It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas (DVD)

Christmas and holiday specials more generally have been plagued for years by a style of writing that breaks the characters in question from their normal motivation and fills them with some sort of cross-cutting holiday spirit. All involved with the It’s Always Sunny holiday special have ensured that this does not happen, and as a result, this special is one that will be remembered. First off, the DVD version of the release allows individuals (Should they want) to view an uncut version of the episode that shows DeVito in all eir glory, while the flashback versions of the main cast have some important parallels to the current crew. The print used for the DVD is considerably sharper than the broadcast print in all aspects, meaning that the incidental music is clearer, the voices cleaner, and the entirety of the effort just seems to achieve a level that is simply not present in FX’s transmission of typical episodes of the show.

The plot of the episode is very detailed and nuanced, even providing challenges for those that call themselves fans of It’s Always Sunny. Dennis and Dee look to show their father the error of their actions by getting eir old business partner back into the picture. Mr. Hamilton (this partner) wants nothing to do with the scheme, but brings the duo in line with a different plan – converting Frank. Throw in confusion about the holiday with Mac and Charlie, and a screwed-up situation comes to a boil.

The different featurettes that round out this episode make the purchase all the sweeter. Three minutes of deleted scenes further flesh out the narrative, and the making-of featurette allows cast and crew to riff about the uniqueness of the holiday episode and how It’s Always Sunny expands what viewers could conceivably expect from the art form. Finally, there is a sing-a-long that gives viewers a chance to see the It’s Always Sunny cast take on some of their favorite Christmas tunes. All in all, this may just be the best holiday special yet.

Rating: 8.2/10

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: A Very Sunny Christmas (DVD) / 2009 Fox / 43 Minutes / http://www.fox.com / http://www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/sunny

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