Leturgey Musings and Goings On

These are some of my writings...from events going on in the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance and elsewhere, to observations from the rest of my decidely unformulaic life.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Kaitlin Olson Makes "Philadelphia" One Of The Funniest Shows On TV

Jerry Seinfeld once said that he knew that his self-titled sitcom was stepping on new ground when his character was successfully able to steal a loaf of Rye Bread from an elderly woman and the audience still tuned in.
That great comedy was also hailed because it was the number one show on television and was anchored by characters that were largely self-obsessed and even "mean."
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," is the heir apparent to Seinfeld, and chances are you've never seen it.
I vaguely remember being blown away by this little show that's on FX in its first season, but it quickly and inexplicable fell through the cracks of my television landscape.
Most people, including me, think that Curb Your Enthusiasm in the modern-day Seinfeld, what with co-creator Larry David serving as the equal combination of Jerry Seinfeld and George Constanza from the heyday of NBC Thursday Night's "Must See TV."
In many ways, that excellent show is the "Seinfeld" of today. That being noted, the "Gang" in "Philadelphia" is the funniest ensemble on the tube. And that includes the group from "How I Met Your Mother," who are funny but far more sitcom traditional.
What makes "Sunny" really stand out from other comedic collections is Kaitlin Olson, who plays "Sweet" Dee Reynolds, twin sister of Dennis Reynolds, played by Glenn Howerton. Normally, the primary woman on the show is either a ditz or far more intelligent than the boyfriend, husband, or "dude." On "Sunny," Dee is just as obtuse, rude, mean and sophomoric as the boys. Olson might have the richest female comedic role on modern television. Only Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Elaine Benes could be equal parts "hot chick" and world-class jerk. On FX, Dee can drop a few expletives.
One immediate drawback of the show is that the three main male leads look too much alike. Howerton and co-stars Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day all have dark hair and have similar builds. If you're new to the show, it will take several episodes to tell them apart. Conversely, Charlie has one of the funniest voices on television, network or cable.
The excellent Danny DeVito plays "Frank Reynolds," a "wealthy" character who was originally written in as Dee and Dennis' father until it was determined he wasn't. Now he may have sired Day's Charlie Kelly. The Reynolds' twin biological father was revealed to be the guesting Stephen Collins of 7th Heaven fame. Their mother was portrayed by Anne Archer, believe it or not. In the story, mama hamstrung Reynolds with the twins because of his bank account. Network sitcoms simply don't take those kind of chances.
The third season of the hysterical sitcom just started with an episode about "The Gang" as they are collectively called, finding a "Dumpster Baby," they subsequently call "D.B." Dee, Dennis and Mac are innocently walking through a garbage-strewn alley when one of the guys…still not sure who…opens a dumpster lid only to find a Caucasian lad in pajamas.
Later, Frank and Charlie find interesting things at the city dump. Next thing you know, they have an apartment filled with other people's broken belongings, and they are sleeping on a sewer grate in the rain. Not much on TV is funnier than watching DeVito lunge for a bouncing, empty water cooler bottle while pushing a shopping cart full of trash down the sidewalk.
Dee and Dennis or Mac become convinced that "D.B." could be the next well-adjusted, Latino child sensation (see aforementioned reference to the baby being white), so they attempt to get the baby a "base coat" at the local tanning salon.
That's about when my mistimed DVR stopped recording the Gang's shenanigans. It will re-run later in the week.
I've also seen the "Gang Gets Invincible" episode that, with DeVito's unglamorous turn as an acid-dropping, gun-toting idiot stuck in a Winnebago toilet-turned garbage can, is probably the most creative half hour I've seen in quite some time.

Thursday's "Gang Gets Held Hostage" featured the rival McPoyle brothers and their possibly incestuous sister holding everyone except Frank Reynolds, who was stuck in the bar's strangely expansive duct work, at gunpoint. The episode was fun, but not as guttural laugh inducing as some, but Olson again excelled.
Rumor has it that the guys made the pilot for $85 a couple of years ago. A whole season was paid for with what it cost David Schwimmer to play Ross Gellar for 13 minutes in the last season of Cheers.
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is worth your time. It is a show you should also catch up on…I will soon…because the first two seasons are just now out on DVD.
It's not like stealing a loaf of Rye Bread, but "Sunny" is like waving a discarded sword on the top of a garbage dump. And that's funny.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home