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TV Review: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – “Frank’s Pretty Woman”

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FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (finally!) returns with “Frank’s Pretty Woman.” Learning that Frank (Danny DeVito) intends to marry a crack-addicted prostitute named Roxy (Alanna Ubach, Men of a Certain Age, Hung), the gang decides to class her up a bit, a la the movie Pretty Woman. After all, they wouldn’t want to be known as the “gross” group. But in typical fashion, the guys get bored, and leave Dee (Kaitlin Olson) to finish the job herself. That is, until Dee learns from Roxy that she can make a lot of money doing very little, and considers a career change.

While Dee is off with Roxy, Charlie (Charlie Day) tries to hook Frank up with a better girl, more worthy of his time. His brilliant plan? Pretend to be a millionaire with Frank as his limo driver. The girl will show up, thinking she is dating “rich” Charlie, and then be ditched with Frank, who she will find in rich in spirit. Of course this doesn’t work, but the way it fails is epic. In a very sick way that really could have been left out of the episode.

The third plot line finds Dennis (Glenn Howerton) attempting to assist a suddenly fat Mac (Rob McElhenney) with his declining health. A doctor visit proves that neither one is in good shape, for completely different reasons. Of course, both try to twist the results to prove they are better off than the other, but the bottom line is, both need a major tuneup in their diet and physical regimes. Not that this is news to anyone who watches the series.

McElhenney actually did gain fifty pounds before filming this season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, citing fat as funny. That’s some real dedication for a sitcom, albeit one of the cleverest, most original works currently on television. The whole think could have potentially been pulled off with a fat suit, but by gaining the weight, McElhenney does lend “Frank’s Pretty Woman” some real legitimacy. Let’s just hope, for his health’s sake, Mac makes a major life reversal soon.

As to the worry that the gang is “gross,” too late; they are. In fact, there are few characters on television as gross as the main staples in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Yet, they are also incredibly funny as a bunch of losers who spend their lives in a bar that they own and run. Their hair brained schemes and weird ideas make them more than your typical oddballs. For instance, in “Frank’s Pretty Woman,” Dennis is really craving some crack. Who, besides an addict, normally does? Not many people. Lucky for him, he knows someone he can get it from – his (sort of) father’s hooker girlfriend! This episode, like many, will have viewers almost constantly cracking up at the things the characters say and do.

The ending of “Frank’s Pretty Woman” demonstrates perfectly what kind of people this gang is. Roxy dies of an overdose just as Frank is proposing. They drag her out in the hall, and plan to call 9-1-1 from a pay phone, anonymously. You know, if it’s convenient. They certainly don’t want to have to worry about answering questions and filling out paperwork. That would inconvenience their (planned?) fun evening, which will surely involve drinking at the bar they own. Never mind that a human life has ended, and one Frank presumably loves.

The gang doesn’t concern themselves with anyone but themselves. They are TV’s most narcissistic group since Seinfeld. They especially don’t care about their customers, which is probably why there are almost never any in their bar. Just don’t ask questions about how they manage to stay open and (barely) support themselves year after year. That would be too much analyzation for a series that doesn’t need it.

Don’t miss next week’s episode, which finds the gang vacationing at the Jersey Shore. It will involve rum ham, a familiar face, and two very different parties.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com