Plot: Dee Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson) has hit absolute rock bottom. For the past nine years The Gang has berated her in almost every possible way. Now she has fully embraced the image those closest to her have thrust out into the world: a disgusting human being unfit for society. In an effort to cheer her up, Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day), Mac (Rob McElhenney), and Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito) set Dee up for open mic stand-up comedy. Dennis (Glenn Howerton) however has his own idea for Dee’s recovery.
It’s pretty hard to believe that It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has been on the air for nine years now. From its humble beginnings anchored by completely unknown actors, this show quickly became an iconic comedy hit like the best of them. You don’t need to look further than the fact that it’s one of the headlining shows for the new FXX Network to see how massive this program has become. The show hasn’t been perfect by any means but we can all agree it’s still downright hilarious. Typically by the ninth or even a sooner season any show begins to run out of steam. Many would even say that It’s Always Sunny is starting to show those signs. However, “The Gang Broke Dee” is proof positive that this group of the worst people imaginable still has some insanity of their sleeves, much to our enjoyment.
This episode, as the title suggests, was all about Sweet Dee from start to finish. Dee has been the proverbial punching bag of the group since the beginning of the show and it’s about time it ruined her. The cracks first came into light in last season’s finale “Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense” which ended with Dee completely unloading her rage on her “friends” for mentally destroying her. Unfortunately that didn’t change anything and now we see Dee has completely given up. The entire introduction segment where she completed everyone’s bird insults was straight up hilarious, clearly a great start to this episode.
Everything else that followed was classic Sunny through and through. The Gang tries to turn Dee’s life around by putting her into stand-up comedy while Dennis’s desire to control everything makes him choose a completely different plan where he attempts to find a new man for Dee. Dee’s constant jokes about how shitty her life was were hilarious at the start but started to old pretty quick. Quick one liners like “Oh crabs have machine guns now” and “It’s funny because a woman said vagina” were spectacular but you can only hear so many “such and such my vagina!” jokes before they get old. I did thoroughly enjoy the cameos this time around though with Lavell Crawford as Landslide (Breaking Bad’s Huell), Ken Davitian as Snider (Borat’s Azamat), and Peter Jacobson (House MD’s Dr. Chris Taub) as the Hollywood exec Dee meets near the end (I can’t remember the character name). None of these actors are major stars but they’ve been in enough popular shows to be instantly recognizable, and it was cool seeing them in a different environment.
The episode really picked up in the later half though with Dee being asked to appear on Conan to do comedy. That’s right, Sweet Dee finally hit the big time! Dee instantly drops everyone, especially Dennis who was nothing less of a total ass to her this entire time, and she flies off to Hollywood. Her montage of preparation on the plane between practicing her routine to throwing up repeatedly from nervousness was stellar. However, it was until the end where the episode reached its highest point. As it turns out, the big Conan gig was a total sham. In fact, everything was. The entire stand-up success was one massive fraud fabricated by Charlie, Mac, and Frank to prove that Dee CAN go lower than rock bottom. Dennis was intentionally left out to keep it real too, a fact that equally destroyed him. That reveal was easily one of the greatest moments in It’s Always Sunny history. I completely lost it.
I am really happy with the way this episode turned out. The build up to the big reveal was great but it didn’t strike me as gut busting hilarity completely throughout. I laughed a lot don’t get me wrong, it just wasn’t on the level as other amazing moments. It actually felt a little average at times, especially when Dee’s stand up routine started to get a little tiring (which I guess was the plan all along). The ending though was amazing enough to jettison this episode into truly hilarious levels. The best part was that we absolutely didn’t see this ending coming. We’re lead to believe that Dee will probably puke all over Conan O’Brien after all. So while this premiere did have some brief low times, it was still extremely funny and ended in probably the greatest way imaginable.