TV Review: “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” Season 13 (FXX)

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returned on September 5th for a 13th season on FXX, one of Fox’s cable networks. In April 2016, FXX renewed the series through a 14th season, meaning the next season will likely be in active production when the Fox acquisition is finalized. It stars a cast of Disney character voices including Danny DeVito (Phil in Hercules), Charlie Day (Art in Monsters University), Kaitlin Olson (Destiny in Finding Dory), and new cast member Mindy Kaling (Disgust in Inside Out). And now, you will hear all those voices say decidedly un-Disney things in the most hilarious and offensive ways imaginable.

The biggest change from previous years is the absence of Glenn Howerton, who played Dennis. While his departure is likely temporary, he is replaced in the season premiere by a… custom adult doll that looks like him and, umm… Mac ordered it, so… He’s definitely going to…

The “Dennis shaped hole” in the gang is filled by Cindy (Mindy Kaling), whose business savvy ideas use local politics to fill Paddy’s Pub with loyal customers again. Part of the show’s lasting appeal has been its ability to cover a wide range of topics that would be offensive in most cases. Because the characters are inherently offensive, ignorant, and all around terrible people, it works. The reveal of the episode’s title, “The Gang Makes Paddy’s Great Again,” tells you everything you need to know about the subtext of this episode, and Cindy is the mastermind behind it.

The season premiere largely survives on repeat jokes being revisited through… “Dennis.” Because Cindy didn’t know him, she doesn’t understand why the gang keeps imagining the doll making comments and jokes. Most of them are about his bird-like sister Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) or his pal Mac (Rob McElheny of ABC’s Lost), who put on a lot of muscle mass between seasons. Naturally, the gang doesn’t recognize his new physique and “Dennis” is cracking fat jokes the whole episode.

It’s Always Sunny may be on its 13th season, but they’ve all been fairly short. That may be why the show continues to feel fresh and as hilarious as it was in season 2 (the short first season is a glimmer of what the show became when Danny DeVito joined the cast). Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t be an avid viewer of a crass cable show like this. This show is different, this show is special, and despite other successful projects from the cast and creators, they’re still committed to giving fans more of the gang we all love.

A lot is happening in the world right now and we need the gang to help us put things into perspective through their ignorant shenanigans and tomfoolery. This 10 episode season will air on FXX on Wednesdays at 10:00 pm from September 5th through November 7th. So grab a pint and join me at Paddy/s for an 13th season that promises to delight and offend all at the same time.

I give the 13th season premiere of It’s Always Sunny 4.5 out of 5 Dee bird jokes.