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 this 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 all justice. If you like South Park, you’ll like this one.
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.
Deleted Scenes: (19:40)
Blooper Reel: (7:47)
Kitten Mittens Endless Loop: Well … it’s not endless. It is 95 hours long.
The Gang’s Dating Profile: (4:30) It’s a fake dating game featuring our characters.
Schwep Dream Sequence: (4:54) Over 27,000 stills are shown in under 5 minutes.
This stuff isn’t for everyone. The humor is crude, and most importantly, so are the characters. The language is rough. And it’s all funny as hell. I’m also fond of the Philadelphia setting. I grew up not far from Philly, and many of the images brought back some fond memories. I loved watching the Philly Phanatic kick the crap out of Charlie. Some might call this adolescent humor, pure and simple. “Oh, well, I think you’ll find it goes much, much deeper than that.”