Always Sunny is back in our lives.
Based on the 2002 “Dark Horse Comics” short story “The Philadelphia Sketch,” the show took off in 2005, gathering avid fans as it followed the exploits of the imperfect Mac (Charlie Day), the temperamental Dennis (Glenn Howerton), the foul-mouthed Dee (Kaitlin Olson), and Dennis’ criminal buddy Charlie (Howerton’s real-life brother, Charlie) on a series of now decade-old adventures.
You may have caught a rerun in your Netflix queue at some point, perhaps accompanied by a hearty take of the gang’s signature attack drink: the hooch. A diabolical drug called Charlie’s Butt Injector kept the gang afloat throughout the series’ first eight seasons. The gang always demonstrated an utter inability to take responsibility for their actions, often insisting their shenanigans were the result of “dumb luck” and self-imposed curses. The primary flaw of many characters was their encyclopedic grasp of pop culture, which left them ill-equipped to handle the requirements of everyday life, which they, at best, joked was an esoteric subject.
The series was critically well-received, earning Day multiple Emmy nominations and Howerton one. As its beloved central character, Dennis McNulty, he struggled mightily with alcoholism and addiction. He sought treatment several times in a bid to regain his footing, but always reverted to his self-destructive ways.
It was another dark end for Dennis that made the first part of the second season more notable than the other eight. Filmed during Dennis’ fifth treatment program, “Go and Die,” it saw Dennis and his fellow pill-popping bachelors further struggle with the nature of addiction. As Dennis (day) flirted with a renewal, the others wondered if the best path was rehab or execution.
The second-season trailer suggests some semblance of Dennis’ renewed health. Charlie sarcastically laments his brother’s newly sober preoccupation with gardening, while Dennis offers his stamp of approval. But the change seems to be the least of the gang’s problems.
That’s not to say there hasn’t been plenty of improvement in the quality of the new season. The questions “Are you nuts?” was a repeated open-air dialogue throughout the series, giving the show a welcoming stream of laughs that made the characters just that little bit more likeable.
“Paddy’s Pub” is not alone in its show’s renaissance. Also worth catching on streaming services are FX’s “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” spinoff “FXX”; FXX’s “The Last Man on Earth”; FX’s “Legion” and “Atlanta”; and Showtime’s “Billions” and “SMILF.” Season 9 of Always Sunny arrives March 6.