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It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season 8 (DVD Review)

always sunny whysoblu thumbI have been watching It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia since the beginning.  As with any show that runs for so long, its best days may be behind it, but I still love to tune in when the show starts up again each fall.  Way back around the time of the second season, when Danny DeVito joined the cast, the show was being regarded as “Seinfeld on crack”.  That largely has not changed.  This is a show that revels applying its loose structure in an effort to engage in bawdiness and show off the fine chemistry between its cast.  This DVD contains all 10 episodes from Season 8, as well as a handful of special features.  Read on to learn more about this complete season set.

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Series: 

With no true throughline, story is not something this series, at this point, relies on.  Aside from some reoccurring characters, it is pretty easy to step into the world of Sunny and find yourself getting a general idea for what it is.  The episodes all revolve around the gang:  Charlie (Charlie Day), Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Dee (Kaitlin Olson), and Frank (Danny DeVito).  The gang owns a bar, but that hardly matters at this point.  Really, it is about this group getting into a wide variety of situations, rarely stemming from a place of good intentions.

Here’s a list of the Season 8 episodes:

“Pop-Pop: The Final Solution” – Dennis and Dee are given the difficult decision of whether or not their grandfather Pop-Pop should continue to live on life support. Meanwhile Charlie, Mac and Frank look for a dog painting that was in Pop-Pop’s box of Nazi memorabilia.

“The Gang Recycles Their Trash” – Philadelphia’s trash men are on strike and the gang decides to go into business for themselves. Mac, Dennis and Charlie use a limousine to collect trash from Philadelphia’s rich while Frank and Dee try to undermine the union by getting the city’s garbage contract.

“The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre” – Dennis, Frank, and Charlie are arrested after an alleged zombie attack at the McPoyles’ wedding.

“Charlie And Dee Find Love” – Charlie and Dee find themselves mingling with the elite of society, and they each manage to find a love interest that inspires them to stick around for a tennis tournament that gets out of control. Mac, Dennis and Frank infiltrate a tennis match.

“The Gang Gets Analyzed” – The Gang pays a visit to Dee’s therapist’s office in order to determine whose turn it is to wash the dishes. In turn, Frank sheds some light on his past and Dennis ends up having his insane psychology exposed.

“Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer” – When Charlie comes over to his mother’s house, she confesses that she has lung cancer and needs money for an operation. Meanwhile, Frank thinks his ex-wife is still alive and is hiding money while Dennis is trying to shock some emotion into himself.

“Frank’s Back In Business” – When Frank’s old company runs into trouble, he puts on his CEO’s suit and heads into the corporate jungle, but his decision to make Charlie his right-hand man doesn’t work out very well. Elsewhere, Dennis is mistaken for a Canadian businessman after finding his wallet at the bar and uses his new identity in quite disturbing ways.

“Charlie Rules The World” – Charlie, Dee, Mac, and Frank become immersed in an online role-playing game, while Dennis goes inside a sensory deprivation tank to answer questions about what reality is.

“The Gang Dines Out” – The Gang goes to Guiginos Italian Restaurant in separate groups.

“Reynolds Vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense” – The Gang holds a trial at Paddy’s pub when Frank crashes his car into Dennis’.

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For those who have been following along with the series, the one truly notable thing about this season is how it has several episodes that deliberately attempt to call back to other ones from previous seasons.  This seemed like a fun way for stars/writers McElhenney, Day, and Howerton to address the span of their series, while also bringing in some fun reversals and callbacks.  Given that the crux of the previous season was to be as wild as always, but also change Mac’s character into a fat version of himself, it is nice to see these various attempts to do something fresh every season, regardless of how effective it winds up being.

For everyone else though, who may be more or less committed to the series, ‘Sunny’ is still funny.  While I may only point to a couple episodes in this seasons as one I would rank among the best (“The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre” practically achieved that through title alone), this is a consistently funny season of television that relies on heavy improvisation from the cast and makes it work quite well.  The series has always relied on improv and while we may have already seen the gang handle some of the best concepts in previous seasons, the chemistry of the cast continues to be the lifeblood of this series.  Where else would we be able to see Danny DeVito, an esteemed actor/director/producer, be in a position to goof around like a maniac, after a month of filming every year?  ‘Sunny’ is a silly show, but a fun one, full of great camaraderie and some really low class living.

Video:

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Ever since the series switched to HD back in Season 6, ‘Sunny’ has looked quite good.  It has never been the prettiest show, as I imagine sticking to a lower budget allows for more creative control, but shooting in widescreen and having higher production values as the show has carried along allows for a better overall quality, which is reflected in this DVD set.  It is DVD, so one is not getting a full look at the details one can really look out for, but the series can only have so much benefit from the background details.  What is clear are the various main sets (i.e. Paddy’s Pub), the color palette that we generally see associated with the characters, and a good understanding of how unkempt everyone tends to be (even if Dennis thinks himself to be the most stylish).

Audio:

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The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track for this season is quite good.  As this is a series that largely relies on dialogue, as characters are constantly bickering or arguing with each other, I can say that everything seemed loud and clear throughout.  The ambient noise is present as well, as characters visit various crowded locations, such as strip clubs, but the mix always seems strong enough to keep everything quite clear.  As far as TV shows on DVD go, especially simple ones such as this, the audio tracks for every episode are solid.

Extras:

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The special features on these discs are not that in-depth, but there is a small number of little extras, as well as four audio commentaries, which pleased me enough.  I would always love to see more in the way of how this series comes together, let alone more from the ads for this season, which revolved around an alternate cast portraying the main cast, but it is what it is.

Features Include:

Audio commentaries on selected episodes – “Pop-Pop: The Final Solution”, “The Gang Recycles Their Trash”, “The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre”, and “Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer”

Deleted scenes – Basically some extended takes

Gag reel – A pretty solid gag reel that reflects how improv is a lot of fun for the cast

“Lady House” Featurette – A sitcom-style take on some key characters from the show

Frank Reynolds’ How To Be A Warthog – A brief commercial featuring Danny DeVito

“Fat Mac: In Memoriam” – A look back at last season’s big endeavor

Summary: 

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I continue to have a strong fondness for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.  Even when the show is not hitting its peaks, I still find myself laughing a lot with these characters and the wacky situations they get themselves into.  As the series continues, I look forward to more.  The DVD is pretty solid.  Given the format, the show looks and sounds quite good.  I could always use more special features, but this is okay enough.  Not everyone watches this series, but FX has certainly kept it going and I am happy for that.

Order you copy here:

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Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS3.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com.

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

1 Response to “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season 8 (DVD Review)”


  1. Brandon Peters

    That’s a really good assessment on how I feel about the current status of the show as well. Great review. Gotta love those dee-vee-dees!