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The gang discovers a new favorite show
I often say that I hope It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia will outlive us all, and it's a statement I stand by. This isn't exactly difficult to imagine: With its fifteenth season, Sunny became the longest-running live-action comedy of all time, and it's renewed through Season 18. But the series, about a group of five morally corrupt friends who run a bar in Philadelphia, is currently on hiatus, so while you wait for Season 16, I've got boxes full of Pepe — uh, sorry, I mean, I've got recommendations to satisfy the most depraved parts of your soul.
If It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has left you wanting more ensemble comedies, shows about shamelessly awful people, or just more of the Sunny cast in general, here are some suggestions for shows to check out next.
Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Glenn Howerton have spoken at length about Curb Your Enthusiasm's influence on Sunny, from the low-budget aesthetic of its early seasons to its curmudgeonly protagonist. Curb is a show that needs no introduction, but I'll give one anyway: In case you somehow haven't heard of it, Larry David plays a version of himself and the series follows him as he drifts through life being inconvenienced by normal, everyday things. In 11 seasons, nothing has really changed, and that's the whole point. Much like Sunny, it's kind of incredible that this show is still funny after all these years.
Bust Down is the ideal post-Sunny comedy, a show that draws inspiration from the gang's misadventures while carving out its own distinct niche. Created by and starring Chris Redd, Sam Jay, Langston Kerman, and Jak Knight, the show revolves around a group of underpaid, low-level casino employees who aren't really going anywhere in life but spend their days getting into ridiculous situations and dealing with them foolishly. Like Sunny's characters, Chris, Sam, Langston, and Jak are prickly and underachieving, and the two shows match each other in terms of laugh-out-loud jokes-per-minute, but what gives Bust Down an edge is the way it deftly comments on Black issues without being a show about commenting on Black issues.
Workaholics is another raucous comedy that came up in Sunny's image, centering around a trio of college friends (played by co-creators Adam Devine, Anders Holm, and Blake Anderson) who reluctantly enter the workforce even though they'd much rather spend their time partying. Similar to how each member of the gang seems to lose more of their ability to function normally in society with every passing season, the Workaholics guys aren't really fit for human interaction either, blissfully oblivious about the way the world works. The series is shameless and silly, mining its best jokes from its own willingness to explore just how far a dumb bit can be taken.
Created by McElhenney, Day, and Sunny writer Megan Ganz, Mythic Quest stars McElhenney as the pompous, egotistical creative director at a studio that produces a big online role-playing game. McElhenney knows how to play a self-important jerk better than most, and the series finds the ideal balance between poking fun at the gaming industry without turning gamers into a punchline. Its characters aren't quite as nefarious or detached from reality as Sunny's, and it's more willing to go to a place of emotional honesty, but if it's more of McElhenney, Day, and Ganz's comedy voices you want, there's no better place to start.
Never forget when Howerton briefly left Sunny to focus on A.P. Bio, a sitcom that never quite got the love it deserved. Here, Howerton navigates a tricky role as the outwardly sinister but inwardly caring Jack Griffin, a disgraced Harvard professor who, after losing out on his dream job, returns to his hometown to teach at his old high school. Jack spends much of the show scheming to figure out a way to return to the glory of his old life, but the series is funny enough to make sure it never gets old. And even when it does, its excellent cast, which also includes Patton Oswalt and Paula Pell, will keep you watching.
The League is sort of like a little sibling to Sunny. It premiered just a few years after Sunny, also on FX, and comparably revolved around a group of terrible people who didn't really like each other but still spent all their time together. This series, though, is about fantasy football, and the highly competitive fivesome who absorb themselves in their league, often to the detriment of their personal lives. The characters will do just about anything to come out on top, always ready to sabotage and backstab and tear each other down if it means they have a better chance of becoming the league champion. Sunny fans should feel right at home watching this one.
Danny McBride's comedy style perfectly complements that of the Sunny guys — if you like one, you'll probably like the other. McBride has created and starred in three great shows for HBO (Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals, and The Righteous Gemstones), all about horrible men, but Eastbound feels the closest to Sunny in terms of its outlandish characters and satirization of American culture. Few things are more American than baseball, and Eastbound stars McBride as the self-absorbed and self-destructive Kenny Powers, a down-on-his-luck MLB player who starts teaching physical education at his old middle school after being forced into early retirement. It's broadly funny and incredibly profane in the best way.
Kaitlin Olson is one of the funniest people on the planet, and her short-lived sitcom, The Mick, correctly gave her the starring role she's long deserved. Olson stars as Mickey Molng, who becomes the legal guardian of her niece and nephews after her sister and brother-in-law are taken into FBI custody for tax evasion. Mickey is an irresponsible hustler used to taking the easy way out who is not at all fit to be taking care of anyone, and as you can imagine, many of the show's best moments coming from her flailing attempts at childcare.
You're the Worst begins with a tried and true rom-com set-up: boy and girl meet at a wedding and have what they both believe to be a one-night stand, which obviously becomes something more. Over five seasons, it grows into a thoughtful exploration of modern romance, but it's the narcissistic, cynical, and often delusional characters that make the series such a good companion piece to Sunny. It's certainly more of a dramedy, and it's also interested in ensuring its core foursome is ever-evolving in a way Sunny doesn't really concern itself with, but there's a level of brazenness to their bad behavior (which includes stealing property, terrorizing strangers, and stabbing their spouses) that will feel familiar. It's not hard to imagine a world where Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere) are slumped over the bar at Paddy's Pub, and that is a free idea for Hollywood, in case anyone wants it.