Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Mac (Rob McElhenney), and Charlie (Charlie Day) are all the owners of an Irish bar in Philadelphia, and "Sunny" essentially follows their awkward lives - each episode revolving around some type of political or social issue such as gun control, abortion, steroids, underage drinking, health care, and the handicapped (just to touch on a few issues already addressed in the show).
It begs comparison with "Arrested Development," "The Office," "Seinfeld" and "South Park" in its broad humor and wit, but it is completely original in its own right. The pilot was filmed on a low budget by a few friends and was picked up by FX after wards, so the show retains its low-budget feel - giving it a gritty, down-to-earth edge.
"Sunny" does border on the edge of bad taste sometimes (hell, what am I saying - it crosses the line every time) but it contains enough satire and wit to get away with it. For example: in one episode Mac and Dennis decide to pick up girls at an abortion rally. Mac pretends to be pro-life just so he can be around an attractive woman, whom he ends up sleeping with. Later, she tells him she's pregnant. "You need to get an abortion," he says. This type of irony runs throughout every episode.
The banter between the characters in the show is what tends to be particularly funny. The actors - although novices - are all great. Charlie Day in particular has me laughing like crazy every episode. And his interaction with Danny DeVito (who's been brought in for season two) is hilarious. Season two is more polished so far in terms of the mechanics of the show - the characters have all been setup now and they know what they're doing - and in that regard it is seeming to get better and better with every episode.
You do have to have a very sick sense of humor to like some of this - DeVito's character, Frank, is the father of Dennis and Dee, and his reason for being in the show is that he is getting a divorce and wants to relive his glory days as a youth. He tries to re-ignite a relationship with an old girlfriend of his from high school - but when he finds out she's a grandmother and not interested in doing anything wild, his attention instantly turns to the waitress and he tunes her out. It's cruel, sick and hilarious. DeVito is playing another ruthless character (same as in "Taxi" all those years ago) and it works splendidly.
Overall this was a delightful blast of fresh air - after seeing so many stale sitcoms, this proved to me that FX really is becoming the new lead in character-driven comedy-dramas (such as the equally superb "Rescue Me" which isn't quite as funny, however).
My only hope is that "Sunny" doesn't become so popular that it attracts controversy and sells out and dumbs down its humor. Right now it's on par with the early episodes of "South Park" and "SNL" in terms of how irreverent its humor is - and personally, in my opinion, its plots are better than most comedy films I've seen within the last few years.
If you want to see something new, different, and funny, check this out. I have a feeling it could either become huge, like the next "Seinfeld," or - more realistically - it will become a cult phenomenon. Either way, I'll be watching.
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