I love watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, one of the few comedies left on television that’s worth following on a regular basis. Part of the show’s appeal to me is that its story is set, obviously, in Philadelphia. The show’s co-creator, Rob McElhenney (who also plays “Mac”) is a born-and-bred Philadelphian, so his knowledge of the city helps convey an extra layer of authenticity, one not always evident in shows purportedly set in non-fictional American cities.
As those of you who watch Sunny can tell, many of the outdoor scenes are shot on location in Philly itself. It’s always a fun diversion during an episode to pick out local buildings in the background and watch the characters interacting within the landmarks we all know and love (like when the gang visits the Italian Market to barter with the “gypsies” who operate the various kiosks).
However, there are times when the show’s writers are willing to sacrifice accuracy for the sake of the story, and there is no reason to begrudge them that. But when they offer a plot element that is so utterly and indisputably wrong, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Thus, my reaction to watching last night’s episode “The World Series Defense.”
The episode itself was pretty god-damned hilarious (my favorite scene was when Dee read Mac’s “love letter” to Chase Utley), but a couple of historical inaccuracies, especially for an episode set barely one year in the past and supposedly based on actual events, were impossible to overlook (SPOILERS AHEAD)…
Too-Big-to-Ignore-Screw-up #1: The gang, while testifying in traffic court to dispute a pile of parking tickets left on Dennis’s windshield, recall the chain of events that began with them attempting to get inside Citizens Bank Park for Game Five of the 2008 World Series and ended with them trapped inside a hotel linen closet for six days (which may or may not have contained a secret room full of murdered Phillies fans). According to the title card, Game Five of the World Series took place on October 28, 2008. It most certainly did not. Game Five took place on October 27, was delayed due to inclement weather conditions and resumed on October 29. I don’t really have to tell you this because you already know. Apparently the writers did not. But didn’t this infamous postponement made national sports news?
Too-Big-to-Ignore-Screw-up #2: The reason why Game Five did not resume on October 28 was that the weather pattern which began the previous night continued and worsened through the following day. Yet in this episode we see Charlie and Dennis, sans game tickets, in a parking lot full of tailgaters enjoying what is by all indications a warm, sunny pre-game afternoon. I can assure anybody who was not in the Philadelphia region on October 28, 2008 that the weather conditions were anything but warm and sunny.
Since the show shoots its exterior shots in Philly during a few weeks in the summer, perhaps the crew didn’t get a window of time in which the weather was bad enough to simulate the abysmal conditions from last year? Or… perhaps the writers chose to take an ironic approach and apply the show’s title in its most literal sense? I wouldn’t put it past them.
Anyway, enough with the fanboy gripes and on to other observations. One thing in particular which stood out for me in last night’s episode of Sunny was how unbelievably hot Sweet Dee looked. I’ve never really considered Kaitlin Olson my particular cup of tea but, damn – she should dress like a Pink Lady more often.
- Charlie once again breaks out his “Green Man” outfit and throws down with the Philly… Phrenetic? (Looks like someone couldn’t get the rights to use a beloved sports mascot. Why not just bring out the Capital City Goofball?) ;
- Charlie and Dennis’s extremely dangerous plan — possibly fueled by healthy swigs of Mac’s homemade “riot punch” — to obtain tickets by throwing themselves in front of a car and threatening to sue the driver
- A disturbingly extended sequence of Mac, Dee and Frank retching inside of a bug-bombed apartment building.
- 700 Level
- Crashburn Alley
- High Cheese
- House That Glanville Built
- Philadelphia Will Do
- Philled In
- Philly Gameday
- Philly Gossip
- Phoul Ballz
- The Good Phight
- The Insider
- The Zo Zone
- Where's Weems?
- Who Does He Play For?
- Zoo With Roy