DVD REVIEW: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - A Very Sunny Christmas
'Tis the spirit at Paddy's Irish Pub in good old Philly...
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The crazy antics of Dennis, Mac, Dee, Charlie, and Frank have been entertaining fans on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia for five seasons. The hilarious FX comedy focuses on the five employees/owners of Paddy's Irish Pub in the city of brotherly love and the awful predicaments they get into on a weekly basis. No topic is taboo, and past stories have dealt with cannibalism, abortion, illegal immigration, terrorism, and more! While season five of Sunny is currently airing, available exclusively on DVD now is the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia A Very Sunny Christmas!
The rundown Paddy's Irish Pub is managed, poorly, by the best friends Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Mac (Rob MacElhenney). Dennis’ sister Dee (Kaitlin Olson) works as a bartender, while their friend Charlie (Charlie Kelly) takes care of the less savory tasks. Finally there’s Frank (Danny DeVito), Dennis and Dee’s father and part owner of Paddy’s. Friends since childhood, the fivesome is always looking to get rich quick and play tricks on one another, often resulting in chaos.
The "Very Sunny Christmas" DVD comes packaged in a standard DVD case. The front cover is a simple image of the five main characters decked out in their bizarre Christmas attire including chains, a racecar driver’s outfit, an ‘80s robot, and a Simon game. The back cover of the package has a brief description of the plot at the top with a listing of the special features at the bottom. The disc itself is decorated with a cartoon Christmas tree, and there’s also an included advertisement for Sunny goods on the FX website. The DVD menus are pretty simple, with a cool intro featuring the Paddy’s crew in a snow globe.
The Very Sunny Christmas is a special event DVD dealing with the childhood traumas of the Paddy’s pub crew and how they try to overcome them and get in the Christmas spirit at the same time. Along the way they deal with repressed memories of various crimes and abuse, old business partners, violence against Santa, the true meaning of giving, and so much more. It’s essentially a two-part episode only available on DVD, which not coincidentally means that they’re much freer when it comes to profanity and some (male) nudity.
The bizarre antics and situations of a Very Sunny Christmas won’t come as a surprise to long-time fans, though first time viewers might be rightfully confused. The normal rules of the Paddy’s world apply, where alcohol is consumed non-stop and laws are ignored or willfully broken. With a larger budget, the Very Sunny Christmas has some perks not usually found in Sunny episodes. Flashbacks include a lot of familiar faces from the show’s past, along with new children acting as younger versions of the Paddy’s crew. Toward the end of the special is an honest-to-goodness traditional Christmastime claymation event complete with song! Don’t worry; it’s crazy, it’s gory, and it’s hilarious.
The Very Sunny Christmas has a handful of extras including deleted scenes of the young Mac and Charlie, an extensive behind the scenes look at filming, and a truly strange sing-a-long featuring camera tricks and creepy sound effects. While not great on their own, the extras do make the DVD more worthwhile.
Sunny fans will not be complete without the Very Sunny Christmas DVD (or Blu-ray). There are no plans currently for the special to air on television, and even it does it will be edited for content. While I wouldn’t say that the DVD is a good introduction to the show, it is a great addition to the overall story. Trust me, you’ll never look at Christmas the same way again.
- Scott Rubin
Review sample courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Re: DVD REVIEW: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - A Very Sunny Christmas
I like this show and I am very eagerly waiting of its upcoming season 6. I usually watch this show online and have not purchased any DVD set of this series.