Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 27th, 2011
Ever wonder what the kids of South Park might be like if they ever made it to adulthood? While I’ve not seen that many episodes of the FX series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, that was the first observation that came to mind. These are the South Park kids all grown up. They’re crude, raunchy, mean, and most importantly, they are as politically incorrect as ever. If you need an example, I can offer one right from one episode. The guys have a Christmas tradition that dates back to their childhood of throwing rocks at moving trains. An episode I caught a while back had two of the guys going to an abortion rally because they suspected that pro-choice chicks gotta be easy. Sound like anyone we know? If you love irreverent humor that’s not afraid to cross over the line, this F/X series has everything you’re looking for, and without those silly construction paper animation limitations. These are real dudes.
The best way to introduce you to the world here is through the characters. The Philadelphia setting and all of the other trappings really don’t matter. You could put these characters any place, doing almost any jobs, and the series would pretty much be the same. The actors and some cleverly written dialog really make the show.
Meet Frank Reynolds (De Vito). He’s not far removed from Louie on Taxi. He’s got money but lives like a bum with Charlie. His nephew Dennis (Howerton) runs a bar with his childhood friends Charlie (Day), Mac (McElhenney) and his sister Dee (Olson). If not for Frank’s money bailing them out of jams, the bar, Paddy’s, wouldn’t last a day. There are almost never any patrons, and they are too busy scheming and even screwing each other to actually make the bar turn a profit. Remember when Seinfeld ended with the gang being locked up for their self-absorbed personalities? Those guys have nothing on these guys. The trouble is that not only are their schemes cruel, they never work out in the end anyway. Never before has it been so much fun to watch a group fail this miserably.
What makes this show special is that the cast also serve as the showrunners. Rob McElhenney created the series and Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day serve as producers and main writers. There’s really no questioning the talents of Danny De Vito. It’s a special ensemble that really makes this off-kilter comedy thrive on cable. This stuff never happens on network television. I can’t really tell you about the plots, because this stuff just can’t be described in a way that does it justice. If you like South Park, you’ll like this one.
So what kind of trouble does the gang get into in season 6? I’m glad you asked. The gang decides to buy a boat because they think it will all be parties and high-seas adventure. If you can call seasickness adventure, I guess they were right. Dennis and Dee start to do podcasts, and their freedom of speech doesn’t always get taken in the spirit it is given. What am I talking about? It’s exactly the spirit it’s given. Dee gets pregnant. In the funniest show ever, which you get treated to an extended version of here, the guys present their own take on Lethal Weapon as a field trip for Dee’s substitute-teaching kids.
Each episode is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The 1080p image is brought to you through an AVC/MPEG-4 with an average bit rate of nearly 40 mbps. An introduction to the release warns you that the source material was not high-definition, so you should lower your expectations. In reality, it’s not that bad at all and compares favorably to many high-definition broadcasts. Colors are good, and detail is pretty much better than you’ve ever seen on this show.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is pretty much what you might expect. It’s not going to win any awards, but it delivers the dialog. ‘Nuff said.
Blooper Reel: (6:50)
The Sunny Flip Cup Trivia Challenge: This game includes trivia and mini-games like Simon. Test your knowledge of the season.
Dennis And Dee’s Podcasts: (12:41) Three with a play all option.
Legal Advice With Jack Kelly: (3:23) Jack is on a cable call-in show but is more interested in showing off his animal pictures than answering questions.
Political correctness is alive and well and brought to you from the city where American liberty was born. Of course, I’m not sure our founding fathers had this exactly in mind when they were building that bright shiny new country. But I’d bet that even Washington would have laughed his keister off if he saw this stuff. I can just hear John Adams now, “The thunder of my vengeance will echo through these corridors like the gusts of a thousand winds!”