I'll admit it - I wasn't very impressed with how It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia began this season. While there were funny moments in the two-episode arc detailed how Dennis gets married and divorced from Maureen Ponderosa, I thought the episodes themselves were so-so. Were they funnier than every show but Community? Absolutely, but that's not saying much. I expect more from Always Sunny.
Thankfully, the last two episodes haven't let me down. Last week saw the airing of "The Gang Buys A Boat," which is in my Top Five of all the episodes they've done.
As you can imagine from the title, the premise of the episode was simple. With the residuals from their Dick Towel venture, and some money chipped in by Charlie, Mac and Dennis decide to buy a boat. Of course, all they have is $2,500, so all they can afford is a beaten-up houseboat trawler.
The humor in the episode comes from two sources. First, Frank, Charlie and Dee are left to fix up the boat, which mostly consists of Frank and Charlie talking about scraping things from the bottom of the boat, like barnicles, and cooking them in a stew. Oh, and Charlie really wants to do some shrimping, and Frank wants to catch some Delaware catfish, which are 1) endangered and 2) have toxic levels of mercury.
Meanwhile, Dennis wants to get some ladies back on the boat. This is because once they're there, they will have sex with him. You know, because of the implication. They could say no... but they won't, because of the implication of what can happen out on the ocean. Mac is initially reluctant, but then quite happy to indulge once they actually line up some women. (Also, sailors apparently don't lose their hands from gators and crocodiles as much as you'd think.) This storyline is best summed up by the following video:
Last night's episode, "Mac's Big Break," comes about after Mac and Charlie win a trivia contest on a cheesy local radio station. It gives Mac a big break: If he can score a goal from center ice at a Flyers' game, they win a trip.
However, just the fact that Mac and Charlie won this contest creates jealousy in Dennis and Dee that Frank capitalizes on. They decide that they can do a better show than the jerks that gave out the prize, and Frank starts recording a podcast with the two of them. This easily provides the best moments of the episode, along with cameos by Soldier Ben, Rickety Cricket (fresh off his wrestling bout with Frank "The Trashman" Reynolds) and The Waitress.
Although she's only in the episode for two minutes, The Waitress has the funniest bit. The podcast eventually escalates from boring, dead air to the morning zoo crap that Dennis and Dee initially critiqued. At first, The Waitress refuses when Dennis and Dee offer her $50 to drink soup out of a shoe. But she agrees when it goes up to $500. Unfortunately though, the gang doesn't have any soup - Just dirty dishwater. The Waitress refuses to drink this, so Frank just has Cricket dump the water on her head instead. Hilarity ensues!