Geeklings, it has been awhile since we’ve had a guest post, hasn’t it? Look at me bogarting the mic. It’s a new year so let’s change that. The more voices the merrier. I’d love to be able to get a new column from someone who isn’t me at least once a week, and I know that might be dreaming big but we were able to do it for awhile with Maggie Carr (hiiiiiiiii Maggie keep kicking ass!). That’s the dream any way. But there are times where I just want all of you to myself though. How do you expect me to share when you’re all just so wonderful?
Well, I’ll be sharing tonight as our good friend Eric Landro returns to the site. You might remember him from his posts here aaaaaaaaand here. Well he’s back with a new column (and we say thank you sir) discussing It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Enjoy Geeklings!
For those of you who will be missing me (more of you then you’d like to admit) please put your fears at rest as I’ll be returning tomorrow with something that could be a new weekly column (ooooooooooh). If you absolutely need to read something of mine why not got to Fan Fest News and read through some of my columns over there. Just click that link. Go ahead and do it. Show that love but be sure to show that same love to Eric. It’s only fair.
One final thing (sorry Eric), if you want to contribute to I Am Geek feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @iamgeek32 or sign up for our Faceyspace page (here) and contact me through that. Would love to hear from my Geeklings.
Okay, I think I’m done. The floor is yours Eric. Enjoy Geeklings!
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It’s Still Always Funny in Philadelphia
Twelve years ago, we lived in a world where we never had a black president, Tim Duncan had only three rings, the final installment of the Harry Potter series had yet to be released (the books guys), and Always Sunny in Philadelphia premiered their very first episode, with spotty directing and low budget quality production on FX. It has become one of the longest running shows in history, quietly surpassing popular shows like Cheers (11), Friends (10), and Seinfeld (9). They have no intention in stopping, and why should they? Usually shows reach their pinnacle at around season 6 and 7, then eventually they can see a decline, forcing out seasons and watering down quality. But Sunny has found a way to maintain their quality with their relevance and character growth, remaining fearless but yet, professional since the very beginning.
Their twelfth season premiere occurred last week, and it was arguably their most ambitious and controversial episode to date. “The Gang Turns Black” marked one of the first times Sunny received real backlash for their efforts. People found this episode “a bit too racist” and that it “crossed a line”, and they may have a point. Although I did find the episode extremely funny, there were moments that made my stomach turn a bit, especially towards the end, where they gave us a shocking and harsh view of police brutality amongst minorities.
But that being said, fans of the show know that these characters were not built to be loved. Dennis, Mac, Charlie, Dee and Frank symbolize the very worst of humanity, which is what makes the show so funny. Shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Community have their hysterical moments, however you become attached and love the characters. Michael Scott, Leslie Knope and Pam & Jim are relatable and lovable, which really helps sell the show. When discussing Sunny, however, you absolutely loathe these characters, laughing at their idiosyncrasy and egotism.
So when watching “The Gang Turns Black”, viewers need to understand that these characters are the same they have always been, no matter the subject matter. This has been an increasingly sensitive subject, and understandably there was some backlash. That being said, it was still a normal setting under the Sunny umbrella of what is too much and not enough.
What Sunny also does wonderfully is they never have one specific side they choose. They love to show the absurdity of both sides of the issue. For example, one episode the gang is split between whether or not gun control is a good or bad thing. With their chaotic, egotistic arguing antics, both sides eventually switch their viewpoints, meeting back to realize both groups had their own awakening of the matter. They never have some sort of political or ethical agenda, they do this because they have open minds and realize both sides of the aisle share some extreme behaviors and beliefs.
What you have to appreciate from this show is that they are trying to switch things up and continue being different. The entire episode of “The Gang Turns Black” was a musical, while simultaneously tackling the issue of race, something that hasn’t been done on a comedy show in my recent memory. “Charlie Work” is another episode where they raised the bar, where they did a seven-minute-long, uncut scene where Charlie is showing around the health inspector while trying to keep the gang at bay with another one of their schemes. It was a brilliant piece that shows how devoted and talented these actors are.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has flown under the radar for twelve long years, being overlooked for all the awards and I still run into people who have never even heard of it. Which is a shame, because this show may be one of the smartest, funniest shows to ever grace the small screen. You can tell the creators (which are also the three main leads of the show) have made sure every season tops their last, pushing the envelope and creating new ways to keep things fresh. There are time’s where they can miss (“Franks Brother” comes to mind immediately), but I still appreciate the effort. Anyone who has never seen this show should binge watch immediately on Netflix.