It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia—Season 1

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Decent plot set ups

Acting and stories fall flat



Welcome to Philadelphia!

Charlie (Charlie Day), Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) are trying to turn their Philadelphia bar into a success. Along the way, they find themselves fighting racism, divided about abortion, challenging underage drinking, joining the gun debate, and facing cancer and molestation, and Charlie, Mac, Dennis, and Dee aren’t afraid to get dirty along the way.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia—Season 1 premiered on FX on August 4, 2005 and ran seven episodes ending on September 15, 2005 on FX. The first season was released in a double set with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia—Season 2 (which contained ten episodes).


Can’t pick a side on abortion? Straddle the fence!

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of those shows that slowly gained momentum. All the sudden everyone was talking about the show, but primarily after the second season was released. I decided to finally go and check it out after about the fourth or fifth season…I can’t say I’m horribly impressed.

It is hard to judge this first season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia because the dynamics of the show change after this season. This season gets pretty wild at points, but it pales in comparison to some of the later episodes. It seems a lot more scripted with some more basic sitcom plots (Charlie wants his barista girl, etc.)…this changes the next season with even edgier shows.


Saved by the Bell! Mac’s ready for some molestation!

The show also is very different in the first season in that one of the major players is missing. The first season doesn’t have Danny DeVito as Dennis and Dee’s father Frank. While many point to Frank’s arrival as where the show “gets good”, I have to say I’m not a huge Danny DeVito fan and find it par with this season. DeVito seems a bit of a misplaced distraction that this season doesn’t have.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia just isn’t my thing. I place it with Family Guy in a show that should be better than it is. Sure, there are moments that make me laugh (or at least chuckle), but it is full of obnoxious people who aren’t likeable (and yes, I realize they aren’t supposed to be likeable…but they are more annoying than unlikeable). I can watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but I’d rather stick to a smarter show like South Park if I want edgy and topical comedy.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:


“The Gang Gets Racist”

1.1       The Gang Gets Racist Airdate:  08/04/05

Dee Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson) introduces a friend named Terrell (Malcolm Barrett) to Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Mac (Rob McElhenney), and Charlie (Charlie Day) to an African-American in her acting classes and the guys decide to hire Terrell to bring in a more African-American crowd.  Charlie finds himself with an African-American girlfriend named Janell (Telisha Shaw) and uses her to try to get the girl (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) he likes to go out with him.  When Terrell turns the bar into a gay bar, the guys have to decide if they want to go with it.


“Charlie Wants an Abortion”

1.2       Charlie Wants an Abortion Airdate:  08/11/05

Charlie is contacted by a Stacy Corvelli (Heather Donahue) and is told that he has a son named Tommy (Spencer Daniels).  While Charlie tries to find out if he’s really Tommy’s father, Charlie gets in good with his favorite waitress who thinks he’s part of the Big Brother/Big Sister program.  Mac joins a group of abortion protestors to get close to a girl named Megan (Autumn Reeser).  Dennis decides to protest for pro-choice rally with Dee to get women.


“Underage Drinking: A National Concern”

1.3       Underage Drinking:  A National Concern Airdate:  08/16/05

The bar becomes a hang-out for underage drinkers and the gang decides to allow it to happen to “protect” the underage from dangerous drinking.  Dee experiments with an underage kid named Trey (Robert Adamson), and Dennis finds an offer from a girl named Tammy (Jaimie Alexander) who tells him he’s legal.  Charlie and Mac are invited to a high school party.  When Dee, Charlie, and Dennis are invited to prom, Mac feels left out.


“Charlie Has Cancer”

1.4       Charlie Has Cancer Airdate:  08/23/05

Dennis learns Charlie finds he has cancer, and Dennis and Mac decide to have Dee try to get the waitress from the coffee shop as a girlfriend since she was wearing a Live-Strong bracelet.  Dee drops out of the plan in exchange for the bar hiring her acting partner Artemis (Artemis Pebdani), and Dennis and Mac finds he can score by talking about Charlie’s cancer.  Mac experiments with a transsexual named Carmen (Brittany Daniel).


“Gun Fever”

1.5       Gun Fever Airdate:  08/30/05

When the bar gets robbed, the gang decides they should get a gun because of the string of bar robberies.  Dee takes a wealthy boyfriend named Colin (Michael Rosenbaum) who seems to always be dating bartenders, and Colin gets her to shoot a gun.  Charlie deals with late rent and tries to get his landlord off his back.  Mac and Dennis worry that Charlie has gun fever and decide to investigate the safe theft.


“The Gang Finds a Dead Guy”

1.6       The Gang Finds a Dead Guy Airdate:  09/06/05

A dead man is found at the bar and Mac and Dennis decide to hit on his granddaughter (Lindsey McKeon) when she comes to see where her grandfather died.  Dee decides she has to see her grandfather in the nursing home but takes Charlie to help her fear of old people.  Dennis competes with Mac for , and arranges a gathering by hiring homeless people to pose as his friends.  When Dee and Dennis’ grandfather (Tom Bower) mistakes Charlie for Dennis, Charlie is asked to help him find his uniform to buried in, but Charlie discovers he was a Nazi.


“Charlie Got Molested”

1.7       Charlie G0t Molested Airdate:  09/13/05

When one of Mac and Charlie’s teachers gets accused of molestation, Mac, Dee, and Dennis realizes Charlie is a victim.  Mac finds himself questioning why he wasn’t a victim of molestation if he was in the class with Charlie.  Charlie finds himself in a sticky situation with the McPoyle brothers (Nate Mooney Jimmi Simpson) who reveal they will tell the police that he came up with the idea to claim molestation.  Dee and Dennis decide to use their psychology studies to set up an intervention for Charlie.

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Related Links:

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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