TV Review: FX Comedies ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ ‘The League’

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CHICAGO – Some of the most likable morons in the history of television are back tonight as the eighth season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and the fourth season of “The League” return to FX for more remarkable stupidity. Both programs also just had their most recent seasons released on DVD and while one is definitely more creatively consistent than the other, both shows still bring the funny.

HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 3.5/5.0
Television Rating: 3.5/5.0

Most comedies that have been on eight years show a little bit of wear and tear and the long-underrated “It’s Always Sunny” is no exception. In fact, the gang at Paddy’s Pub are fully aware that they’re repeating the same ridiculous schemes (it’s a theme of both episodes sent for review) and increasingly comment on how they’re running out of dumb ideas. The writers of “The League” are luckier in that they’re more in the prime of their show, that time period when they can repeat inside jokes for fans and the characters still feel fresh. The episodes of “The League” sent for review, including tonight’s premiere, are some of the show’s best.

The League
The League
Photo credit: FX


I used to proclaim “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” the funniest show on TV that too many people weren’t watching. I wouldn’t go that far any more. After seven seasons of increasingly ludicrous and misanthropic behavior, I’d actually be OK if this season of “Sunny” was the last. It’s not that it’s not funny, but the writers have really run out of ideas. I’m happy that they’re acknowledging that by literally running the same schemes up the flagpole and the cast is still stellar but this show needs a shake-up.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Photo credit: FX

The rambling first two episodes include a dog painting by Hitler, euthanasia, a montage of throwing garbage, and the line “some cocks can’t be unsucked.” Yes, “Sunny” is just as dark and crazy as ever. I just wish it was a little more focused in its wit and a little less familiar. It’s getting late at Paddy’s Pub and the drunk guy who was hysterical at midnight isn’t quite as funny at 2am.

On the other hand, “The League” has arguably never been funnier. As the show has grown more popular, the producers have persuaded more and more actual NFL talent to cameo and this season includes appearances by RG3, Jason Witten, Felix Jones, DeSean Jackson, and much more. And they’ve been cleverly intertwined with the out-there comedy this shown has been known for. Where else would you see a fantasy football draft during child labor? And it somehow still works.

What’s happened with “The League” is that the already-talented cast has gelled even more as an ensemble over the show’s four seasons. Katie Aselton & Mark Duplass have become increasingly better actors and the writing has elevated across the board. The idea that Taco owns “DallasCowboys.com” and has to sell it to Jerry Jones (who he calls Jerry Earl Jones and thinks played Darth Vader) is just inherently very funny. Playing a fantasy football match to determine if your son will be circumcised? Also very clever in the gross way that only “The League” seems capable of doing. The comedy ball has been passed on FX from “Sunny” to “The League” and they’re running with it.

To see how these shows got here, check out the Blu-ray release of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 7” and “The League: The Complete Season Three”. Specs below.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 7 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 9, 2012
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 7 was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 9, 2012
Photo credit: Fox

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 7”

Synopsis:
Join the dysfunctional gang at Paddy’s Pub For another outrageously raunchy season of scheming, scamming, backstabbing, and all-around inappropriateness! Whether they’re giving a hooker an image makeover, hitting the beach at the Jersey Shore, preparing For the apocalypse, or simply engaging in a little good old-fashioned cyber-stalking, the gang delivers more trash-talking, half-baked insanity than ever before. Now, get ready to get fat with Mac and indulge in Season Seven of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, stuffed with uproarious extras.

Special Features:
o Artemis Tours Philadelphia
o Blooper Reel
o Commentary on Select Episodes

The League: The Complete Season Three was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 9, 2012
The League: The Complete Season Three was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 9, 2012
Photo credit: Fox

“The League: The Complete Season Three”

Synopsis:
Unsportsmanlike conduct takes on a whole new meaning in the hilarious, smack-talking fantasy football comedy, The League. With special guest stars Seth Rogen, Jeff Goldblum, Sarah Silverman and Eliza Dushku, Season Three kicks off as Kevin and Jenny have a run-in with a local drug dealer, and Pete regrets learning a new sexual position. Ruxin hires a hot new au pair, but does Taco have his eyes on her end zone? It’s time to trade up to special never-before-seen extended episodes and outrageously unrated bonus features. The race to the playoffs is on - but who wins the Shiva, and who gets the dreaded Sacko?

Special Features:
o 10 Extended Episodes
o Deleted Scenes
o ALT Nation
o Taco Tones
o Gag Reel

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “The League” return to FX on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 9pm CST and the most recent seasons of both programs are on DVD now.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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