The gang of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia is back for a new season of mayhem, squalor, and hilarity, and the season 7 premiere, "Frank's Pretty Woman" certainly delivered on all three counts.
As was pointed out by Dennis (Glenn Howerton) at one point in the episode: it seems as though The Gang is sinking to new lows this season, what with Mac (Rob McElhenney) having gained 50 pounds of "mass," Dee (Kaitlin Olson) slipping even further into delusions of having a better life, Dennis feeling that old crack/cocaine itch again, Frank (Danny DeVito) wanting to wed the raunchiest hooker in Philly, and Charlie (Charlie Day)...just being Charlie.
Did I mention that this is just the starting point for the season?
"Frank's Pretty Woman" quickly reminded us just who we are dealing with here (as if we could forget after six seasons): a group of selfish, shallow, morally-devoid human beings who might just be the best friends you never want to have. While it was great watching scenes like Frank wooing a hooker, Charlie vomiting gross amount of fake blood on a blind date, or Mac and Dennis talking hedonist philosophy over chimichangas and excessive insulin injections - the real standout of this premiere episode was Roxy the hooker (Alanna Ubach), who literally and figuratively sucked the charm out the admittedly-absurd Pretty Woman fantasy.
Even better than having an over-the-top character like hard-drinking, crack-smoking, foul-mouthed Roxy, was the way in which the episode detailed the gang's transition from initially viewing this woman like most of us would (with shock and disdain), to having feelings of admiration blossom in their black little hearts - only to pull another 180° at the very end of the episode, when they haul a dead Roxy out of Charlie's dilapidated apartment and leave her like trash in the hallway - lest they have to deal with the inconvenience of calling 911 and explain themselves. That final image (a soiled dead hooker laying in a filthy hallway while the Pretty Woman theme song plays) is one of those shockingly inappropriate moments that only Sunny can turn into comedy gold.
All in all, this was a good start to seaon 7, and I'm definitely liking the fact that we're starting to see the show utilize its own established mythos by casually re-introducing old plot points and running jokes (such as Dee and Dennis' crack addiction from way back in season 1). By now we know these characters and their world so well that for long-time fans the inside jokes only make the viewing experience that much richer - while new viewers get a crash-course in how the gang from Paddy's Pub gets down. Before seeing "Frank's Pretty Woman" I might have guessed what kind of hijinks we might be in for in season 7. But after seeing this premiere, I can't even imagine what the showrunners have cooking inside those wonderfully twisted minds of theirs - I just know that I'm looking forward to it, whatever "it" may be.
You can catch It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia Thursday nights @ 10pm on FX.