It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas may not be the best introduction to the uninitiated. The episode was directed by Fred Savage, who uses the straight-to-disc release as a chance to play up the hallmark risqué humor of the show, with mixed results. For those who don’t know, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia follows the exploits of The Gang, a cynical group of friends who run a dive bar named Paddy’s Pub in Phily. In ‘A Very Sunny Christmas‘, fraternal twins Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and “Sweet Dee” Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson) are fed up with holidays full of trickery, backstabbing, and disappointment, thanks in no small part to their father, Frank (Danny DeVito), who has given them nothing but empty boxes for Christmas since they were kids, selfishly buying the presents that they want for himself.
When Frank pulls up to the bar on Christmas Eve in a brand new Lamborghini, Dennis’ dream car, the siblings decide to teach their scrooge of a dad a lesson in the Christmas spirit – a la A Christmas Carol. They proceed to recruit a former business partner to play the Ghost of Christmas Past, and together they take Frank on a journey through his present, as well as his inevitable future – a cold, lonely grave, marked with a headstone that reads, He Was A Dick To His Kids. In true ‘It’s Always Sunny’ style however, things go horribly wrong. Meanwhile, friends Mac (Rob McElhenney) and Charlie (Charlie Day) trade stories of their childhood Christmas traditions, realizing in the process that Mac’s parents were thieves and Charlie’s mom was a prostitute.
There are certainly some moments of hilarity during the special’s 40-plus minutes, and it carries many of the trademarks of the few show episodes I’ve watched, but what it succeeded most in doing for me, is getting me interested in watching more of this riotous band of un-merry folks.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas was reasonably entertaining, but is truly meant for existing fans of the cult favorite comedy TV series, who will have a blast with this holiday special.
Bonus features on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas, are presented in Standard Definition, and include:
- Deleted Scenes center on young Charlie and Mac throwing rocks, and discussing women & puberty.
- A Behind the Scenes featurette sees the episode’s director Fred Savage discussing the making of the claymation sequence, along with plenty of on-set hijinks from the cast.
- Producers’ Introduction features actor Rob McElhenney and writer/producer David Hornsby giving a speech about how the program wasn’t filmed in high definition and was scaled up for the Blu-ray release.
- Sunny Sing-A-Long features The Gang standing around a piano, singing holiday standards.
- People / Bands: Charlie Day | Danny DeVito | David Hornsby | Fred Savage | Glenn Howerton | Kaitlin Olson | Rob McElhenney
- Shows / Movies: It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia | It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia A Very Sunny Christmas
- Genres: Comedy | Television
- Story Types: Home Theater | Reviews | Snapshots