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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Always Sunny plays out nightmares

This week, FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which recently began its eighth season, celebrates Halloween with "The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre." Maureen (Catherine Reitman) is getting married, and Dennis (Glenn Howerton) crashes the ceremony to make sure that she goes through with it, so that he won't have to continue paying her alimony. The rest of the gang comes, too, some to support Dennis, others who want to ruin things so that he will stay miserable. But what they don't count on is encountering the McPoyle clan, who soon begin acting like a hoarde of zombies.

I am not a fan of the McPoyles. I love It's Always Sunny greatly, but sometimes it ventures into a territory a little too gross for me. This includes pretty much every instance in which the incestuous clan shows up. Thankfully, they've done only a few episodes in the past eight seasons, but as I believe I am in a minority opinion here, it's inevitable that they return.

This time, however, I feel like the McPoyles are used correctly. It's hard to watch them being sweaty and gross, but considering the point of "The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre" is to be creeppy and scary, it works well. Who wouldn't be terrified trapped at a wedding in the woods with a bunch of inbred hillbillies? No one would want to be eaten, or have sex with, any of this group.

And the fake-out blowjob bit between Liam (Jimmi Simpson) and Ryan (Nate Mooney) is funny.

As things go from bad to worse, told in a series of flashbacks at the police station, Dennis not only ends up fleeing after ill-advised sexual relations, but Dee (Kaitlin Olson) attacks Charlie (Charlie Day) and Mac (Rob McElhenney), and Frank (Danny DeVito) is sort of behind all the trouble. They all get away with their terrible actions, consequence free, as always, because they don't do anything illegal. But one has to admit that, even when they stay within the confines of the law, what they're doing isn't right. This will surely catch up with them some day, a la the Seinfeld finale, only hopefully better executed.

The Mac / Charlie / Dee sequence is my favorite part of the episode, especially when the truth behind Dee's attack is revealed. Mac and Charlie are pure bozos, and it's hard to believe how believable it is that they would wreck her car and think they could lie their way out of it. Priceless comedy gold!

The only thing that really rings hollow in "The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre" is why Liam is marrying Maureen in the first place. She has fixed the dead tooth and gotten new, big boobs, so she's way too attractive for the very gross Liam. Liam is definitely still in love with Ryan, so it makes little sense that he would want to marry her. And while I won't say that Maureen can do better, as she is still as weird as ever, and improving her look can't fix that, why would she want Liam? There is no chemistry and no reasonable explanation for the union. This would have been an easy fix if only Maureen had invited Dennis to the wedding, going through with the whole thing just to make him jealous, which he does become on his own, temporarily.

Overall, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia remains a great series. This is a serviceable episode with some fantastic moments, though perhaps overall falls a little short of some other installments. But week in and week out, It's Always Sunny makes me laugh, and any series that can do that is worth watching.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

If you like my reviews, please follow me on Twitter! Check out my website, JeromeWetzel.com! First posted on TheTVKing

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