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Revisiting "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia": Great comedy still despite its age showing by namiks

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· @namiks ·
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Revisiting "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia": Great comedy still despite its age showing
![vlcsnap-2022-12-03-19h26m31s338.png](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/namiks/23xKp7iF2xTjmssKLjPsjuYM5nhWEcmgb9HSrKvSASbNeuorJnypiMvUiJtnVkEvMj2MB.png)

I love stupid humour. I love characters that are offensive due to their own stupidity. I love exaggerated stereotypes in which nobody is safe from being made fun of. And I love seeing shows where all of these things are blended together to create scenarios so far from reality that the mere idea that such people could exist seems purely fictional. I watched through the majority of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia many years ago, but recently decided to revisit it. I couldn't remember much from it, and I was now going into it from the start having not long watched through Trailer Park Boys -- though I was very much late to that party. That show reminded me of Peep Show, a British show that itself exaggerates the stupidity of everyday people but placing them into insane socially awkward scenarios to which those characters flourish in the worst imaginable ways. I came to realise how much I love this genre. One in which it is purely about character development, and there isn't really a set narrative to follow. Day in and day out we observe whatever strange situations the characters find themselves getting into, and they seem so disconnected from the possibility of being real.

What is surprising about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in comparison to these other similar shows, however, is that it is now running into its 16th season. Whether the quality remains or not, it's pretty crazy to see a show of this type still going at it with fresh ideas to tell and new scenarios to place its characters into. I find that often enough these types of shows fail quite early on, as they run out of ideas and slowly fail to tie things up. What We Do in the Shadows is a recent example, where its quality has decreased but seemingly is still going. Its counterpart Wellington Paranormal managed to end before an inevitable decline in quality. As did Peep Show as the cast aged and the quality was at risk as ideas grew thin. While from what I last saw, the quality of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia did decline a bit in its recent seasons, but its cast seem prepared to take things beyond even as they age rather dramatically compared to their earliest, arguably strongest seasons. The crew behind Trailer Park Boys seem to be continuing on with their characters, though their self-published works seem lost.

![vlcsnap-2022-12-03-19h27m50s376.png](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/namiks/23tGa4Pnpq8ekV2NxYWAj8vBU2nEW76kvkRhd8sLiwGi8MRDLzdaR53epp8AAgLNjnRkG.png)

Though I haven't really felt much of a decline in my revisit of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I'm quite surprised at how long this show has managed to not just stick around, but stick around with some strength. As the episodes per season increase and the ideas seem fresh, and the development of its many characters still feels chaotic and meaningful. Our gradual decline in Cricket is heavily exaggerated and still funny, somehow *still* managing to look even worse than the last time we saw him. It adds to the depth of his character and the sheer extent to which the gang have managed to completely ruin him with their manipulative and pretty much evil manners, without them even realising it. And selfishness and narcissism remains incredibly strong in the characters, forever placing themselves over not only each other as supposed friends, but everyone else. I found it quite funny how every so often we see how truly disconnected these characters are from the rest of the world. It is good writing to see these characters engaging in their own chaotic ways, but important for us an audience to see them interacting with others, regular strangers. We see from their reactions how utterly insane everything they do really is.

This helps us as an audience as we ensure we don't grow too familiar to their ways. We don't ourselves begin to see the chaos as normal. Normal for our characters perhaps, but the ways in which other people see and react to them is often with utter confusion and disgust. For me this is where I find myself laughing the most, and sometimes the directing style of the show amplifies the comedic effect *knowing* it is portraying the characters in this manner. Where sometimes the camera zooms out or pans to the side after a heated argument between the characters, only to reveal that they're in someone's office and the poor victim of their ways is left to just sit in total confusion wondering who these people are and how they ended up in their path. Fortunately this is used quite sparingly, so it never feels too forced or as if the joke is being told too many times to the point of growing stale. 

Growing stale as mentioned above is something that plagues many shows like this, however this show has a significantly larger number of characters than those typically do. I've noticed that this allows for the show to constantly juggle between characters and focus on different stories to expand upon the world, its character development, but importantly not utilise characters too much, particularly when they're from the main characters and featured in every episode. The wider number of characters allows for them to integrate into individual characters' lives and tell individual stories around them, often enough meaning some characters don't need a lot of screen time. I can think of how The Simpsons also does this, utilising a large number of characters which seem almost used entirely to mix things up and remove some of the weight from others. This makes for what many would definitely consider to be a 'binge-worthy' show, where it's incredibly easy to digest over a short 24 minute per episode runtime, with very little to follow.

![vlcsnap-2022-12-03-19h28m33s090.png](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/namiks/23tmBh2yHQybnsHjDfhceMFjUqENmJDvQkR3VPcWUML55PNdHHvoLwKTmUnH1u9n1x1oH.png)

Though another positive is how each of these characters stands out. They're each very different, even the main characters which all feature strong elements of narcissism. Some contain stronger personalities than others, others are more dirty and gritty. Others only really contain selfishness and aren't quite as bad as the others, only to have that negative side of them amplified when around each other. For example, Charlie is a bad influence on Frank, Dennis is a bad influence on Mac, and Dee's poor qualities are mostly void but exacerbated by everyone else. The personalities of these characters is often carefully considered as to avoid them mixing too much and seeming too similar. I quite like how different they still feel despite the many situations they get into together. Much of this comes down to the actors themselves being very aware of their characters and how to portray them. Frank played by Danny DeVito in particular is my favourite. His performance has created a monster of a character. One with such strangeness, total disregard for personal health and what others think of him. In a way, despite his many other flaws, he's an inspiration to us all as someone totally unfiltered without a care in the world, sometimes even displaying some positive elements to his character.

I find myself quite curious as to how the more recent seasons that are upcoming will be, as the cast have aged quite a bit. I think there's a plethora of potential in being very much aware of their age, but also ensuring that the characters haven't really changed. I think it would be the best direction to go in as everyone seems older but no much more mature or capable of learning their lessons. Something that is frequent in the earlier episodes: despite their luck to escape strong consequences for their actions, they never quite manage to learn anything to stop it from happening again. I hope that the direction maintains its gritty, quite offensive nature and ensures it remains free from politics or modern societal remarks. Though I do think there is potential in having a character suddenly have an epiphany that turns them compeltely good despite all they've done, only to be mocked by the others. Part of me suspects all of the characters will have rejected the older comedic ways, however.

That said, I do think this is close to the show's end, where perhaps they'll try to tie things up or perhaps provide some closure going into an ending soon. I have no idea how they might go about that, but I think the best option would be to do it quickly, perhaps with very little changing in the end.

![movies-and-tv-shows-BANNER-04.png](https://files.peakd.com/file/peakd-hive/namiks/EoEvm9is1DSJGKNK7cfBEKjhPnBcnqjgpyxewCjiJYLqVdkuFqhTyxabDTwFZsdLKKZ.png)

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@arcange ·
Dear @namiks,<br>May I ask you to review and support the new [HiveSQL Proposal](https://peakd.com/me/proposals/247) so we can keep it free to use for the community?<br>You can do it on [Peakd](https://peakd.com/me/proposals/247), [ecency](https://ecency.com/proposals/247), [Hive.blog](https://wallet.hive.blog/proposals) or [using HiveSigner](https://hivesigner.com/sign/update_proposal_votes?proposal_ids=%5B%22247%22%5D&approve=true)<br><br>Thank you!
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@arcange ·
Dear @namiks,<br>Your support for the current HiveBuzz proposal (#199) is much appreciated but the proposal will expire soon!<br>May we ask you to review and support the new proposal so our team can continue its work?<br>You can support the new proposal (#248) on [Peakd](https://peakd.com/me/proposals/248), [Ecency](https://ecency.com/proposals/248), [Hive.blog](https://wallet.hive.blog/proposals) or [using HiveSigner](https://hivesigner.com/sign/update_proposal_votes?proposal_ids=%5B%22248%22%5D&approve=true).<br><br>Thank you!
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@hivebuzz ·
Dear @namiks,<br>Your support for the current HiveBuzz proposal (#199) is much appreciated but the proposal will expire soon!<br>May we ask you to review and support the new proposal so our team can continue its work?<br>You can support the new proposal (#248) on [Peakd](https://peakd.com/me/proposals/248), [Ecency](https://ecency.com/proposals/248), [Hive.blog](https://wallet.hive.blog/proposals) or [using HiveSigner](https://hivesigner.com/sign/update_proposal_votes?proposal_ids=%5B%22248%22%5D&approve=true).<br><br>Thank you!
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@jesustiano ·
Would you believe if i tell you that I HAVENT SEE THIS ONE=? XD I now need it, thank you namiks.
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