It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of the longest-running sitcoms in history. It follows a group of pub owners called “The Gang” through all their crazy adventures that take place in the streets of Philadelphia. While other American sitcoms follow very likable, morally sound groups of friends, The Gang is made up of some of the worst people to ever exist. Dennis Reynolds is a sociopath who takes pride in manipulating women. His twin sister, Dee Reynolds, does the same with men and insults those around her. There’s Mac, whose full name is Ronald McDonald, and Charlie, who gives little thought to the crazy plans they hatch. Lastly, there’s Frank, the older “father figure” of the group, who mostly just funds whatever scheme The Gang is trying to pull.
Although the show is beyond insane in terms of what things they do in each episode, they do tackle many political (abortion, gun control, gay marriage) and economic (inflation, The Great Recession, the gas crisis) topics affecting society today with the use of satire. While the characters in the show often have exaggerated takes on these issues, the true message and criticism of society always come out in the end. In an interview with Vice series creator Glenn Howerton, he remarks that “Usually the answer to any extreme political viewpoint is somewhere in the middle, but that’s just not the way we operate. That’s kind of how we are now, two opposing sides screaming at each other and never backing down. It’s horrible for our country, but it’s really fun for our show.”
A prime example in the show where this viewpoint is set up is in the season 9 episode “Gun Fever Too: Still Hot.” After watching Frank promote the second amendment while pulling out two guns on the local news, the rest of The Gang experience two differing responses. Dennis and Dee immediately start rallying to get ALL guns off these streets and completely abolish them from America. Mac and Charlie team up with Frank and rally to get guns everywhere, even in schools. Neither side has any previous knowledge or has done research about gun rights or gun control. However, they refuse to listen to each other because they are convinced they are completely right while the other side is completely wrong. This is exactly what’s happening in American society today. While having two opposing sides with very exaggerated viewpoints makes a very entertaining plot to watch, it’s horrible for our country because we never seem to make progress on these important issues.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia holds a mirror to American society. The Gang is very stubborn and they don’t listen to the rational society around them. They go through each episode and have all these new experiences but they never seem to learn anything from them. While this is a completely fictional tv show, and it may be funny to see people take these extreme viewpoints, it’s not very fun to see them playing out in real life. This show has become a voice for a divided nation, slowly moving toward complete chaos.
One thought on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Satirical Look at American Politics”
This is really interesting. I’ve never seen this show but it really sounds like what the USA is becoming.