A very fun show that manages to correctly contain its kinetic energy.
  • OVERALL
    4.0
    GREAT
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
A very fun show that manages to correctly contain its kinetic energy.
THE BAD
I think there should have been more commentary tracks from the cast.
THE FEATURE
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Seasons 1 and 2 gives us the first 17 episodes of one of the more interesting buddy comedies, that might also claim that it too is about nothing. Mac, Charlie and Dennis own Paddy's Pub where they spend a lot of time with Dee, Dennis' sister who also works there. They plan for the future, think up ways to waste more money and just generally waste as much time as they can. Throw in Frank, Dennis and Dee's father, and you have one of the more interesting motley crews to ever be on television.

What is truly incredible is how this cast manages to make very unappealing material digestible. Take the episode "Charlie Has Cancer." When it is believed that Charlie has this awful disease, rather then try and console him and make his life easier, his friends set about trying to get him in bed with someone. "The Gang Goes Jihad" finds the crew at Paddy's under fire when the proprietor next to them wants to shut them down. As you can guess, these guys (and girls) aren't going to go down without a fight. Lastly, "Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass" shows the true problems that can arise when patriotism is severely misplaced.

All in all, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Seasons 1 and 2 present some of the funniest and original comedy on TV in recent memory.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary Tracks

They have provided commentary tracks for the following episodes:

- Hundred Dollar Baby

- Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom

I chose to the listen to the Hundred Dollar Baby episode and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they didn't like the movie Million Dollar Baby (which spawned the episode) either. They spend a decent amount of time fawning over their work, but it's done in such a tongue and cheek way that it is quite funny. The majority of this commentary track has the cast commenting on things happening on screen, joking about what the other actors are doing and basically it seems like they are all having a good time.

Sunny Side Up Making-Of Featurette

Kaitlin Audition Featurette

At first I thought that all this was going to be was a video of Kaitlin reading her lines. However, it actually is a breakdown of who the Dee character is and how she started off being very underwritten, and then she spoke up and things changed. Rob McElhenney (Mac) goes on to further explain how initially all the guys had the funny lines, and then Dee was seen as the voice of reason. It was a bit jarring seeing the real Kaitlin trying out for this show, mainly because I got so used to seeing the character she played in the show. If you are an aspiring actor or you want to know how to bulk up what you've written, you should certainly check this segment out.

Outtakes

Fox Movie Channel Presents Making A Scene: It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

This is a breakdown of how this show gets made. Apparently, they shot 10 episodes all at once which is quite mind boggling. How in the world they kept things organized while shooting parts of scenes here and there is beyond me. All of this is explained here as we are shown the grind of production. This short featurette doesn't show how mundane the process is, but I am always excited to see where the ideas come from. Throw in the fact that comedy is also a factor here and that makes seeing the creative process all the more illuminating.
THE VIDEO
Full Frame - 1.33:1. The first time I saw any part of this show was online. The video was too strong and the show looked like a home movie. Also, the actors were all moving at a mile a minute. On this DVD set that isn't the case at all. Everything plays really strongly and with a nice bit of restraint. The actors all don't seem to be trying to outdo one another, and while It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia does have a video look, I didn't find that it was nearly as clean or as crisp as it was when I originally saw it.
THE AUDIO
Dolby Digital. English - Dolby Surround. Subtitled in English, Spanish and French. Close Captioned. The sound on this release was good. It's quick and snappy and over the course of the 380 minutes of content I didn't hear anything that sounded that bad. There is a simple style that this show employs and the audio doesn't really strive to do anything with the characters. It's done through the action and dialogue and the sound serves to mainly underscore what is happening on screen.
THE PACKAGE
This yellow and black slipcase cover gives us the faces of all the main cast members in an almost thrown together way. The back cover presents some images from the show (with Danny DeVito getting the largest one), a description, a Special Features listing and technical specs. The three discs that make up this set are stored in two slim cases. Their front covers contain the same look as the slipcase that stores them. The back covers offer up episode listings, descriptions and airdates. Once again, Fox provides solidly economical packaging.
THE FINAL WORD
When I first heard about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia I was a little surprised to hear that Danny DeVito was doing this show. My first thought was why was this comic icon doing this kind of show with this sort of young, upstart cast? It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me and then I took the tact that maybe he was just trying to get some credibility today. Think about it... he does a show with a cast of younger people, it may not be the biggest thing in the world but it at least shows that he's trying to connect. He's making an effort and things might not have worked out but the show turned out alright.

Well, after sitting back and catching some of these episodes I realized something. The younger characters are really the star. DeVito is the there but his job is to offer more of a counterpoint to everything that is happening on screen. He's the elder-statesmen, he plays that role to a hilt, yet, he doesn't inject himself in everything. It seems that not even the main stars of this show are the kings here, but rather it is the subject matter at hand and the stories that really rule the day. This isn't to say that aside from Danny DeVito this cast is unimportant. Everyone here is working off the same comic clothe, it's just how they weave it that makes them all different.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Seasons 1 and 2 is the kind of DVD release that's sure to catch fire in this format.

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