Recap: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Episode 15.01 – “2020: A Year in Review”
The Gang is expecting a potential investor and are thinking about how to charm them. But they aren’t sure how to approach the person depending on their gender identity and preferences. Because in 2021, you just never know. Lucky for them, the “investor” is a generic vanilla white guy named Gary.
The Gang is eager to get started with talking about getting a new PPP loan. But Gary says he’s not here to hand out loans, but to collect on the three loans they already have.
First, Gary would like them to talk about how those businesses have doing in the last year.
He starts with Punch Incorporated which is Dennis and Mac’s business. Mac wanted to pursue his dream of becoming an international country teen pop sensation. He and Dennis were making progress on a great song, but the lyrics were tripping them up.
And it’s partly because they were frustrated by the election. They were concerned their “guy” who is an outsider wouldn’t get a fair shake. So they used their loan money to buy tactical gear and headed to a polling place to ensure election integrity.
One example of them attempting to do that is to make sure a woman who looked like she was from New York was eligible to vote in Philly. They ask her a series of Philly-related questions. But one question sparks a fierce debate between Dennis and Mac: Who is the better athlete? Donovan McNabb or Rocky Balboa.
After Dennis and Mac are shooed away by actual polling place security, they decide to focus on their music and use it to provide an opportunity for people to vote on the McNabb/Rocky question by putting up “Vote Here” ballot drop boxes all over the city.
Dennis and Mac admit that their boxes were “entirely responsible” for the delays in the vote counting and determining which votes were legitimate.
Gary moves on to the second loan which is for Frank’s Imports and Exports. Frank imported “sludges” and exported hair dye.
Charlie had been helping Frank dye his hair since all the salons were closed. A drunk Frank heads out to his favorite “bookstore” and was about to do some “light reading” with some adult movies when he noticed his bad dye job. So after “popping off,” Frank went about creating the perfect dye using Chinese motor oil.
Feeling happy with himself for the first time in a while, Frank set up shop in the back of the “bookstore” and dyed hair for similarly-minded older men. His business was booming.
Frank then gets a new customer who turns out to be Rudy Giuliani. They bonded over a mutual disdain over “insider beltway politics” and Frank is happy to have served America’s Mayor. However, Frank rethinks his business when he realizes he became too sloppy and cut corners by using American motor oil instead. That would explain the dripping hair dye on Giuliani’s face during a particularly heated press conference.
Finally, the third loan is for Garments and Varmints by Dee and Charlie. Their original plan was to make masks though they disagree on what kind. For Dee, that meant putting funny quips on the surgical face masks such as “Fauch the Grouch” and “Momma Needs Wine.” For Charlie, that meant investing in Halloween masks which he thought would be a big hit for people who had been cooped up inside all year.
To promote their masks, they turned to TikTok and they eventually got a big order for costumes from out of state. Charlie was especially tense about the need for more pelts which he got from the raccoons he had been tanning in the bar’s basement. During the pandemic, there was an uptick in raccoons in the bar who feasted on rat brains.
They personally delivered the costumes to the customers three hours outside of Philly for an event. And it turns out, the pelt-covered costume was for the so-called QAnon Shaman and the big event was the January 6 Capitol riots. Charlie had even thrown in a special hat to complete the look.
Charlie and Dee were also upset about their guy losing the election, especially how people criticized him for being unfit for office even though most people haven’t seen him on stage.
Anyway, now that they’ve explained more about their loans from the past year, they ask for a new loan for Paddy’s. Charlie shoots a firework inside and causes a fire in one of the booths. He quickly puts it out.
Gary is appalled. He can’t believe they would have the nerve to ask for another loan after having already gamed the system and wasted taxpayer money on fake businesses that have gone bankrupt. The Gang agrees that’s what makes America great and if their “guy” had won, maybe their businesses would’ve succeeded.
Gary says their businesses would’ve failed regardless of whether Trump won or not.
The Gang is confused. Their guy wasn’t Trump, but Kanye West. Gary cannot believe any of this is real and that they were all involved in all major events of the past year.
“Because you’re not Forrest Gump!”
Gary leaves and the Gang accepts they’re not getting the new loan. They decide to play some Kanye to lift the mood.
So first of all, it’s almost hard to believe it is Always Sunny‘s 15th season. Though I stopped actually recapping episodes every week years ago, I’ve still been a loyal viewer since. And even more, I continue to laugh as much now as I did back in 2005 when the show first premiered.
My high school-aged-self enjoyed FX shows like Rescue Me and Nip/Tuck at the time. So of course when It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia premiered, I definitely checked it out. And I immediately loved it. Hilarious, absurd, offensive. Perfect!
Probably the biggest thing about the show over the years is how they’ve stayed consistent with the laughs and fresh surprises. The world the Gang has created, including all the favorite recurring characters and insane situations for them to always draw from, is one of the best on all of TV. And being able to maintain the same level of hilariously lovable depravity for now going on 15 seasons is such a huge accomplishment.
Anyway, to this season premiere. It was an episode only Sunny could do. Now, the fact that Kanye was the Gang’s candidate was kind of predictable. I saw that coming right from the start.
But the way they were inserted into some of the biggest events of the last year (both narratively and literally at the end lol) was creative and, again, in a way only Sunny could do.
Each of the things the Gang did with their side hustles during COVID are absolutely things you would expect each of them to actually do. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Nothing was out of character. And that’s really one of the great things of the show. Being able to draw upon well-established character and story beats to come up with new, hilarious situations.
Needless to say, it’s great to have to show back after the year away. Not sure if I’ll be recapping every episode this season, but it’s exciting to see what other “controversial” topics the Gang gets themselves involved in again this time around.
Frank: “When society hits the breaks, I hit the gas, baby!”
Frank: “Society break, I got gas.”
Charlie: “We’ve been on top of each for a long time.”
Dee: “Charlie and I, we’re the last tit on the hog before the asshole.”
Charlie: “Get the pelts, you bitch!”
Frank: “Nothing made me more money than businesses I sent into bankruptcy.”