TV Recap: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “The Gang Beats Boggs”

Written by Scott Clifford

IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADEPHIA -- Key Art

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (IASIP) is a special show for me. It debuted when I first started to live on my own in Center City, Philadelphia for college and become my own person. It was just as amazing to see a television show that was so raw and honest about the fact that many people in the United States are terrible and have issues dealing with almost everything. Singing the “Dayman” song at increasingly inappropriate times throughout the year brought people from completely different backgrounds together. Let’s not forget playing our own versions of the classic Chardee MacDennis drinking game, or maybe I should be asking if anyone remembers. I know I don’t. Either way, it’s only fitting that I be the one to review the season 10 premiere. I have to say, without a doubt, that “The Gang Beats Boggs” is the perfect metaphor for my undergraduate career. It’s filled with alcohol, the jokes are hilarious, people have sex that they immediately regret, and no one does any real work. Ladies and gentlemen, the Gang is back.

Photo Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FX
Photo Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FX

“The Gang Beats Boggs” changes things up by throwing us into the middle of a flight to California where all of the main characters are already drunk. The reason, not that there really needs to be one of course, is to honor Wade Boggs, a retired baseball player who is most well known for his tenure on the New York Yankees, and his drinking abilities while traveling. Sure, Wade Boggs is still alive and no one knows what that record is but it’s a good excuse for everyone to be competitive and that’s enough for fans like me. Of course that’s the central flaw of this premiere. It’s lazy like my last minute Roman history final. Every plot point of this episode relies on being able to get hammered and smuggle one hundred cans of beer without suffering any consequences.

Yet, just like my Roman history final, it’s still great somehow. A great thing to look out for is Dennis’s (Glenn Howerton) insistence on categorizing the women he will be able to bang on the airplane in such a meticulous manner that he has to be a sociopath by now. It gets even funnier when we see that all of Dennis’s assumptions are completely wrong since the one attractive girl on the plane is actually married and he ends up banging a woman who was actually “desert trash” instead of “great prairies trash” like he thought. Dennis is so ashamed that he elects to forfeit his right to win the game by getting off early when the flight stops in North Dakota (talk about a great shout-out to his role in Fargo, the television series).

Of course Dennis isn’t the only great character. Frank (Danny Devito) is hilarious as well as he drools his way to last place before passing out in the middle of the aisle. His Dr. Mantis Toboggan persona is strengthened as he tries conning the stewardess into believing that he is a pilot as well after trying to surprise girls with sex by hiding in the airplane bathroom. Dee (Kaitlin Olson) shows that she is one of the funniest characters in television by hallucinating that Boss Hogg is encouraging her to win the drinking contest when she is actually talking to a black guy. Her desire to win by taking amphetamines pokes fun at baseball’s struggle with illegal drug use and is almost as good as the way she passes out on the luggage carousel at the airport.

Photo Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FX
Photo Credit: Patrick McElhenney/FX

Charlie (Charlie Day) and Mac (Rob McElhenney) may be the best parts of this episode though. Charlie’s endearing character shines through, as he is completely relaxed about the whole contest. He even eats a full chicken along with a rum and coke in order to get in the Wade Boggs spirit. Speaking of spirits, Charlie even talks to Wade Boggs’s ghost (playing as himself) even though he isn’t even dead yet. This relaxed nature is in great contrast to Mac’s constant paranoia as he struggles with illegal drug use, and gambling between members in order to preserve the integrity of the game. The final scene of Mac and Charlie playing baseball together for about a minute is so endearing that I briefly couldn’t believe that I was watching IASIP.

Wow, I can’t wait for next week.

Rating: 8/10

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia airs Wednesday nights on FXX.

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