Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – The Complete Season 6 Blu-ray Review

Step up to the bar with Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Charlie (Charlie Day), Dee (Kaitlin Olson) and Frank (Danny DeVito), the outrageously inappropriate gang at Paddy’s Pub, as they work together for a common cause…themselves!  It’s every man for himself as the gang tackles gay marriage, fights the class war, enjoys the high life on the high seas and does whatever it takes to figure out who knocked up Dee. Featuring uproarious deleted scenes, including the unaired, extended cut of “Lethal Weapon 5,” Season Six of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is indecent, incorrect and incredibly hilarious!  It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – The Complete Season 6 features Charlie (Charlie Kelly), Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) and Frank (Danny DeVito), five ne’er-do-wells who own and operate Paddy’s Pub in Philadelphia.  Their constant scheming to get ahead by not-so-redeemable methods usually lands them in a world of hurt, yet they never seem to learn from their mistakes.

Film (4 out of 5 stars)

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a meaner, rougher, and more blue-collar version of Seinfeld.  When Seinfeld aired its last episode, the show's creator Larry David sent them all to prison since he felt that they were despicable human beings.  The Seinfeld group has nothing on the gang from Philly who are less likely to steal rye bread from an old lady than to smoke a crack pipe with some homeless people.  The "gang" is made up of a bunch of losers who will do anything to get ahead, even if it means screwing each other over.

The patriarch of the group is Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito) who is the legal guardian of Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Deandra (Kaitlin Olson) and is most likely the biological father of the dimwitted Charlie (Charlie Day).  Frank is no role model for the group since he regularly frequents hookers, uses drugs, hangs out under a bridge with homeless people, and walks through the sewer naked with Charlie to find discarded items.  Frank also isn't above trying to trick the group into throwing him a surprise birthday party that he planned himself.

Dennis is a egocentric jerk whose entire existence is dependent on how he is viewed by others and the ladies.   He also has a disturbing tendency to look forward to situations where the woman he is with is trapped with no escape (like on a boat) so they will have sex with him because of the "implication."  He also marries his high school sweetheart and divorces her the next day after deciding that marriage isn't for him.  His sister Dee is no better since she badgers men into sleeping with her by calling them "turkeys."  She is also not above stealing another women's costume at a party because she got more attention than Dee.

Mac (Rob McElhenney) also has an ego problem like the rest of his friends.  Not only does he believe that he is a martial artist, but he also believes he can take anyone on in a fight.  During this season, he gets jealous that the transvestite he slept with named Carmen is now married to another man after the sex change operation.  He starts quoting the bible to protest "gay marriage" until it's pointed out that he is the one who slept with Carmen when she was still a man so he is the one who is gay. 

Charlie (Charlie Day) is the resident rat-catcher who enjoys killing the rats in the bar's basement.  Charlie isn't too bright but he is prone to angry outbursts when he doesn't get his way.  He is also the most white trash member of the group, which is proven when Mac points out Charlie's cut off jeans and his custom of buying one off cell phones since the woman he is stalking is ignoring his calls once she knows his number.  When Dee tries to take him out for a spa day, he has no idea what that means so he assumes it's a spaghetti day.

This show is definitely an acquired taste.  While I didn't like any of the characters, they still made me laugh on occasion due to their absurd antics.  There's a lot of dark humor in the show so if you are turned off on that, then this isn't the show for you.  If you are also easily offended, then this isn't for you either.  As bad as these characters are to each other and strangers, it usually comes back on them which helps balance the show.  They rarely get away with one of the schemes since most of the time it blows up in their face, like the time Mac and Charlie thought they would set up their own pool only to get trapped in the bottom of the pool with water rushing in.  Overall, I liked the show and would keep watching it, but sometimes I think it goes a little too far.

Video (4 out of 5 stars)

This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks pretty good.  Shot on high definition video, there's some nice detail and the colors look good.  Textures are well defined and offer a lot of detail.  There are some soft shots here and there, but this is still a marked improvement over past seasons.  Flesh tones look natural and consistent and the black levels are acceptably dark.  

Audio (4 out of 5 stars)

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is pretty good although basically the entire show is the characters yelling at each other so it's not like you need surround sound for that.  This is a very talkative show and most of the mix is front centered.  Dialogue and rants are clear and intelligible and the music sounds good too.  The rear speakers don't get much action but for this kind of show that's kind of expected.

Special Features (3 out of 5 stars)

None of the extras are that great although it was pretty cool of FX to include the entire pilot episode of Elijah Wood's new show "Wilfred" on it.  The commentary tracks are somewhat interesting to hear, but don't expect them to be super funny.

  • Audio Commentary on “The Gang Buys a Boat”
  • Audio Commentary on “Who Got Dee Pregnant?”
  • Audio Commentary on “Charlie Kelly: King of Rats”
  • Audio Commentary on “The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods”
  • “Lethal Weapon 5″ Extended Cut with Optional Commentary - This is the full version of the gang's Lethal Weapon 5 fan-film with commentary done in the voice of the show's characters.  It's nice to see the whole version of their Lethal Weapon 5 but the commentary is just ok.
  • Dennis and Dee’s Podcasts - We get to hear all of their unfunny podcasts.  In small doses during the show, it was kind of funny, but when they go on and on, it loses the funniness quick.
  • Blooper Reel - Some funny bits of the cast screwing up.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes - There wasn't really anything cut that should have remained in the show.
  • Legal Advice with Jack Kelly - The gang's weird lawyer has a cable access show.
  • Bonus Feature from FX: Wilfred Pilot Episode
  • Blu-ray Exclusive: The Sunny Flip Cup Trivia Challenge - A remote control based trivia game that kind of fun.
  • BD-Live Exclusive - Dennis and Dee's Podcast - An extra podcast devoted to "The Biggest Loser."

Final Thoughts (4 out of 5 stars)

It's great to see Danny DeVito back on TV since he's a great actor and the main reason I watch this show.  I would much rather see him play Louie DePalma than Frank Reynolds but he still has a lot of good moments on the show.  The show and it's cast are daring and original which are rare commodities these days thanks to overzealous political correctness.  If you are interested in a darkly funny edgy show, then you should give this show a shot.
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