Pitch: Think back to what you did in the year 2005. It’s pretty unlikely that your life back then was the same as it is now – different friends, different pop culture, different kinds of work that kept you busy. Maybe your then toddler is now getting ready for college, or maybe you yourself were still basically a kid. But since 2005, one thing is constant: the gang behind It’s always sunshine in Philadelphia have continued to make their FXX show and are doing better than so many of the comedies out there today.
The secret behind this rather wild degree of success can very easily be attributed to the fact that the series has very consciously, especially in the last five or so years, matured to some degree. Not that the gang that runs a lousy Philly bar has grown up – although several of them have experienced significant life changes (and in the six episodes of season 15 made available to critics, there is even more potential room for, that they can evolve). But the series’ authorship continues to become more nuanced and empathetic, while still remaining true to the core of the characters – which means that they are still bad as human beings.
However, the depth of their horror continues to be fruitful material for stars / executive producers Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito, whose latest series of adventures includes a trip to the past, a trip to Ireland, and even a bit of self-examination when it comes to his own legacy.
To catch up with Paddy’s Gang: Season 15 opens with “2020: A Year In Review”, which essentially answers the question of what exactly this sometimes grotesque quintet did during the pandemic, and more importantly, the election in 2020. It’s not just a fantastic and necessary stage- considering the show’s longer than usual break (the last season ended in November 2019), but it also penetrates in an admirable way when it comes to tackling some of the most politically tumultuous moments of the last two years, with plenty of unexpected basket balls along the way.
(Yes, if you were wondering if the Four Seasons Total Landscaping incident might be referenced when it happened in Philly, then you are no longer wondering. But how they get there is a fun surprise.)