Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: "The Gang Hits the Road"

Illustration for article titled It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: "The Gang Hits the Road"
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Last week’s episode of Sunny was one of those episodes where they all get drunk and do things, and everything kind of, but not really, relates to a topical issue at hand. This week’s episode was one of those episodes where they just all get drunk.

And what better excuse than a ROAD TRIP! Road trip, you guys. Even though it was plainly obvious the gang would never make it outside of city lines on their trip to the Grand Canyon when the episode began, I have to admit I was as perturbed as Charlie about the show leaving Philly. It’s a city I don’t know well so I’ve always felt comfortable with these strange, strange people living in that weird fantasy city. I’m less comfortable with them invading the real world.

The gang plans the road trip because Frank’s always wanted to see the Grand Canyon before he dies, apparently. And since Danny DeVito, with his weird greasy hair and darting eyes, kinda always seems like he might be on his last legs, they hire a trailer and hitch it to the van and are just about to leave Paddy’s when Dee shows up early to work, having bought a new car. The audacity!

I love the boys’ reaction every time Dee messes up their plans by getting involved, that sort of practiced “aaaah,” malaise-y noise they make. I also admire their old school road trip plan, with Dennis pooh-poohing GPS systems, saying they’ll rely on maps. I love maps! Unfortunately, things quickly head south: first Mac beer-bottles a cyclist, Charlie buys unripe fruit at the Italian market, Dee throws a jar of pee all over Mac, and Dennis and Charlie almost die of smoke inhalation by burning wicker chairs in their trailer.

But the plot of this episode was pretty light, even for Sunny. There were no dovetailing stories, or even meta acknowledgements of two stories that refuse to dovetail, like last week. It was just a funny little 22-minute caper, filled up with some great nonsense dialogue.

“I’ve never eaten a pear,” Charlie confesses. “They weird me out, dude! Where do you start, the top, the bottom?” He later adds blueberry and strawberry to his list of foods uneaten – not surprising if you remember the fiberglass and woodchips (or whatever it was) found in his stomach last season. And, of course, the Grilled Charlie.


My favorite caper in the episode was the gang’s visit to the Italian market – Rocky ran through it! – to broaden Charlie’s culinary horizons, although the best thing Charlie ate this episode was a sticker. "I eat stickers all the time!" Mac and Dennis’ insistence that the stall owners were “gypsies” who “wanted to barter” was funny, but one of the stalls having a French press for sale, balanced atop wicker furniture, was somehow funnier, especially since the French press excited Dennis, who is always so haute couture.

After driving about 20 minutes away from Paddy’s (which heightened Charlie’s worry that people outside of the city would be “jerks”), the gang, basically hammered at this point, gets bored of driving and, in a classic road-trip trope, lassos a runaway into doing their driving for ‘em. They didn’t get to do much with the hitchhiker, who was kind of boring and nerdy rather than a real character, but Dee did get super drunk and talk about his tight body and all the gay porn he’d end up doing in Hollywood. I love it when Dee’s drunk. She does this weird crone voice and scary, staring eyes. She’s probably the best drunk of the bunch, except for maybe Frank, but he always seems drunk.


Anyway, the episode ends as it only could end –everyone but Charlie piles into the trailer, Charlie gets spooked and tells the hitchhiker to drop him off and take the trailer to the Grand Canyon, and the hitchhiker promptly steals Dee’s new car and leaves everyone else outside Paddy’s. But Mac is shocked, because he had done an “ocular assessment” of the hitchhiker, and cleared him! “I thought he was clear! I thought Mac cleared him!” says Charlie.

A baffled Dennis asks, “How exactly do you view yourself within the context of our group?” Mac replies, “The Sheriff of Paddy’s!” Aw, Mac. It’s a great little window-on-the-soul moment, made even better by everyone’s disbelief. Will Mac ever get recognition as a badass? By someone other than Charlie? Doubtful.


Grade: B+

Stray observations:

Hi guys! I’m David Sims, I’m picking up this show for the TV Club from now on. Hope I don’t suck too much and get eviscerated in the comments.


Poor Dee loses her second car. Why’d she buy a new car? “Because you guys ran my last one into a wall, that’s why!” Good episode.

I liked Mac’s stark acknowledgement of human frailty when Charlie said he didn’t have a bucket list cause he wasn’t dying. “Everybody’s dyin’, bitch!”


Also great: Mac “calling a lot of people bozo now, it’s like my new thing.”

“North Virginia, East Virginia, South Virginia…”

I kind of agree with Charlie that a bad pear can taste “like sand.”

Wicker chairs are more forgiving on Dennis’ bottom.