Nitwit comedy par excellence, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 6 hits Blu-ray with the show’s typical combination of idiot hijinks, fun mean-spiritedness, and jovial profanity. With the cast members of the long-running FX series firmly in place and spreading their own brand of demented glee through twelve ludicrously silly episodes, season six is, as the others have been, laugh-out-loud funny for much of its length. And what occasionally doesn’t work isn’t prolonged enough to matter. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia combines some of the physical wackiness of The Three Stooges comedies with the verbal madness of the Marx Brothers. It may be a cable comedy series, but these lovable losers pack a lot of funny into a typical 21-minute episode. Every line in every episode may not make everyone laugh and if one is expecting political correctness, look elsewhere for laughs, but those viewers with even the slightest sense of humor should find some parts of this series hysterical.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 6 (Blu-ray)
Directed by Randall Einhorn, Matt Shakman
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 1080p AVC codec
Running Time: 264 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Subtitles: SDH, Spanish, French
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Review Date: September 12, 2011
Siblings Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Dee (Kaitlin Olson), their father Frank (Danny DeVito), and buddies Charlie (Charlie Day) and Mac (Rob McElhenney) are off on another season of wacky adventures, everything from getting hastily married and divorced (all the while trying to thrash through the muddle in Mac’s mind of what constitutes gay marriage) to buying a boat (naturally, they never leave the dock), ice skating without skates, trying to crash a private swimming club, and making their own stupendously ridiculous (and hilarious) sequel to Lethal Weapon. There are also episodes that revolve around Dee becoming a substitute drama teacher as well as Charlie’s being ousted from the group in favor of old discarded friend Schmitty (Jason Sudeikis). Dee's pregnancy also figures into some episodes including the season finale. Along the way, additional guest stars like Dave Foley as a high school principal, Rene Aberjonois as an indifferent drama teacher, and Tom Sizemore as a suspicious trucker add spice to the wacky mix of strange yet endearing personalities.
The four young members of the cast plus veteran Danny DeVito are so experienced with their roles now that playing these child-adults one step above morons is effortless, and their ensemble camaraderie and the obvious improvisation going on, essential for the comedy to work when the jokes are lame, is exemplary. True, a little of Danny DeVito can go a long way, but it’s all in the service of laughter, and he is a bit more restrained this season than in prior years (no butt crack moments this season), and the result is hilarity, robust and continual.
Here are the twelve episodes contained on two Blu-ray discs in this set. Those shows marked with an asterisk (*) indicate episodes which have a running commentary.
1 – Mac Fights Gay Marriage
2 – Dennis Gets Divorced
*3 – The Gang Buys a Boat
4 – Mac’s Big Break
5 – Mac and Charlie: White Trash
6 – Mac’s Mom Burns Her House Down
*7 – Who Got Dee Pregnant (Rashomon-style story is the season’s best)
8 – The Gang Gets a New Member
9 – Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth (the Lethal Weapon 5 episode)
*10 – Charlie Kelly: King of Rats
*11 – The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods
12 – Dee Gives Birth
For the first time, the show has been shot in high definition and presented in true HD and not upconverted standard definition. The 1.78:1 aspect ratio is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec, and there is a stunning difference in picture clarity, solidity of image, color saturation consistency, and flesh tone accuracy, all of which are leagues ahead of anything yet seen on disc for this series. Except for a few slightly soft establishing shots, sharpness is crisp, and there are none of the compression artifacts which plagued the scene-setting shots in previous seasons. Each episode has been divided into 5 chapters.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix places the show’s most important element – dialogue – front and center with the recordings clear and accurate even when done live on location. The stock music score is given an expansive orchestration into all available channels giving an ironically lush sound to the crass and classless endeavors of these loons. Ambient sounds don’t get much attention in the surround sound mix.
The four audio commentaries are all provided by actors Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, and Rob McElhenney. Though they try to keep the talk going, by the second or third episode, they’re just quoting dialogue from the screen. So, only fans of the three actors will enjoy the rather meandering asides they make in these commentaries.
“The Sunny Flip Cup Trivia Challenge” is a three-level game involving trivia questions and memory contests relating to the events in season six.
All of the bonus featurettes are presented in 1080p unless otherwise noted.
There are six deleted/extended scenes which are presented in one 14 ¾-minute grouping.
The season six blooper reel runs for 6 ¾ minutes.
Lethal Weapon 5 extended cut presents the entire movie made by Charlie, Mac, and Dennis in all its 14 ½-minute glory. There is also an optional commentary by the three actors in character as their series counterparts which the viewer may turn on.
There are three podcasts by Dennis and Dee as shown on the internet. They may be viewed separately or in one 12 ¾-minute bunch. They’re in 1080i.
“Legal Advice with Jack Kelly” offers an internet bonus feature with Q&A’s with the hand-conscious attorney in a 3 ¼-minute, 1080i vignette.
The complete pilot episode of Wilfred is presented in 1080p.
The discs are BD-Live Ready and offer one additional bonus feature not on the discs, a fourth Dee and Dennis podcast “The Biggest Loser” which runs 3 ¼ minutes.
The disc has promo trailers for FX series, Louie, and Wilfred.
4/5 (not an average)
Moronic comedy can be good for one’s constitution every once in a while, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia offers both inanity and wit in this season six package. Finally presented in true high definition for the first time, the clarity and slickness may seem a bit ill-suited to the Paddy’s Pub inhabitants, but viewers will soon be right at home with the impressive presentation. Recommended!