Series review: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 15)

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has managed a run this long due a ridiculously high bar of quality since season 2. With so many years under their belt and being interrupted by the pandemic, does the show still have the same magic?

Personally, I’ve found the quality of the show peaked at seasons two through to ten – the show was nearly cancelled after season one before Danny DeVito was added to the cast. That’s not to say it was a sharp drop off, just that the bar was set so high by the above series, that what has come after hasn’t quite reached the same highs.

However, with two years worth of material to work with, The Gang have plenty to catch us up on. Season 15 opens with ‘A Year in Review’ – which manages to succinctly wrap up effectively the entire pandemic and cultural issues seen in 2020. Mac (Rob McElhenny) and Dennis’ (Glenn Howerton) argument involving Rocky (yes, the boxer) spirals out of control and they end up causing voter delays. In another realm of the political spectrum, Frank (Danny DeVito) has a convoluted journey to create a hair dye due to going grey… which ends up being the dye running down Rudy Giuliani’s face during the election.

Dee and Charlie buckled down with their mask business – admittedly making the wrong ones, before they end up supplying garments for QAnon at the Capitol Riots. The season has affectionately been called the Irish season, due to half of the season being taken over by The Gang’s trip to the emerald isle. However, there’s still plenty of story in Philadelphia for the telling.

We’re treated to a flashback of The Gang before they bought Paddy’s bar, seeing them mostly pre-depravity just to highlight how…um, far they’ve come. We also finally see them address the previous blackface episodes that have been mostly removed from the show’s history. Whilst this has been addressed and apologised for by the team out of character, it’s only fitting that we see the group of degenerates deal with this in their own particular way.


The Irish half of the season however, is still strong. As much as they could have leaned into nothing but gimmicks we’re treated to the same quality and terrible behaviour as ever – only with a constant forced helping of hearty Irish stew, and no, that’s not a metaphor. Whilst they’re all there in no small part due to Dee finally seeming to achieve something in her acting career, this does nothing to ensure they treat her better. At least it gives Kaitlin Olson more chances to thrive at the physical comedy she does so well.

There’s also, of course, dealing with ONE member of the Gang actually getting COVID… they were never going to get away completely. Dennis almost completely embraces not only his horrifying predatory side, but also the part that’s long been hinted at that’s arguably even worse. Mac continues to struggle with his identity, albeit in a completely different way to his heartfelt previous explorations in the last season finale.

It is actually Charlie, along with special guest star Colm Meaney, who provides the emotional climax for this season. This isn’t so much of a rule in the series, that the vast majority of seasons have shown little to no character development for The Gang, true to form in the show’s format as an ‘anti-sitcom’.

Can you leap directly into this season as a newcomer? Yes. Should you set aside your evenings for the foreseeable future to watch the series in its entirety? Even more yes. I’ve easily seen the episodes several times over in the way that many will have with ‘Friends’ or ‘The Office’ and still find new things to laugh at, or more particularly in Dennis’ case, recoil at. So make sure you make time for this excellent new season.






Author: Tom, Cardiff Store