Last night saw the third episode of the twelfth season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia air, a monumental feat in its own right, but the beauty is that it somehow hasn’t dipped in quality.
This episode saw The Gang create a sitcom of Mac (Rob McElhenney) and Charlie’s (Charlie Day) moms, taking a swipe at mainsitcoms in the process.
Mac and Charlie come bursting into the bar (that actually hasn’t seen a lot of screentime this season) arguing over which of their moms is ruining the other’s life.
Mac’s mom (Sandy Martin) moved into Charlie’s mom’s (Lynne Marie Stewart) house after she burnt down her old place with a cigarette.
Seeing as both Mac and Charlie don’t speak to their mothers, Dennis (Glenn Howerton) aptly decides to rig up cameras in the moms’ house, as his spy equipment has been sitting in storage anyway. Of course.
After Mac’s mom purposefully spills soup on Charlie’s mom, and in return Bonnie threatening to bludgeon Mac’s mom with a hammer while the latter wakes up from a drunken daze just in time, Dennis realises the potential for a sitcom.
The other gang members aren’t sold on how funny the situation is, until Dennis adds a laugh track, which changes the same situation from being dark to funny. “That’s weird, because the situation really isn’t funny,” says Dennis, before Mac replies “I know, but the laughing tells me when it’s funny.” A sentiment in which Frank (Danny DeVito) echoes not long later.
The back-and-forth swipes between the mothers is the backbone of the newly-created sitcom, but the gang soon start to mess with it.
Dee (Kaitlyn Olsson) and Frank see their chance in stardom, and try to insert themselves into the show. Dee failing at comedy as per usual with her “Cock-a-doodle-doo” catchphrase, while Frank is a tad more successful at being the douchebag who comes in to sleep with Bonnie.
Dennis plots to cut out Mrs. Mac from the show for being too one-note, and he’s going to hire “an ethnic” to replace her, while Mac disagrees and believes that she “pops” so he forces her to be in every scene.
Uncle Jack (Andrew Friedman) shows up to retrieve a hard drive he stashed in the floorboards while he was living there, prompting a love triangle between himself, Frank and Bonnie, which ends with Charlie breaking up Frank and Bonnie’s bang-session even though Frank had only got to third base.
The mothers eventually find out they’re being recorded, which kills Dennis’ buzz. He cancels the show before revealing that he’s been producing a new show, recording the gang watching the show in the back office.
Did this episode work?
It’s tough for the people behind the scenes to create a bad episode of Sunny. Outside of ‘The Gang Cracks The Liberty Bell’ and maybe ‘Frank’s Brother’ very little springs to mind.
However, this is one of the few times an episode is centred around one of the side-characters. While it’s a funny episode, it probably doesn’t stand up to the other episodes.
The funniest part of the episode were the swipes at mainsitcoms. They’ve done this before, with ‘The Gang Tries Desperately To Win An Award’ firing shots at the organisations who hand out awards not understanding them.
A laugh track can work, or it can really hinder a show. The same goes for single camera - multi camera shows. While it was fun to see Sunny in a different light, we really should be thankful it is what it is.
The credits to the show-within-a-show states that Old Lady House employed Josh Leith as their load wiper. It was also a position credited in ‘The Gang Saves The Day’ in Dee’s created sitcom.
Charlie receiving a letter from his mom written in his language, hieroglyphics, was incredibly sweet. It would have deserved an ‘awwww’ sound effect from Dennis.
“Did we put a camera in my mom’s room?” - Charlie
“No, I did.” – Dennis
Charlie offering Frank some chips was super sweet. Although if Frank did want some chips, he should have gotten chips at the hamburger store.