Nov 03 2011

Five Reasons Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the Best Show on Television

Published by at 8:00 am under Lists,Television

That it took me more than one season to get into Always Sunny is beyond me.   I should have watched the pilot and I know deep down I’d have been hooked.   Fortunately I’ve seen them all on DVD so I’m nice and caught up.

But damned if I don’t find this to be the best show on television.  Well, the best comedy.  I think Dexter is the best show.   And I ask myself why the show is so funny.

And like my previous favorite, Seinfeld, there’s a lot to discuss.   However, I’ve pinned it to five things that I’ll highlight as to why this show rules…

A Completely Original Ethical Code


There’s only one other show on television where ethics are twisted in a weird logic and that show is Workaholics.   The characters of Always Sunny live by the weirdest set of ethics imaginable.   It’s like every time they have in idea or plan it seems like the greatest thing in the world and that it’s right, no matter how wrong it in fact is.   I can’t describe it but the sense these people make of everything is absolutely hilarious.  It’s like everything is fine all the time even though in reality it’s completely insane.

While Insane,  Every Character is Intelligent


What makes the code of ethics I mentioned above so believable is the fact that each character is actually smart.   The way they talk and the way they rationalize practically justifies all the stupid and morally wrong things they do.   If these characters were ninnies it wouldn’t be nearly as funny.   Oh, and the cursing on FX helps too.





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15 responses so far

  • david

    This season has been a little “meh” until last week’s show with their invented board game.

  • Ian

    This and Dexter are my two favorite shows this season. Usually a fan of Big Bang, How I Met, Parks & Rec, and The Office as well. Aside from P&R I feel like the rest of my favorite shows are falling off in quality. Dexter almost lost my interest last season, but I think Sunny is as strong as it’s ever been. Love Fat Mac and @David – as soon as that episode was over I wanted to watch another one where they just played Chardee MacDennis again!

  • Drew

    What the show does great is be inventive, they spark ideas like green man, drinking wine from soda cans, Chardee MacDennis, flip-a-delphia, Dick Towel, and so on.

    But I agree with David, this season and last have been meh. I watch for the general entertainment, but find the laughs few and far apart. unlike seasons 2 and 3.

    Maybe its because it is SO outrageous, its hard to laugh.

  • Cube

    I was late on watching this show but now that I have seen it I have to agree that it is the funniest thing to be on TV.

  • John

    The fact that you named two shows that have been noticeably more mediocre than they’ve ever been further demonstrates to me your ignorance of what “the best” truly is. Chardee MacDennis and some of the first couple episodes of Sunny were truly inspired, but this show is not creating laughs on as much of a consistent basis as shows like Community or Parks and Rec in my humble opinion.

  • Rosstopher

    I agree, they all are smart. But Charlie is the dumbest. He can do random things though, like play piano, but other than that he has some pretty severe dyslexia or is just plain illiterate. Dennis, the character, actually went to Penn, so hes pretty brainy. but they all have such a weird set of ethics and are extremely selfish that they are ignorant sometimes.

  • Tim

    This show fell off after the third season. At this point they’re running on fumes. They’ve figured out what I call the South Park formula of success. Meaning they’ve figured out a working formula to crafting an episode a long time ago and figured why switch things if they’re working. Sadly they’re not working. A baby funeral? A whole flashback episode to Frank in the 70’s? WTF? Splitting the gang into two separate groups and having them deal with [random taboo subject #1] and [random taboo subject #2] all while making some type of random pop culture reference doesn’t always necessarily translate into comedic gold. And Danny Devito simply being a short fat man doesn’t always make him funny either.

  • Jim Lahey

    I completely agree with Tim. Well said.

  • Guy Incognitus

    @Ian

    I stopped reading what else you wrote after you said you’re a fan of Big Bang.

  • CaesarInvictus

    @ John:
    You talking about Community pretty much destroyed your argument. Senior Chang and the Dean peaked their quirkiness last season, so they are trying to force them to be quirky and it isn’t funny. Every night is another of Jeff’s monologues that are getting old and Britta just isn’t a good comedic actor. They both became caricatures of themselves and in comedy that isn’t good. The jokes about Shirly and her religion are getting old.

    This is what happens when you make a series without any idea of what you want to do with it, or were you want it to go. I’d rather have it die than continue to flounder into its fourth season.

  • JohnC

    @Tim, if your getting hung up on the mechanics and not the content, I’m afraid you should just stop watching TV or almost any media in general.
    You’ve just called out a near plethora of shows that fall within that “formulaic” criteria of yours.
    Specificity. Learn it, bitch.

    Look @Caesar. He actually mentions Community’s problems first-hand. I don’t necessarily agree with him, but I certainly see his point as valid.

    I found season’s 5 & 6 of Sunny to be a little bit unmemorable. Sure, they were funny. But I think the problem is that season 4 set the bar so high that it was tough to clear.
    I’m glad season 7 looks like it can clear that hurdle.

    PS to Tim: You could stop watching the show, ya know?
    Idk why anyone would wanna endure 4 seasons of a show that they believe has “fallen off”. The problem here is you, not the show.

  • Ron

    Sunny is the one show I couldn’t get my friends into, I introduced them to Community, Parks and Rec, The League, but with this, it’s kind of “you get it or you don’t.”

  • Flaccid Platypus

    I’m with Tim, IASIP fell off shortly after season 3. I think Danny Devito’s character has kind of ruined it and caused every episode to become too frantic and outrageous (plot wise). Don’t get me wrong the show has always been very outrageous but for the last few seasons it seems like it’s just being edgy for the sake of being edgy. The gang should go back to their early roots like in seasons 1 & 2, gimme some more McPoyles and random pop culture references (Planet Hollywood jacket). I also found the baby funeral to be distasteful and I have a plethora of dead baby jokes. Hopefully the show doesn’t go on for too much longer with Charlie Day’s burgeoning movie career.

  • FNG

    THEY TOOK IT OFF HULU. F*CK.

  • joe joe

    Well said john C! These people are a bunch of pussies! Always Sunny kicks ass and will remain a comedic staple in my life for one. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it and pull your skirts down! Fuck!

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