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Blog #3

Brendan Cronin

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a popular television series on FX that premiered in 2005. It tells the story of four friends and two of the friends’ father as they go through shenanigans while owning a run down Irish bar in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The show can be racy at times, and usually involves one or all of the characters becoming extremely intoxicated. While the show is extremely funny and the intoxication aspect can be quite amusing, it also sends a subtext that getting extremely messed up is ok because it makes people funnier than they are when they are sober. However, this is absolutely not the case, and aside from the sexual content and strong language, the substance use alone can give the show a deservedly “Viewer Discretion is Advised” label. It has been featured in print media in several newspapers, magazines, as well as TV Guide issues, and has been established as a cult phenomenon. The music featured in the episodes are cheery, upbeat songs that often times contrast the chaotic nature of the show. It features many songs by German composer Heinz Kiessling, but the soundtrack also features many more popular American songs by groups like The Doors, Biz Markie, Seal, Bruce Springsteen, Styx, Boyz II Men, etc. It is definitely a comedy show, or a sitcom, and is from the point of view of the five members of The Gang: Dennis Reynolds, Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds, Frank Reynolds, Charlie Kelly and Mac. They are all depraved underachievers, and have many bad qualities like being dishonest, egotistical, selfish, greedy, unethical, manipulative, and overall extremely immature. These traits also serve as another subtext: that having all of these bad characteristics can also make one funny, and will get them things in life easier. This obviously is also not true, so viewers should be mature enough to understand this.  Audiences expect a crazy episode each time, and often times get what they want with the hilarious antics that take place in this show. It also borrows from the online community because it has a very popular website with everything from videos to a store, and it even has an iPhone application which includes games, information on upcoming seasons, and more. They have definitely taken advantage of technology today, and this has helped spread the word and spread the cult following even more, making the show extremely unique.


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  1. tessdoez
    January 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Great job interpreting the subtext for this show. Often with such silly seeming shows it is hard put your finger on what it might be, but this is a good discussion of it.

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