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    5. Why is it always sunny in Philadelphia? Comedy Cancellation Culture ..

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    Why is it always sunny in Philadelphia? Comedy Cancellation Culture Can't Kill

    Rob McElhenney and Danny DeVito in a typical tasteful episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

    New series American sitcom “V It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” – the 16th in a row – confirms its status as the longest-running sitcom of all time. (The previous series took a recording from the now-forgotten sixties show The Adventures of Ozzy and Harriet.)

    It has always been a cult hit in Britain, not a mainstream hit (it airs on Netflix), but those who love it are an eclectic circle of viewers that, oddly enough, includes everyone from socially conscious teenagers to fans of poignantly written films. middle aged. comedy – we will eagerly prepare for a drinking bout of a new series. And no doubt all of his fans will be asking the same question every time he returns: how did they get away with it again?

    For the uninitiated, It's Always Sunny, as its fans call it, revolves around the antics of The Gang, a basically hopeless group of narcissistic sociopaths living in Philadelphia who run a particularly seedy Irish bar that its owners are afraid to risk to the high levels of random violence that has a place in it. The gang includes the deplorable Charlie, the melancholy Mac, the psychotic and violent Dennis, and Dennis's self-obsessed twin sister Sweet Dee, who is, of course, unlike the other.

    In the second series of the show, they were joined by none other than Danny DeVito as Dennis and Dee's supposed father, Frank, who quickly fitted into this sordid environment thanks to his promiscuous gun-toting manner. Calling the series non-PC would be an understatement. Joyfully exhumed here are jokes that have long since been removed from public view due to their unacceptability, whether it's Mac donning blackface in the episode “The Gang Makes Lethal Weapons 6” – he, of course, plays Danny Glover's character, Murta – or the scene in the first series when Mac (the butt of much of the series' most violent humor, played by show creator and Wrexham AFC co-owner Rob McElhenney) accidentally slaps a trans woman in the face, but justifies his actions like this: “It's a dude. She has a penis, so it's all right.”

    This suggests that Mack is being threatened with death by two outraged onlookers, instead of being allowed to walk away unpunished for his actions. But even then, the joke is presented as something both hilarious and outrageous rather than deeply offensive. But that's not half the battle. Over the course of its 162 episodes (to date), there have been offensive, though often hilarious, jokes about everything from mental retardation to obesity to jihadism. At least two characters imitated Asians with comedic “yellowface” make-up.

    Children were beaten, cancer patients were abused, the homeless were abused and forced to use hard drugs. Some of the most high-profile moments have come from situations that barely make sense in the course of a popular sitcom, whether it's a depressed Frank trying to hang himself but failing (his “fat neck” gets in the way), or Mac's ostentatious outrage that Charlie and not he was allegedly abused by their PE teacher at school on the grounds that he was, in his words, a “cute kid”.

    There is also Dennis' patented pickup truck trick, the so-called “D.E.N.N.E.S. system”, which involves gaslighting and manipulating women into believing they love him so he can treat them more. more terrible than before. As one commenter said, perhaps through gritted teeth, “Rape jokes are always dark. However, they become funny when used as a tool to reveal the internal dialogue of a possible sociopathic serial killer.”

    To some extent, It's Always Sunny got away with its provocative content in part because of its longevity. Its first episode aired in August 2005, a lifetime ago in terms of both social mores and comedic expectations. In this country, the perpetually raunchy Peep Show was just beginning to take off, and Little Britain, which boasted its own black faces and drag queen characters, was in its third and final series. Undeniably, this was a time on both sides of the Atlantic when poignant comedy was perceived not as outrageous and offensive, but as bold and innovative.

    The Scandalous Episode 'Gang Makes Deadly Weapons 6'

    However, It's Always Sunny was a far cry from the shows that were popular in America in the mid-2000s. The literate and educated Frazier ended his work in 2004, as did Friends – in many ways the exact opposite of his Philadelphia successor. While these sitcoms have had their issues of staying true to their time, watching Friends, especially now, means immersing yourself in a whirlpool of panicky gay jokes that might have seemed funny two decades ago but are now where they are. something between tortured and offensive. – they tended to be good-natured and revolved around cute and likable characters that viewers would generally want to befriend if they existed in real life.

    The gang, however, is a bunch of largely incorrigible idiots that most people try to avoid at all costs, and that remains the key to Always Sunny's enduring, twisted appeal. Humor from the beginning of the series mainly comes from laughing at the incorrigible antics of the main characters; the possibility of true offense is largely ruled out due to the cartoonish nature of their mind-bogglingly gruesome acts.

    While the series remains deeply passionate about pushing boundaries, it has also subtly evolved to suit changing tastes over the years. Carmen, a trans woman who is accidentally attacked by Mac in the first series, soon becomes a figure who is significantly more dignified and intelligent than the idiots who insulted her, and they change accordingly. By season six, they use her preferred pronouns and take her upcoming wedding as something essentially unremarkable.

    In season 12, Mack came out as gay, thus ending the running joke that a supposedly heterosexual character is constantly either having sex with men or is assumed to be. McElhenney justified the decision for his character, explaining, “We didn't create the gay character for comedic effect, he was only there to be gay and be funny because he was gay, but very complex, very troubled, very fucked up.” and a terrible character who happens to be gay.”

    That's why Always Sunny is so successful. As outrageous as his jokes are, they are always rooted in the carefully observed psychological reality of his characters. In cases of exceeding the mark, a correction is made. After Mac's notorious blackface antics, the subsequent episode “The Gang Makes Lethal Weapons 7” offered some sort of blame for the gang hiring the right African-American actor to play Murta, admitting the bad taste of what they did. Perhaps unsurprisingly, five episodes of the show, from episode four to episode 14, are currently unavailable on Netflix. Blackface jokes seem to remain unacceptable even in this context.

    As McElhenney said in 2021, “I found my barometer to be out of line with what is sometimes appropriate in certain situations because, for example, we spent 15 years making a show about the worst people on the planet, and because it’s a satire, we so strongly leaning towards this idea.

    Mac meets a transgender woman in another infamous episode

    “We are always on the razor's edge, but this is the only way to satire,” he continued. “And then I go and do something else, and I can promote something, and then I realize, like, oh, this is completely inappropriate for the show that I do, because they have to be real people, whereas on Sunny, they're cartoon characters and we can get away with so much more.”

    McElhenney is wiser than the character he plays. Just as the equally fist-like South Park managed to avoid cancellation thanks to a mix of notoriously over-the-top outrageousness and literal cartoon, so too the exaggerated antics of “It's Always Sunny” avoid being truly shocking simply because they're so notoriously unbelievable. He joyfully walks a tightrope, provoking his audience and making them come back again and again.

    Compared to something really demanding like Chris Morris' Copper Eye, his shock tactics seem almost bizarre. But that's how a show like this lasts for 16 seasons. You wouldn't bet that it would continue to run for some time: the acceptable, if dirty, face of irrevocable humor, in the broadest sense.

    It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia streaming on Netflix in the UK and on Hulu in the US

    Shock Tactics: It's Always in Philadelphia sunny”. Photo: FX PRODUCTIONS./Album The five most offensive episodes of Always Sunny1. Sweet Dee meets a retarded man

    (episode 3, episode 9)

    The character of Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) very rarely lives up to her name, but her behavior in this episode is appalling, even by her humiliated standards. When she begins a relationship with an amateur rapper known as Lil Kevin, her brother Dennis informs her that the musician was actually someone they both knew when they were younger and who, in his words, was “real mentally retarded person.” “. Insults and insults fly around the mental retardation problem as if they are going out of style.

    2. Harassed Charlie

    (Series 1, Episode 7)

    From the outset, It's Always Sunny… was not afraid to dive head first into issues that most other sane or cautious sitcoms would avoid like the plague, and “Charlie Gets Abuse” tackles the taboo subject of child molestation with subtlety and precision. good taste, which remains his hallmark. The high-pitched laugh in this episode is related to the rivalry that develops between Charlie and Mac when they find out that their old gym teacher has been arrested on suspicion of child molestation. As an indignant Mac remarks: “If the McPoyles and Charlie went bust, then why didn’t I?”

    3. The gang goes racist

    (Series 1, Episode 1)

    It's not like the show didn't warn you. Ever since its first episode, which premiered in August 2005, It's Always Sunny… has enjoyed jokes about race, sexuality, and fascism, with characters using the “n” word and making nasty comments about lynching and rape. Now, in hindsight, it looks almost odd compared to some of the more shocking developments in subsequent shows, but it was a useful indicator of what creator Rob McElhenney's intentions were with The Gang.

    4. The gang goes to jihad

    (episode 2, episode 2)

    Barely half a century after 9/11, when the themes of radical Islam and jihad were almost taboo on any non-current affairs show, America's most upbeat offensive comedy flew figuratively through a skyscraper with a violently tacky sequence that managed to offend virtually every conceivable ethnic group. and minorities as an Israeli businessman tries to buy up land next to Banda's bar. In retaliation, they create a convoluted but undeniably nasty parody video of a terrorist to scare him away from their intentions.

    5. The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6

    (Series 9, Episode 9)

    Blackface as a tool for comedy has been banned for years; his latest mainstream cinematic incarnation, with Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder in 2008, is now considered off the charts. That's why it's no surprise that the most offensive episode of It's Always Sunny, in which the characters don blackface to create an amateur Lethal Weapon sequel for a depraved financier, has now been removed from Netflix and other streaming services. What's most incredible is that its creators ever believed – in 2013 – that this kind of humor wouldn't cause controversy on the biggest scale.

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