Friday, October 30, 2009

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops": I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubble gum

When I wrote my column about "The League," I said that "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" tends to bat around .333 for me, but tonight's wrestling episode (complete with Rowdy Roddy Piper and his bucket of chestnuts, Rickety Cricket briefly being triumphant and the guys once again composing songs that the masses can't appreciate), coupled with last week's Green Man vs. Philly Frenetic brawl, has the show on a very funny streak at the moment.

Or maybe I'm just happy that Piper's appearance gives me an excuse to quote from, and link to, this scene.

What did everybody else think? And does anybody want to weigh in on "The League"?

23 comments:

Chris Littmann said...

We've discussed my love of Sunny before. I think it's great. The last three -- The Waitress one, the Phillies one and this -- have been probably the three best of the season with each one topping the previous one. Struggled for the entire half hour to remember that Soldier of Fortune was Elliott's ex-boyfriend on Scrubs.

Haven't watched The League yet, but the extended clip I saw was kinda cringeworthy. Still, enough people I enjoy individually to watch it for a few eps.

(Back to Sunny -- if Alan doesn't mind -- here's a link to an interview I did with Rob McElhenney aka Mac.)

Billy said...

This season has been pretty good, the only real stinker in my opinion was The Great Recession. For my money The Gang Hits The Road was the funniest episode this year but Greenman v. Frenetic was pretty epic and Roddy Piper is always great...especially since I thought he was long dead.

alynch said...

I'm much higher on this show than you, Alan, but season 4 was definitely a step down in quality. However, they have recovered nicely this year. In my opinion, there has only been one dud so far this year ("The Great Recession"). And next week's episode, which features the already legendary Kitten Mittens, looks like another winner. I'm also really looking forward to their Christmas special.

Rabble Rouser said...

I'm a HUGE sunny fan, and I thought this was one of the worst of the season. It felt short, forced, and nothing really got developed. The ending was the only thing that saved it.

My #1 moment of the season was Charlie going on the blind date and saying he was a "Full-on rapist."

My Favorite Ep of all time is last season when they did the Extreme Home Makeover.

Also Charlie has entered my Pantheon of Supporting Comedy Characters- George Kostanza, Eric Cartman, Susie Greene, and now Charlie Day

Otto Man said...

Such a great show. And yes, this season has been a nice bounce back from a less-than-stellar season four.

You were right about the League -- not enough fantasy football. They need to steer the show to its core audience.

Abby said...

So, who's the Philly Frenetic? Unless I missed something, the awesomest mascot in the country is the Philly Fanatic...

(and yes, I'm holding on to that since the Phils lost to the Yanks last night)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Abby, it was a running gag last week that they called it the Frenetic because they didn't want to get in trouble with Major League Baseball, but then at the end, Charlie points this out and calls it the Fanatic anyway. Plus, they were able to use an actual Fanatic costume, so I don't know what the real deal was.

Anonymous said...

Abby, if you read Chris Littman's link, Rob explains that MLB suits weren't too keen on having the official Phillie Phanatic on the show, so they had to make a replica costume and call it the Phrenetic. Charlie actually explained that at the end of the show before going on a quick but great rant on steroids.

Jobin said...

Sepinwall has come to the dark side! At its best, this is the funniest show on TV (in my mind) by far. I agree that season 4 was a letdown (although interestingly the gas crisis episode may have been the best in the show's history, especially when Charlie dove out of the van at the end and screamed "wild card, bitches!"), but season 5 has hit the nail on the head. The intervention episode and the waitress getting married episode were vintage Sunny, with Charlie's match.com profile and then actual date being pitch-perfect for his character. Long live Charlie Day!

Art McGregor said...

I agree 100 percent with John.

If I had to introduce "Sunny" to someone who hasn't seen it before, it'd be the Gas Crisis episode and Match.com/Waitress Getting Married. Just so many hilarious lines in the later ... "I got the waitress, dude" and "I suppose I'll be getting that milk steak to go" are my two favorites this season.

Thought last night's was just OK. Then again, my mind was on the World Series game so maybe I didn't pay enough attention.

Abby said...

How weird is this? I didn't even notice last week that they were referring to him as the Frenetic... but that was an excellent episode. Last year at the Phillies victory parade, I got a picture with a guy dressed up as green man so it brought back happy memories.

Chris Littmann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Littmann said...

Explanation for the Phanatic stuff last week. (CL being me, RM being MacElhenney):

CL: The other question I had about the Phillies episode relates to the whole Phillies mascot story. Was there an issue with the rights to the Phanatic?

RM: Yeah, so MLB is very protective of their brand, which I completely understand and we asked them for permission to use ... well, if you'll notice throughout the entire episode we use no MLB signage. No official Phillies logos. So, in fact, even the shirts, the caps, anything in the background you see, there's no MLB signage because they wouldn't let us do it. We showed them the script and they said no way. We even spoke specifically with the Phanatic, who I know and is a very nice guy in Philly. He said that he's happy to do it, but he'd have to run it up the chain and MLB ... again I don't fault them to protect themselves and they just decided they didn't want to be associated with the episode of the show. That being said, we had to adjust, so we came up with the Philly Phrenetic instead of the Philly Phanatic.

CL: So did you get the actual Philly Phanatic and just changed the costume, or was that a whole knockoff costume?

RM: We actually had that built by our costume department, and it had to look enough like the Phanatic that you would understand that it was a parody of him, but that it was not specifically the Phanatic.

Brent said...

It seems popular to say that Season 4 was a letdown, but for my money, some of the series' best episodes were last season: Gas Crisis ("wildcard, bitches!", Manhunters ("racoon meat"), Mac's Banging the Waitress ("that doesn't sound like best friend talk to me"), An Erotic Life (Sweet Dee's dry heave during her open mic stand-up set), Nightman Cometh ('nuff said), and, IMO perhaps the best episode of all-time, Sweet Dee Has a Heart Attack (Pepe Sylvia!).

Otto Man said...

Season 4 had its bright spots for sure. I'm watching it on DVD this week, actually, and laughing my ass off. (In addition to the ones you mention, Mac with the concussion and wedding dress in the two-parter was hysterical.)

But it still seemed a slight dip-down from Season 3 on the whole. Which is only saying it wasn't the *very* funniest thing I'd ever seen, but close.

Nicole said...

"Wild card bitches" is still something I try to incorporate into everyday life. Unfortunately, I don't seem to know a lot of people who watch that show.

This week was pretty good, but I do think that last week was a bit better because when Charlie is let loose, he is always the funniest part of the show. ("Full on rapist" just killed me, as well as his fight with the Fanatic)

Frank sorta took his place with garbageman this week, and while I didn't recognize Roddy Piper, I did appreciate his twisted homage to Mickey Rourke's Wrestler.

And count me as someone else who didn't notice that they were calling the Fanatic the Frenetic until Charlie pointed it out. I am sure this was done for humour, but really the MLB needs to get over itself.

Jobin said...

They were also calling it the "Olliday Inn" instead of the "Holiday Inn" but never referenced that.

Re-watching season 4 has made me appreciate it more, but I think it was weak in some spots. Still, a "weak" episode always has its bright spots, and I love the show.

Hatfield said...

I'm not a huge fan of this show, but I wanted to point out how awesome it is that you've referenced They Live twice in just over a week. Add that to Keith Law mentioning it in his World Series preview for ESPN, and somewhere John Carpenter is smiling.

Amy said...

What I love about this show is that there is usually one member of the gang who is almost the voice of reason.... except even their reasoning is off the wall.

Kimo C. said...

The League was a huge, huge flop for me for a number of reasons. First off, why are there only 5 owners and why do two of them not know anything about football? For a show that is supposed to focus on the idea of the competition of fantasy football during an NFL season, they really are lost right out of the gate. All of the fluff that had nothing to do with Fantasy was also horribly written and not funny. The joint on the wall? That song at the birthday party? Really? Is that really funny to the guys who write this?

However, lame jokes side, there were a few things that did work. The husband-wife team; the pick selection; the banter between champion and contender; and the idea that FF can take precedence over a relationship. All of these are real life issues that people who play fantasy think about. The show simply failed to exploit the humor in in all of it.

They’ve basically ruined or watered down what could have been a very interesting premise by not making the actual League hardcore enough to allow people who play fantasy football to relate to it. They really tried to act like the league itself was an event, when it was actually treated as an afterthought.

What the hell was that draft about anyway? Five owners sitting on a couch and then all of the sudden there’s people walking around drinking and music is playing? Then they stop drafting in the 8th round and say good draft? WTF?

The fantasy baseball league in Knocked Up is the direction they should have taken with this show. Mad dudes sitting around with pens and paper and “no wife’s allowed”. There should have been opportunities for owners to rip on each other about taking picks and stats thrown back in each other’s faces. Clever stuff though, not drafting Keyshawn Johnson! I mean seriously, when they showed that the wife was basically the owner of that one team, I assumed that they would have her husband on the phone with her at the draft acting like he was talking to someone else. That could have been an interesting conflict that they could have exploited all season long with her getting upset at him for not listening to her on a selection and then withholding sex or something. Instead they decided to have another character try and bribe a 13 year old for drafting advice which was a complete miss in the funny department.

The other characters are completely forgettable, although Leslie Bibb is quite stunning.

The entire draft—which should have been in episode 2 or 3—was just handled piss poorly.

Alaska aka Timillionaire said...

Great episode. the season started off slow..outside of the roadtrip episode. last few have really stepped up. I have found they they are funnier on second viewing. a lot of little things I missed such as the gang talking about hulk hogans trademark image of blond chinese hair and skin of a hotdog.

dez said...

I think my favorite bit from this season was Charlie giving the waitress' ex-fiancee the box of hornets. Finally, a win for Charlie!

I also liked he & Frank rubbing backs like a couple of bears against a tree to salve the itchiness of the bed bug bites in the last ep. And boy, has Roddy's voice gotten even scratchier!

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