Congratulations, fans of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Your beloved dark comedy returns for its 11th season Wednesday (10/9c, FXX), a feat of endurance that places it alongside such greats as Cheers and Married With Children that also hit the 10+ season milestone.
So what's new this season? More crazy sh-t from Charlie (Charlie Day), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Dee (Kaitlin Olson) Frank (Danny DeVito) and Mac (Rob McElhenney). Of course, you know calling the gang's antics bizarre would be an understatement, and trying to assess whether this season's shenanigans are more insane than seasons' past would be futile. After all, we're talking about people who've smoked crack to get welfare and sought to use a dumpster baby for fame. Still, the first five episodes offer some glimpses into what asinine new lows they'll meet as they enter their second decade. Here's some of what's in store:
Chardee MacDennis is back. Yes, the Game of Games, which could only come from the mind of our friendly sociopaths, returns in the season opener - this time with the possibility of going global. They've managed to pique the interest of an executive, played by guest star Andy Buckley, who may be able to help them take the game out of Paddy's Pub into the real world (God help us). They do their best to impress him, yet the already confusing and dangerous game goes to even more frightening heights with Frank's new random acts of violence. It's Chardee MacDennis 2: Electric Boogaloo, and it gets next level sick, with an IV drip full of wine, Nazi overtones and laxatives. In its awful, hilarious conclusion, Frank becomes a monster straight out of a modern-day horror franchise. Suffice it to say, you shouldn't try this at home.
A totally awesome '80s ski trip. In an episode that feels like an entire movie from the 1980s at warp speed - replete with Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl" on the soundtrack and dudes spying on chicks in the shower - the gang heads to a ski resort. It used to be a radical spot called Party Mountain, but has since turned into a posh place for rich dudes to bring their mistresses. A fight for control over it ensues, with Dennis and Frank battling Dee and Mac for ownership of the slopes. The episode is demented, naturally, but in a way that's fun as opposed to the usual mayhem where someone ends up barely surviving.
Dee finally gets an acting job - in a smut film. In a savvy exploration of the ways artistic expression is subjective and sometimes just nonsense presented confidently, poor Dee finally comes close to realizing her long unfulfilled dream of fame and acclaim when she gets cast in a movie. Yet we know better than to have any hope, right? Turns out she's in a really bad smut film, which encourages Charlie to release his own erotic fiction. Frank, meanwhile, becomes a pretentious art buyer/critic who looks like a cross between Andy Warhol and Edna Mode from The Incredibles, traipsing through a stuffy gallery and deriding nearly everything he sees. Top notch.
Mac and Dennis discover the suburbs are hell. In what may be the best of the first batch of episodes, Mac and Dennis are finally ready to get out of Dee's apartment - and they find a great place in the suburbs. Frank bets the guys free rent for a year if they can make it there a month. Seems like a sweet deal, considering the extra space and lush lawns to enjoy, right? Nope. The eerie silence, small talk with dopey neighbors, the commute: the existential void of it all becomes too much, really fast, and they start to go crazy. But not crazy like most people go crazy in the suburbs, but psycho, surreal The Shining crazy. Mayhem and death ensue, and it's really funny.
Season 11 of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia premieres Wednesday at 10/9c on FXX.