I’m not sure what drew me toward this show, but it ended up being a black hole of comedy that I’ve been unable to escape from. From the very first episode, the shows deadpan humor and increasingly disturbing scenarios made it very much like the “Seinfeld on crack” tag lines people were giving it. One thing’s for sure: it’s certainly a filthy series but it also remains one of my all time favorite shows currently on the air. There isn’t a single episode in this third season that wasn’t flat out hilarious and by the time it wrapped up its fifteen episode run, you felt simultaneously relieved that the rollercoaster of a season was over and also sad because it would be nearly a year before you saw any more.
As with the previous two seasons of the show, the third season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia continued its streak of shows that really don’t relate to one another in any way and truly follow the word “random” when it comes to the pacing of the series. There’s always the undercurrent of Paddy’s Pub being sold or lost due to the dealings of one of the gang (usually Charlie), but other than that, the only thing to tie the series down to other episodes are the occasional throwbacks to crack addictions and the reappearance of past characters (two of whom come back in a big way for the season’s finale). No matter which way you cut it, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia had another impeccable third season that pushed the limits of not only what the show does but also showed you just how amazing cable TV can really be.
I’m wary when recommending It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to newcomers. I’m even hesitant to use the Seinfeld analogy, as that almost makes it seem friendlier than it really is. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is really just a downright filthy show that has no redeeming moral quality in it at all; it is quite literally dumpster bin level humor that’s infused throughout the series and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. What makes the show so hilarious to watch is the incessant dialogue that spews from the characters mouths. I just never get tired of hearing them spout off one liners or smack downs to one another, especially when it comes to wailing on Charlie whose inability to read or write is out in full force in this season and makes for one of the most hilarious situations yet when he and Dennis are scoping out a new bar that’s stealing their thunder.
There isn’t a single episode in this batch that isn’t worth watching, although there are of course highlights. “The Gang Gets Held Hostage” is a fantastic episode, if only because the Gang themselves shine when they’re inside the Pub and that’s all this episode is. The reappearance of Frank’s gun and Charlie and Mac in the men’s restroom going over the map is just absolutely some of the best stuff I’ve ever seen come out of the show, even if grown men farting in each other’s faces is extremely childish. One of my all time favorite episodes of the season, “Bums: Making a Mess All Over the City” is another favorite of mine, as it spawned some absolutely horrendous sounding dialogue that I won’t even quote here. The season closer “The Gang Dances Their Asses Off” is another brilliant episode, as we get to see some old faces returning from the hell holes that the gang tossed them into.
Overall the third season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia remains strong throughout and I cannot wait to get caught up on the fourth season that has already started airing. The show has a strong fan following and I hope that’s enough to keep it on air for many more years to come. While it brings in elements from other shows that adorned our TV screens, it also makes it feel fresh in a way that only the writers of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia can—they load it up with foul mouthed humor and obscene plots that would turn your parents faces white. Highly Recommended.
Once again releasing in a slipcase and two digi-paks, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia third season arrives split across three discs, with a strange divide between the second and third disc (the two-part “The Gang Gets Whacked” is split across the two discs). The rest of the packaging mirrors the yellow blast that the first season had and even the disc art and menu styles are similar. I’m not complaining—the show got it right on DVD the first time around, so I’m not going to fault it for repeating what works. Video and audio for the set is what you’d expected from a new show, although the interlacing and grain on the series can get a big annoying at times. Here’s hoping the next season has a bigger budget that they can spend on new cameras—full screen just doesn’t feel right in this day and age. The Dolby Digital mix arrives in Surround form and is subtitled in English, French and Spanish.
The extras on the set can be found on each of the discs, with the majority housed on the final disc of the set. Disc one contains a commentary on “The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation” and disc two has a commentary on “Dennis Looks Like a Registered Sex Offender”, both of which have commentary by Rob McElenney, Charlie Day and Glen Howerton. Both tracks are well worth listening to and the trio provides some nice insight into the series, but a lot of the time is spent joking around which one would expect from the writers and stars of the show. Unfortunately as fun as the tracks are to listen to, they are pretty much the most time you’ll spend on the set as the extras on the third disc fall short.
First up is “Sunny Side Up: Volume 2” (6:27), a “behind-the-scenes” look at the series which, as with the rest of the extras here, are all done in tongue-in-cheek style. It’s a decent extra, but the run time is so short that I can’t help but wonder why more content isn’t packed onto these releases. It’s obvious that this series has to be just brimming with on-set antics and backstage footage that is likely as funny as the show itself, so it’s disappointing we’re only given these short little featurettes. Next is “Meet the McPoyles” (5:33), a very short bit with the actors talking about their characters and finally we have the “Dancing Guy” (5:56) featurette which is really just an extended music video that was used in the show. A short gag reel (6:00) wraps up the set, but it’s quite hilarious so it’s worth checking out. I really wish these extras were just longer or that there were more of them—it’s like they’re doing the bare minimum for these sets, which is incredibly disappointing.
Overall a great season with a set that comes Recommended. You will want to watch these episodes over and over again so the set is worth owning just for that, I just wish there was more bonus content to sift through.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 3 is now available on DVD.