TV

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

The show's abundant laughs lie in the space between the way this group of Philly pubkeepers see themselves and how the world sees them.

|


The irreverent FX comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is now in its 14th season, tying Ozzie and Harriet as the longest-running live-action sitcom—a practically miraculous feat in our outrage-addicted times.

Season 14 starts with the usual gang—as depraved and absurd a bunch as ever hit the screen—trying to scam sex from Airbnb guests, break up a couple grieving their dead son, and terrorize a city councilwoman into missing a vote on a public urination bill. The show's abundant laughs lie in the space between the way this group of Philly pubkeepers see themselves and how the world sees them, their hypocrisy, their pretensions, and their inevitable self-induced downfalls.

To the extent there's some social commentary here, it does not flatter the character's painfully self-centered worldview. But people these days seldom take time to discern what jokes mean if they have the surface ability to offend. So why hasn't "cancel culture" come for Paddy's Pub?

Maybe It's Always Sunny has stayed just low-profile enough to avoid it. Maybe enough media tastemakers and Twitter-mob leaders grew up on the show. Maybe it just walks the taboo comedy line exceptionally well. Whatever the reason, we should raise a glass to it. Fourteen seasons in, the gang is still as creepy, as deplorable, and as hilarious as ever.