Season 12 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia dropped on Netflix last week and it took me no time at all to breeze through the 10 episodes. The gang returned with a bang, in what I believe to be the best season so far.
I really like what McElhenney, Day and Howerton did with the series keeping up with current affairs and making funny stories around them. The episode “Making Dennis Reynolds a Murderer” is a clear spoof on the popular Netflix documentary series ‘Making a Murderer’. They also continued to make simple episodes hilarious, “The Gang Tends Bar” is probably the best example as the episode is set in Paddy’s pub and is all about the gang finally working, it sounds boring on the surface but it was great. However, they also made the more complex ideas work well too such as in “The Gang Turns Black”, in this musical episode, an accident involving an electric blanket and a VCR playing The Wiz causes the gang to appear African-American in the mirror. It sounds like it shouldn’t work but it’s actually a really good episode.
This series continues on from the 11 before it in making politically incorrect jokes and crossing boundaries. Still not afraid to outrage some, the series mocked AIDS, drug addiction and homophobia to name a few. But what do you expect from a dark comedy show, if you don’t like it don’t watch it.
It finally happened. The longest running joke/storyline on the show has come to an end and Mac has come out of the closet in what was actually a really lovely moment handled with dignity and class, something I’m sure the viewers appreciated. It was no surprise to any of us especially as we saw him come out at the end of season 11, only to quickly retract his statement. This moment has been teased for a long time and early on in season 12, but it finally happened in episode 6 “Hero or Hate Crime?”.
More chaos ensued this season and long term fans will have mixed opinions on this but Charlie finally landed the waitress. To me this didn’t feel right, I think there should always be a status quo with this and it should always be part of Charlie’s character that he is a stalker who is always lusting after his crush. And after all that time I was quite disappointed getting emotional invested in this storyline and his love for her only for him to realise he doesn’t like her after all. A waste of time really.
And finally we see Dennis make huge strides in becoming a mature adult. Throughout the season this is hinted at firstly in “The Gang Goes to a Water Park” where Dennis acts like a father figure to a young girl teaching her the art of manipulation and in “The Gang Tends Bar” where he turns professional. In the finale we see Dennis find out he is a father and after trying to ignore his responsibilities he leaves the gang to go be a dad and change his lifestyle. This could be the last we ever see of Dennis as Glenn Howerton has said “So… it’s a little complicated. I may seem a little bit evasive here, and I don’t mean to. It’s not entirely certain whether I am or am not. I might be. I might be, but I might not be. That really is the truth. Just to be clear, to dispel any potential weirdness, it has nothing to do with my relationship to anyone on the show or Rob or Charlie or anyone like that. It’s partially a creative and personal decision. We may be taking an extended hiatus between season 12 and season 13. So I’m certainly staying open to the possibility of doing more, but there is a possibility that I will not”. It would be a shame to lose Dennis as he is such a great character and offers a lot to the gang and I don’t believe it would be the same without him. I’m hoping this isn’t how they write him off.
This series was very impressive. It was absolutely hilarious, Frank going down the slide is a personal highlight for me. I commend them for exploring new ideas and not retreating to the same old stuff, and exploring and developing each character. In this series we had the death of Maureen, Mac come out, Dennis leave and Charlie finally get the waitress. For me this was perhaps too much for one season and it seemed like they’re rushing storylines. There is a possibility that this is because there’s not much left of Always Sunny. But if this is one of the last seasons we get, then what a season it was. Always Sunny has expanded it’s boundaries yet again and produced comedy gold in season 12.