Friday, October 2, 2009

Has "It's Always Sunny" Sold Out?...

I made the mistake of watching last night's episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 5, Episode 3: "The Great Recession") on FX instead of FX On Demand or even hulu.com. This left me forced to sit through the commercials, and after the first break that featured the Dave & Busters logo and a "Brought to you by" announcement, I already thought it was too much.

See, in the first scene, Frank, Dennis, and Mac (Danny Devito, Glenn Howerton, and Rob McElhenney, respectively) were taking a "business meeting" at a D&B, discussing how bad the economy had gotten and how they were going to have to make cutbacks at the bar. Frank suggested perhaps they stopped going out for steak dinners and arcade nights, but of course the guys had other plans-- plans that included firing the other half of their team. That scene fit with the tone of the show because it's easy to see a few guys who have always fought with each other (let alone simply sounded) like they were pre-pubescent youths hanging out at a place that speaks to that inner child.

A photo of the It's Always Sunny...
cast performing live in Hollywood.



However, that commercial break was followed by an even longer scene at a Dave & Busters, in which Dennis and Mac actually broke down how the place works and decide they are going to create their own Paddy's Pub currency ala the Dave & Busters dollars-- something of which, mind you, I had never heard and would have been content to go without knowing. The episode seemed to have been completely written around this sponsorship! What was once a completely unique, witty and at times just plain crude, independent comedy about quite possibly the most unredeemable human beings on the planet now sits just another corporate stooge. The show that was known for being edgy and outlandish because they could be-- because they were on a cable station that allowed them the freedom to do and say what they wanted without fear of advertisers pulling out-- has now fallen into the money worry trap just like any and every other network show.

I, for one, am going to blame the recession.


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