TV Talk: ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ and ‘The Crazy Ones’

(BlogDH) TV Talk

Best: It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, “Mac Day”

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I know what most of you are thinking, “that show is still on?” Valid question. After last year’s disastrous season, I was just about ready to throw in the Sunny towel myself. But this year, the gang is back with a vengeance. Some of the episodes thus far even rival the classics of earlier seasons. This week’s focus was on a day dedicated entirely to Mac: Mac Day. But of course, in true Sunny fashion, it really tackled the hypocrisy of religion.

The episode began with the reveal that the gang was dedicating an entire day of their lives to one person at a time. This meant doing whatever that person wanted for an entire 24 hours sans complaining, at the risk of having to start over. So far, this meant spending an entire day chasing ghouls for Charlie (that is a 24-hour-long episode worth producing). For Mac’s day, he decides to teach them all about religion. To help him out, he brings along his cousin from the country who is cleverly named “Country Mac” and played by Sean William Scott (you know him from “Role Models“). Eventually Mac starts to get jealous of Country Mac for upstaging him in badass-ery, but really all he needed to do was call out the fact that this guy was pairing his muscle-tee and motorcycle with linen pants… The gang finally turns on Mac in favor of his cousin but, spoiler alert, Country Mac dies and not a single other person attends his funeral. Side note: how many funerals have been held at Paddy’s? Real question.

The best way to summarize the brilliance of this episode is simply to list off some of the best quotes:

On God Being Vindictive

Country Mac: Sure bad things happen…but what about sunsets?

On Mac Challenging a Black Belt to Karate

Mac: I don’t think [me challenging this black belt to karate] is a good idea. Mostly because I don’t have the right gear.

Dennis: You’re wearing a gi.

Charlie: You are wearing a gi.

Dennis: Yeah, that is the gear.

Dee: That’s the only gear.

On Danger

Dennis: You know what’s badass? Being alive.

On Finding Out Country Mac is Gay

Charlie: Happy hunting bro, get after it.

On Why I Will Now Start Telling People I’m an Urban Studies Major

Mac: See in the big city, nobody cares whether you live or die.

 

Worst: The Crazy Ones, “The Spectacular”

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It pains me to admit that I did not enjoy The Crazy Ones in large part because in some ways Robin Williams defined our childhood. He is to this day one of the most iconic voices of any Disney movie, and his psychological thriller Jumanji still haunts my nightmares–12 years old was not old enough, Mom. The Chicagoan in me wanted to like any show with so many gorgeous shots of Williams’ and my mutual hometown. Although the footage of the city in the opening credits is blatantly geographically inaccurate, it had me thinking that I may have found the quirky Chicago-based comedy to replace the hole in my heart left by Happy Endings (Yeah, I watched Happy Endings). 

Unfortunately, The Crazy Ones was unable to stir up anything beyond this nostalgia for a time when Robin Williams was still making movies.  The biggest emotional disconnect on the show, which revolves around a father and daughter working together to run an advertising agency, has to be the relationship between Williams and his daughter (Sarah Michelle Gellar). Their relationship is underdeveloped and at times uncomfortable. At one point, Williams asks Gellar to “do that thing you do that reminds me of your mother, it would make me so happy” and she goes, “I’m leaving you.” It was strange and not reminiscent of any relationship I’ve ever seen between a father and daughter. Their supposed 30-year long shared history was absent from their interactions, and their affection for each other fell flat time and again. At one point, Williams mentions (in front of an entire board room of work colleagues) the he used to call his daughter “babycakes” and “piglet”. If she used to be fat, that is hilarious. Otherwise, it’s more confusing than why everyone on this show believes that Kelly Clarkson is “America’s Sweetheart.”

The supporting cast is equally bizarre. Sorry, tall dark-haired man from The Newsroom, everyone still hates you. Seriously, who gave this guy another job that requires relaying facts and the trust of the public? We’re all going to have to start questioning the validity of McDonalds promos now that he might be behind them. Are their chicken nuggets even a nutritional dinner choice or did he lie about that too? Then there’s Amanda Setton. She must really regret getting fired from The Mindy Project. At least she doesn’t have to worry about dedicating hundreds of hours to creating and living the essence of an entirely new character because there is seemingly no difference between this chick and the one she played on Mindy. 

The plot of the episode was more-or-less predictable, down to the fact that Gellar ended up saving the day by humiliating herself belting in front of a restaurant full of people, proving her dedication and ability to be just as bipolar free-spirited as her father. But seriously that is a move that should have started and ended with Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You. Moreover, all brief descriptions of this show characterize Gellar as Williams’ “high-strung” and “type-A” daughter. As far as I can tell, she is the only one in this office trying to get shit done. While Robin and his crew are trying to write the R-Kelly version of a McDonalds jingle, she is actually trying to like not get fired. What a buzzkill.

So, while I do think I’ll stop watching The Crazy Ones, I do not do so out of dislike for Robin Williams. I choose to stop watching merely because I like the Robin of my memories too much. I choose to remember him as the father in “RV” or the father-mother in “Mrs. Doubtfire” because that’s what he should be remembered for.

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