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Featured TV on DVD Review: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Eight

September 14th, 2013

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Eight - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a low-budget comedy show that started in 2005 and has since become quite a hit on the FX and now the FXX cable channels. It is very rare for a show to last eight seasons, it is even rarer for a show to still be entertaining after eight years. Will fans still enjoy the show? Or is it beginning to become tired?

The Show

The show has always thrived on crude and crass humor. For instance, last season started with an episode involving a dead crack hooker. This season begins with an episode about a Nazi, specifically Dennis and Dee's grandfather. He's in a coma and it is up to them to decide if they want to pull the plug. If you think the show is too crass, you will pull the plug on this season before the first episode is over. It is a very funny episode. The Gang Recycles Their Trash involves a garbage strike and the gang's plans to benefit from it, but it is not as funny. Still funny, but not as funny. The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre has Dennis going into the woods to his ex-wife's wedding, to make sure it takes place. Charlie and Mac come along to help, but things take a turn for the worse... horror movie turn for the worse. It's one of the best episodes of the season. In Charlie and Dee Find Love, Charlie and Dee find love, obviously. However, they find love with Ruby and Trevor Traft, who are a lot richer than they are. The rest of the gang give them advice, so you know it is going to be a disaster. Kerri Kenney has a guest appearance in The Gang Gets Analyzed as Dee's therapist. I'm not surprised Dee needs a therapist, but clearly it isn't helping. In this episode, the entire gang invade her therapy session so they can get the therapists to determine who has to do the dishes after a meal. ... Like I said, therapy clearly isn't working.

Disc two starts with Charlie's Mom Has Cancer. You can probably guess what the episode is about based on that name. It's one of the weaker episodes in the season, as it fails to balance the emotional and the humorous parts of the story. In Frank's Back in Business, Frank's old business is dying and they call in Frank to save the company. This is a better episode than the previous one, but still a little below average for the season. In Charlie Rules the World, Dee's addicted to an online game and spreads that addiction, first to Charlie, then to the rest of the gang. Well, everyone but Dennis. The Gang Dines Out starts with Dennis and Mac on their monthly dinner out. They notice Frank and Charlie come into the restaurant, but Dee is also there. The season ends with Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense. The episode begins with Frank driving while getting directions from Charlie, pre-taped directions. Needless to say, this plan fails and he ends up rear-ending Dennis. There's not a lot of damage to the exterior of Dennis's car, but Dennis was eating cereal at the time, so Dennis wants Frank to pay for the cost of cleaning the inside of his car. The gang decide to have a trial at the Bar.

The Extras

Extras include audio commentary tracks on four of the ten episodes, mostly on Disc One. Disc Two also has five minutes of deleted scenes, as well as seven minutes of outtakes. Lady House: The Lost Premiere is a six-minute fake sitcom that star Charlie's Mom and Mac's Mom. Frank Reynolds: How to Be a Warthog is a fake commercial for Frank's business seminar. The only non-fake is Fat Mac: In Memorium, which is a two-minute interview with the cast talking about Rob McElhenney's weight loss.

The technical presentation is solid, but not spectacular. There's nothing wrong to complain about and the level details, the colors, the contrast, etc. are all great, but it is simply not a visually impressive show. It's a dialogue driven comedy and you don't need to see it in high definition. Likewise, the audio is clear, but uncomplicated. There's not a lot of activity in the surround sound speakers, but enough to not feel barren.

The price of the Blu-ray is $10 more than the DVD, or about 50% more on Amazon.com. That's a lot to ask, given the lack of extras and the technical presentation.

The Verdict

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Eight is very strong and fans will certainly want to pick it up. Given the price difference, the DVD is the better deal over the Blu-ray, on the other hand.


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Filed under: Video Review, Danny De Vito, Glenn Howerton, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Kaitlin Olson, Charlie Day, Alexandra Daddario, Rob McElhenney