A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the central characters are immature and get into predicaments ranging from the goofy (pretending to be wheelchair-bound to attract sympathetic members of the opposite sex) to the illegal (drunk driving). The language is strong, and some of the show's situations and innuendoes are too much for younger viewers.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In FX's IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADEPHIA, four self-involved friends from high school who all work in a neighborhood bar attempt to balance their professional and personal lives. Each week, the core foursome stumbles from one bad situation to another while putting the spotlight on social faux pas and moral questions including pedophilia, bribery in politics, gun ownership, and taking advantage of the elderly.
Is it any good?
The show began as a $200 digital camera project that was later sold to FX by executive producers/writers/stars Glenn Howerton (That '80s Show, Must Love Dogs), Charlie Day (Law & Order, Third Watch) and Rob McElhenney (A Civil Action, Wonder Boys) who play Dennis, Charlie, and Mac, respectively. Dennis' sister, Dee, is played by Kaitlin Olson; Danny DeVito joined the show in its second season as Dennis and Dee's dad, Frank (marking DeVito's first regular TV role since Taxi).
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's humor comes from the offbeat scenarios in which the friends find themselves; the humor is dark and adult, and none of the characters are particularly admirable. For example, when Charlie's ex-girlfriend informs him that he's the father of her child, it inspires Charlie to attend a pro-choice rally in the hopes of meeting another woman. In another episode, Frank returns to tell Dee and Dennis that he and their mother are divorcing. Frank proceeds to call his wife a "whore mother" who is "on vacation banging one of the boys she hangs out with." Younger viewers might find the physical hijinks funny, but the writing and subtle jabs at society's hang-ups will fly right over their head.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships. Why is it important to love and respect your parents, siblings, sons, and daughters? How can family members smooth over differences? Is it easier to confront/get mad at family members than friends? Why or why not?
Families can also talk about the issues raised by the show. What is the show trying to say by dealing with sometimes-controversial topics in a funny way?