Today on Blogcritics
Home » Film » Blu-ray Review: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – A Very Sunny Christmas

Blu-ray Review: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – A Very Sunny Christmas

In 2005, TV audiences were introduced to the peculiar proprietors of a bar in Philadelphia. Twins Dee and Dennis Reynolds (played by Glenn Howerton and Kaitlin Olson) worked at the bar with their legal father Frank (played by Danny DeVito), Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day), and Mac (Rob McElhenney). There was something strange about these people and their run-down Irish pub. They never seemed to have any customers. But viewers soon came to understand the reason behind this lack of clientele – all five of the bar’s owners were disruptive, unscrupulous, misfits.

Every episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia features outrageous situations that develop as a result of this gang’s inconsiderate actions. One day they’ll attempt to be the next big thing on YouTube. The next day they’ll be “getting racist.” On any given episode, one can find this lot of cretins doing something that’s just plain wrong.

This holiday season, you can watch the gang from Sunny spread the Yuletide cheer in A Very Sunny Christmas, an exclusive, 43-minute episode placing the group in yet another outlandish sequence of events. Frank would always buy the presents Dee and Dennis wanted for Christmas. The only problem was that he would buy them for himself. As a result, the two seek revenge on Frank. They are going to show him the error of his ways, and they're going to do it a la A Christmas Carol.

Charlie and Mac, on the other hand, always got presents and they always got plenty of them. They couldn’t have been happier with their childhood Christmases. But once they finally learn of the true sources of these “gifts,” the two set out to right the people they’ve wronged in holidays past. Along the way, the audience bears witness to some messed up Christmas family traditions – traditions that provide notable insight into just how these five grew to be the bunch of antisocial screw-ups we’ve come to know and love.

Blu-ray is perfect for viewing this exclusive, with a wonderfully blasphemous sequence that spoofs the children’s classic Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). With the AC-3 format you’ll feel like you’re actually at the North Pole with Sam the Snowman and his dentist-wannabe comrade Hermey. By scene’s end, however, you’re going to be thanking Santa that you aren’t (I swear I may never look at stop motion animation the same way again). The 1080p HD visuals leave the viewer aghast as the gang commits act after unscrupulous act. Not one shred of good will toward men is to be salvaged on this holy night. However, it is the exclusive’s crisp and clear audio that’s most beneficial, as it easily catches the characters’ edgy, fast-paced dialogue.

Special features include deleted scenes between young Mac and young Charlie, a tripping Sunny sing-a-long, and a behind-the-scenes feature where the cast and crew talk about the filming of this most irreverent Christmas special. This widescreen edition features DTS Surround Sound and an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Audio is in English and is presented in Dolby Digital, with subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.

Fred Savage has come a long way since his days playing Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years (1988-1993). Sure, as a producer/director of the outrageous hit series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, he may have acquired an approach to comedy that’s just a tad less wholesome. He might have taken a step or two away from traditional family values. Oh, who am I kidding? The show is bawdy, vulgar, and perhaps bordering on psychotic. It’s an absolute delight.

You can catch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Thursday nights at 10:00 ET on FX. But if you’re looking to see a sociopathic twist on the year’s most celebrated holiday, then gather ’round the television for A Very Sunny Christmas.

About Jon Erbar