DVD Review It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas
Directed by: Fred Savage Cast: Charlie Reynolds, Kaitlin Olson, Glenn Howerton, Rob, McElhenney, Danny DeVito Running Time: 43 mins Rating: NR Due Out: November 17, 2009 Buy - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Its A Very Sunny Christmas
PLOT: The gang at Paddy's pub gets ready for Christmas in only ways that they know how. Mac and Charlie are off to relearn the Christmas spirit. Dennis and Dee are trying to teach Frank a lesson ala the Christmas Carol. Needless to say, things don't go as planned.
WHO'S IT FOR? If you watch this series week in and week out, desperately waiting for new episodes, then this is for you. If you've never seen the show before, this isn't where you should start. This is a dysfunctional "Seinfeld" and yes, I know there is some redundancy in that.
With it being Christmas Eve, Mac and Charlie can't wait for their annual tradition of getting drunk, forgetting to put up decorations, and then throwing rocks at trains. Seems reasonable for them. Meanwhile, every Christmas Frank gets Dennis and Dee's dream gifts, only he keeps it for himself. Frank thinks this teaches the kids life lessons. They think he sucks.
When Charlie and Mac start looking closely at the Christmas they grew up with, things start to unravel. Mac's Christmases consisted of stealing from other families. Charlie's mom was a prostitute.
Dennis and Dee never really get things going with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future with Frank. But a car crash sends him into a Claymation-style Christmas (with blood) where he finally realizes the true meaning of Christmas. But with every episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" this isn't going to be a happy ending, right?
The big jokes in what amounts to a double episode come from blood. With the most awkward coming when Charlie attacks a mall Santa. It's tough to find the humor in this moment, when blood is dripping from from Charlie's chin, and the moment is never brought up again. After all, if Charlie killed Santa, that's something we need to know, right?
MOVIE SCORE: 6/10
Young Charlie and Young Mac Deleted Scenes: Yup, it makes sense that these were deleted. Sure, we get more insight into what kind of childhood Charlie and Mac were exposed to, but I just don't see where these moments would have fit in to the episode.
Behind-the-Scenes Making of Featurette: Introduced by Olson, it's a basic run-of-the-mill behind-the-scenes. Fred Savage gets some screen time, Olson tries to tell a sweet Cabbage Patch Kids story, and DeVito is afraid of the snow machine. That's about all the insight we get.
Sunny Sing-A-Long: Don't do drugs. Or maybe do. I can't quite understand the point of this warped Christmas carol singing.
EXTRAS SCORE: 5/10
Die hard fans will eat up anything from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." And a Christmas special seems like a great idea. Unfortunately some extra violence and f-bombs are about all that is different from this less-than-an-hour special. The TV series is great, but this special doesn't hold up to the show's top episodes. I've seen an episode about flip cup, that will come out later this season, that packs many more laughs in it's 22 minutes.
A Very Sunny Christmas is not the episode to introduce to someone who has never seen the show. They simply won't get it. Fans will be content, but shouldn't be overly impressed. The extras on the DVD don't really help either. A commentary track wouldn't have taken much time, maybe a script reading as well. Look, it's always sunny, but I was hoping for a special that was a little more sunny than usual.
FINAL SCORE: 6/10