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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Gang Gets Romantic - Review: A Gay Love Story

The gang is back in town once again, this time for a fourteen season, which in today’s television era is kind of a big deal and incredible to have this many seasons! Not any show can do it, but if there is someone who can it’s the incredible team behind It’s Always Sunny. After last season’s shocking finale, we are back to our regular chaotic schemes but this time with one goal in mind: romance.

In this episode we see the gang reunited at the bar while Dee reads off of a flyer she found at the bus stop made by Frank and Charlie, who are hoping to attract some “young, bohemian Europeans with no sexual boundaries” to share their apartment with. Quickly they began to discuss and it’s revealed that Mac and Dennis are doing a similar thing, which Mac quickly defends as “very charming and romantic”.

Apparently Mac is setting up a “meet cute”, usually seen in rom-com movies, and he describes it as “when two soulmates meet under charming and or/cute circumstances”, and this all in efforts to find his long-time-roommate-and-best-friend Dennis a girlfriend. Quickly, Charlie confuses what Mac said for “meat cube”, which happens to be a recurring joke throughout the episode.

Moving to the schemes, we see Mac greeting Lisa into his apartment just as, surprise surprise, Dennis also arrives, suitcase in hand, pretending to be a tourist who is also there for Mac’s extra room. Mac acts shocked and begins to sell the lie, saying that Dennis was scheduled for next week. Dennis says it’s no big deal and that he is not a difficult person and would share the room with Lisa.

Here’s where we see the first flaw in Mac’s plan: turns out that Lisa has a husband (his name’s Greg) and she says they wouldn’t be comfortable sharing the room. In the end, Mac tells Lisa it’s no problem and that he and Dennis could share a room.

Meanwhile in Frank and Charlie’s apartment, we see them cleaning their bed (or trying to, since their room is a mess with trash all around) for the arrival of two Australian “broads”, Alexi and Nikki. This is the part where their plan goes to hell: when Frank opens the door, to their surprise they find out that Alexi and Nikki are men, who seem to be around the same age as Frank and Charlie, respectively.

Back to Mac and Dennis’ apartment, we see the two of them sharing a bed, and after a long moment of silence Dennis says that he doesn’t want to do the scheme anymore because he had “never put this much effort into banging some cute meat”. Mac explains that this is only the beginning, that it is all part of Act One: Banter. Before they begin to argue they hear the married couple fighting outside, and Mac is convinced that their marriage is on the rocks.

And then comes Dee, which Mac called her because he needed reinforcements. He has a realization and changes his plan, saying that this isn’t a rom-com about the wife, but it is about the husband, “proving that romantic leads don’t have to be likeable at all”. Mac makes Dee the new romantic lead in the scenario and leaves Dennis out of it.

Moving to Frank and Charlie’s apartment we see how the four of them acclimated. But it turns out that Alexi and Nikki are just as disgusting as Frank and Charlie are in terms of living. Nikki likes to boil some of his clothes, and Alexi uses a toe spoon to clean his feet. Frank and Charlie, unaware of how much they are alike, are disgusted and say they have to power through that night and figure out what to do tomorrow to get rid of them.

It’s morning, and Mac has put his next plan in motion: he clogged Greg’s toilet while he showered to force him to go to the hardware store, where Dee will be waiting, setting up the “meet cute” Mac wanted. He explains to Dennis that the plan is in motion for him once again, because he overheard Lisa say she “misses Teddy”, and Mac assumes that he is a platonic friend of Lisa’s that makes her husband jealous. Mac says Lisa is still a romantic lead, which makes Dennis a romantic lead as well.

Meanwhile, Frank and Charlie interact with Alexi and Nikki and discover they have more in common, like Charlie’s weird cheese sandwiches he puts on the radiator to finish. They get interrupted by an email of two women wanting to share the apartment, and because of this they kick Alexi and Nikki out.

At the hardware store, Dee and Greg have their “meet cute” but it fails so bad because Greg is not at all charmed or interested in Dee or her pipes pick-up line. He ends up leaving to another hardware store, and Dee says it is part of the “structure” of a rom-com: Act Two: Pushing Away the Soulmate.

Dennis has the same luck as Dee into charming Lisa; he offers her a glass of wine and tells her that she seems sad but that he understands the “Teddy situation”. In fact, he doesn’t even try to be charming, he goes right to the point: he says he doesn’t really care, and that he can help her forget the sadness for a few hours with “sex, banging”. This clearly backfires, because it only makes Lisa leave while crying. With these charming skills, it’s a wonder how Dennis has managed to pick up other women before, or pick up women at all.

Dennis tells Mac he is annoyed by the scheme and that he is done and going back to do his own thing (whichever that is who knows), and Mac tries to tell him to just trust the structure but fails, while Frank and Charlie welcome the European women into their apartment and it is right what they wanted to attract with their ad.

Back at the bar, we see Dee, Mac and Dennis talking over Dee’s attempt to seduce Greg, and Mac tells them that this was supposed to be the part where Lisa drops her husband after she caught him cheating to realize she needs to find true love. Mac and Dee argue about it, while Frank and Charlie walk into the bar, bragging about their experience. Dennis complains about Frank and Charlie’s success, saying everything is upside down, to what Mac says “straight is gay”. He is suddenly convinced that all of this has been a “meet cute” for himself. Dennis tells him that he’s going to help him find some romance: “It won’t play in middle America but screw it, we’ll jam it down their throats ‘til they enjoy it”.

I would like to point out that by this point, we see a shift in Dennis’ attitude when it comes to Mac, because for the past eight seasons Dennis had been increasingly more and more hostile towards him, and now we see them scheming together, just like old times. It is refreshing to see and brings back the nostalgia of earlier seasons.

Back to Frank and Charlie, they are right where they wanted to be but they come to the realization that something doesn’t feel right, and that they miss Alexi and Nikki. They think they made a huge mistake by kicking them out of the apartment. In this same scene, we see Frank and Charlie without pants (or underwear) which is not a first in the show. Anyway, Charlie finds this box that Alexi and Nikki left behind as a gift to them. It turns out to be filled with actual meat cubes, which is a reference to the running joke of the entire episode.

Lastly, in Mac and Dennis’ apartment, Dennis prepares Mac for his romantic moment with Greg, telling him to speak from the heart. Dennis even brings a CD boombox with romantic music for the moment. Mac confesses to Greg that he is the one who clogged the toilet, but if he’s given the chance he could tell “a love story for the ages. A gay, gay-ass love story” that won’t play in middle America but it will win a lot of awards and press from the liberal media.

In the end, turns out Teddy was the couple’s dead son who died from leukemia - this is probably one of the funniest, Sunny bits of the episode, when Dennis tries to stop the music but instead ends up playing Ritchie Valens’ La Bamba amongst other songs and says he doesn’t have an appropriate song for that.

The couple leaves, and Mac and Dennis are left in the apartment, where Dennis tells him that “wasn’t romantic or comedic at all”. Mac says that maybe they won’t get that romantic-comedy ending after all, just as the camera cuts to Charlie and Frank meeting up Alexi and Nikki at the bus stop, with the promise that they will return one year later.

I really liked the episode (kudos to Glenn Howerton on his directorial debut!), and it was fun to see the gang try to apply the elements of a romantic comedy to a scheme, which we knew undoubtedly that it will fail. However, I couldn’t help but feel like Mac’s speech to Greg was some kind of foreshadowing of what the show might try to do in the future.

First, we had Mac come out for good in “Hero or Hate Crime”, then we had “Mac Finds His Pride” with Mac coming out to his dad with an expressive and emotional dance. The creators were aware that there was a part of the audience that was angry about it, but they did it anyway.
Maybe Mac’s speech is foreshadowing for what’s to come this season. Maybe they will end up telling a “love story for the ages” in its very own Sunny way, either by introducing a new character (though no other character has lasted long around the gang), or maybe it is someone we already know, like Dennis, which time after time his and Mac’s extremely codependent friendship has been compared to that of an “old married couple”, and if we analyze it close enough it seems like there are several clues in this episode that are pointing to that. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

What did you think of this episode? Leave a comment below!

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