It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Airs Thursdays at 10/9c on FX
Episode: “The Nightman Cometh,” Season Finale
Synopsis: Charlie writes a musical for the gang to act in, inspired by his fictional folk-song superbeing, “Dayman.”
Review: The synopsis for this one is pretty straight-forward. The gang comes together to put on a musical with allegedly no “mark” or to shove it in someone’s face. Charlie Day does an excellent job of recreating a director with a massive ego and Glenn Howerton (Dennis) gets to show off some of his university-trained skills (Howerton attended Juilliard in New York). As a finale, the episode works because it kind of brings the whole gang together for a common purpose, instead of having them split off into two or sometimes three different storylines. Like last season’s finale about the dance-off, this one has all the main characters together. Artimus and the Waitress show up for the show, but that’s as much of a reunion as we get.
Seeing Danny DeVito as a troll and Rob McElhenney (Mac) with cat eyes is also a welcome addition, especially when they have to sing about attacking “this boy’s hole (boy’s soul).” For anyone who’s done any level of theatre, this episode is sure to inspire a couple of good inside jokes that it will bring to mind. Charlie tearing down Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) is excellent and leaves both Dee and the audience speechless. Unlike South Park, the guys from “Sunny” don’t have the sharpest ear for musical quality, but the lack of creativity in the songs gives a nice gritty feel to the overall production value. Seeing “Dayman” staged at the end of the episode was a nice moment as well. It didn’t compare to seeing Dennis and Charlie discover it in season 3, though.
Season Review: I gave some much-deserved praise for the fourth season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” on this website. Some episodes were better than others, of course, but there were some real gems. “Who Pooped the Bed” was a stroke of genius, as was the two-part episode where Mac and Charlie faked their own deaths. I will say that somewhere along the way, “Sunny” has transformed into a live-action South Park, except with less social satire (so maybe it’s more of a live-action “Family Guy”). Sometimes it’s just over-the-top silly and relies on too many visual gags.
However, the chemistry between the five leads has never been better. They all worked together very well this season as Day, Howerton, and McElhenney, took a bigger step in improving the writing. Where previous seasons would dwell on arguments and tiny squabbles between the characters, season 4 ratcheted up the drama so that a minor argument became a BETRAYAL of epic porportions, and the actors did a nice job of agreeing on the ridiculous circumstances. They could’ve argued about a course of action, but instead they would move forward with very little hesitance. This lack of rational perspective both helped and hurt the show, because at times there was never a straight man in the middle of all this anarchy. So at the end of the day, “It’s Always Sunny” is as brilliant as “Arrested Development” was except for the fact that “AD” had Jason Bateman as the straight-man propelling the story into a rounded conclusion, where “It’s Always Sunny” settled for bizarre turns without explanation. The key is storytelling, and although sometimes “Sunny” lacks, they’ll always keep you entertained, 22 minutes at a time.
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What did you think of this season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia?