Full steam ahead, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia kicks off its sixth season tonight on FX. The no-holds-barred comedy seeks to tackle more cultural issues and dirty schemes while balancing a couple of recurring storylines as well.
The cast of Always Sunny was at San Diego Comic-Con this summer and shared some insight on the upcoming season with us. The elephant in the room was undoubtedly Kaitlin Olson's pregnancy. During filming, her appearance became almost impossible to hide. The cast and crew knew this day would come and decided to incorporate it into the show. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait for the fourth episode of the season to see that storyline get underway - although they clearly try to hide her belly in the opening episode.
Without much interference from FX, Always Sunny has managed to create satire out of timely topics. Tonight's premiere episode, entitled 'Mac Fights Gay Marriage,' does just that. Just over a month after Proposition 8 was overturned, the gang will fire their first round of comedic ammunition at gay marriage.
While the execution is not a headfirst dive in the shallow end of satirical comedy, the gang will let you get your feet wet for a few episodes before really drowning you in laughter. I hate to say the premiere episode is a disappointment, but it wasn't anywhere near their best. Still, after a summer without Always Sunny, it's a funny enough welcome back.
REVIEW [SPOILER ALERT!!!!]
As usual, the episode is split into multiple storylines, separating the gang into related situations. But the premiere episode goes in plenty of directions to keep you distracted. Keep your eyes peeled for moments that suggest the impending pregnancy of Sweet Dee.
Mac is busy trying to win back the heart of former love interest and former transvestite, Carmen. While they were together and Carmen still had his/her manhood, the two made a pact that once he/she got "snip-snip," they would be together forever. When Mac bumps into Carmen at the gym, he/she reveals his/her new husband, Nick. Of course, this sets Mac on an episode-long mission to destroy the marriage based on his idiotic interpretation of the Bible's laws on gay marriage.
As he reveals this intention to the rest of the gang, they all find something to fill their time. Dennis has decided to once again pursue love and finally settle down in the sanctity of marriage. Since this is the polar opposite of the Dennis we've grown to know and love, something is immediately off about the revelation. Nevertheless, his mission in the premiere is to reunite with his high school sweetheart, Maureen Ponderosa. Dee joins him on this adventure in hopes of snagging Maureen's brother, Bill, in a bedside romp.
This leaves us with Charlie and Frank. The dysfunctional roommates head back to their apartment and almost immediately get into trouble. In an inexplicable attempt to lift a water jug full of pennies, Charlie throws his back out. Frank helps Charlie crack his back, which causes his own back to go out. Writhing on the floor, the two decide to fake a domestic partnership in order to get Charlie on Frank's health insurance to relieve the price of a chiropractor.
I really didn't reveal much beyond the first five minutes. These situations set the tone for an episode that has its moments, but ultimately lets down the anxious fans. You will get plenty of the usual hilarity from the gang and everybody is still their usual haughty selves - always looking for a way to get their way at any cost.
Dee will gag more than enough times to make you laugh and Charlie gets his scream back. The only real change is in Dennis' hair, which is significantly shorter. Rest assured, if you are hoping for the gang to get nasty and insensitive, you'll get it. But don't expect too much out of these opening episodes. The fourth episode, though, is possibly the show's funniest in six seasons.