Mac, Dee, Charlie, Frank, and Dennis reunite for their eighth season, and the comedic direction is clearly laid out on the table: recycle our previous bits and they will laugh.
Although completely ignoring the concept of a new season having new episodes and thus new material, the repackaging kind of works.
We’ve seen the format put into play before; the gang spins a complex web of a plan in their home base – an Irish dank pit of South Philly known as Patty’s Pub. The lucrative, infallible plan begins to take shape as traditional roles are dealt, then later self-assigned when the gang inevitably implodes, drunk with power among other intoxicants. The gang regroups, and a new plan takes shape: rinse, repeat, etc …
Although to be fair, I do appreciate the clear allusions to past episodes, and if the format works, why stray from it? In episode two of season eight, “The Gang Recycles Their Trash,” Frank conjures up a plan to solve the sanitation worker strike in Philly by starting up their own garbage service via stretch limo.
The plot is eerily similar to the premise of episode two of season four, “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis,” where the gang decides to sell gas door to door using Charlie’s “wild card” moxy and Dennis’ looks. However, the plan goes south once Charlie’s Texas oil man character forces a woman to call the cops … so the format goes.
One obvious and perhaps sole change from season seven is Rob McElhenney’s (Mac’s) gut size, which begs the question: is it possible for one to be as funny after losing a significant amount of mass? We all know Jonah Hill dropped some pounds in 2011 prior to his role in “21 Jump Street,” but retained his comedic weight.
You’ll have to form your own opinion, but I missed the old Mac, and it’s good to see him back to his old ways of ill-informed karate practicing and absurd urban bodybuilding.
If you happen to be a dedicated “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fan and you’re craving new material, there’s no doubt you will be disappointed in some varying degree, but rest assured that only the good material resurfaces – just packaged a bit differently than before.
Be aware that season eight, like the previous seasons, contains a plethora of crudeness (racial slurs, coarse language, etc) so may not be suitable for impressionable children and young teenagers.