes this season stand out because they are very different. They don't stand out on premise or joke alone. While that's not a bad thing, it's a sign of what we'll see in future episodes.
Episode five was great. Mac and Dennis move to the suburbs and devolve into being an old married couple. Dennis road raging at other drivers on his commute isn't only funny, but accurate.

This was followed by an episode entirely in Frank's head. We see how Frank thinks, or doesn't think. I liked little touches like when Frank gets in a car and can't see over the dashboard. Good episode, but again it relies on doing something different.
Episode seven's Trial of the Century crammed a lot into the episode, but it felt like a summary, relying on many jokes we've seen in seasons past.
In the final two episodes, the gang goes to hell.

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