It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 8 Review

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The 8th season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was somewhat of a roller coaster, but ended on a definite upswing.

There were definitely some standout episodes this season that will go down as classics. While maybe not one of the absolute best, I thoroughly enjoyed The Gang Gets Analyzed; Charlie and Dee Find Love was one of my favorites, and the last two episodes of the season, The Gang Dines Out and Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense were absolutely amazing. Being the final episodes, they almost made me forget about the less successful episodes of the season. Almost.

The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre and Frank’s Back in Business were not only some of the worst episode this season, but are some of the weakest that I can recall from the series. The thing about both episodes is that neither storyline was particularly bad, but the way that both episodes were executed left them very short on laughs.

The rest of the season was littered with funny but relatively unmemorable episodes. One thing that was very consistent throughout the season was all the throwbacks to past episodes. Being a Sunny fan for years, I really appreciated this tactic. Cameos from the McPoyles and the Ponderosas, bringing back Dennis and Dee’s Nazi grandfather, a very classic appearance from The Waitress, a redo of Charlie’s cancer fake out from his mother. And then there was The Gang Recycles Their Trash. While in my opinion it wasn’t the best of the season, it may have been the most important. Because it showcased something truly amazing: this show’s ability to poke fun at itself, and basically at television shows in general. They literally made an episode full of recycled storylines, and they did it successfully.

The past few seasons of It’s Always Sunny have really honed in on Kaitlin Olson and her absolutely amazing comedic timing, and this season was no different. While the guys are all extremely funny, I generally find myself laughing the loudest at Sweet Dee’s scenes.  In some of the episodes I didn’t care for as much, I think a common thread was the way they failed to utilize Frank and Dennis. When they veer the focus from the dynamics of the group is when the show gets shaky, particularly when the individual focus is on either Frank or Dennis. My favorite dynamic to watch is always Charlie and Dee, but the gang really does work best when we’re watching their bizarre, hilarious chemistry.

This may not have been the strongest season in the show’s history, but this show is still far from being tapped out. From the ridiculous marketing campaign before the season even started, we knew we were in for some hilarious episodes. The great thing about It’s Always Sunny is that because of the absurdity of the characters, no storyline or joke is too implausible or over the line. Which leaves them with infinite possibilities. The 10 episodes of season 8 leave me very excited for season 9. Grade: B+

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