When it was originally on: 2005-present
Original Network: FX (moved to FXX in 2013)
Where you can stream it now: Hulu
Had I seen it before: Nope.
What IMDb says: Five friends with big egos and slightly arrogant attitudes are the proprietors of an Irish pub in Philadelphia.
Why I picked it: There’s really only one basic cable sitcom in the history of television that has achieved the kind of long run that’s usually reserved for network sitcoms: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. A lot of people with similar comedy taste to myself seem to enjoy this one, but I’ve ever really gotten to it. Either way, I’m excited to watch a comedy that won’t have to play by the network rules that still is aiming to be a comedy, rather than a half-hour drama with occasional jokes.
What I liked: There’s two basic ways for comedies to work: one is to write funny jokes, the other is to write a funny story. My favorite thing about the It’s Always Sunny pilot is that it chooses to write a funny story, and does a damn good job. (The Seinfeld pilot is a great example of the other strategy in case you’re wondering.)
As the story unfolds, each new scene is made funnier by the scenes before it. We start with a scene that’s already hilarious (if It’s Always Sunny’s humor is your thing) and sets the tone for what kind of a show you’re watching. From on out, the show just builds on itself more and more, and we also learn about our different characters along the way. There’s even an unexpected, plot twist which don’t tend to happen as often in comedies as they do in dramas. That plot twist is one of the funniest things of the whole episode.
Also, Charlie Day is a treasure. I knew that from Horrible Bosses already, but I was reminded of it again.
What I didn’t like: Danny DeVito isn’t in this pilot. I’d never seen the show before, but I’ve always associated it with Danny DeVito, so that was a little bit of a bummer. Or maybe it isn’t, I have no idea whether or not I’d even like Danny DeVito’s character.
Do I want to watch Ep. 2: I could definitely see It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia making its way into the irreverent comedy slot.