Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Future of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

FX didn't know what they were getting themselves into when they started airing It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in August 2005. The network was being known for airing some very serious shows like The Shield and Rescue Me. A concept about four idiots running a bar didn't wow viewers, but it did garner a decent reception. With a few changes, the second season flew by and the show has continued in stride to be the show that beats to its own tune.

After running for eight seasons, it made the move to FXX when the new network launched in 2013. I have watched these last four seasons and it shows how crazy the cast can get and the stuff they are able to get away with. Yet, it's still funny. The dynamic has not changed. Whether it's pointless arguments to getting revenge on a guest star or themselves, the original intentions have not gotten away from creator Rob McElhenney. Despite these last four years, it has not been huge with ratings. However, there hasn't been any concern for Fox. Last year, It's Always Sunny was renewed for at least two more seasons following this season. Despite 130 plus episodes, it will be one of the longest running live action comedies in the United States.

In the realm of cable, a few million viewers is good enough to keep continuing. Always Sunny doesn't have the numbers despite its ratings being pretty consistent now these days, but it has that cult following and people looking to keep watching through streaming. Netflix has had the show on there for a long time. Hulu has it as well. The FXNow app lets you watch their latest episodes along with the FX Networks website. The fact it's still going without much concern as mentioned earlier shows they have strong faith in a show that really doesn't get accolades compared to awful stuff like The Big Bang Theory. Odds are there are probably still people who have not heard of Always Sunny. It slips through the cracks and is considered by some one of television's underrated programs.

That being said, eventually those ratings are not going to be enough or the episodes may not be put in high regard. I'm not wishing for the show to be cancelled, but most shows start to struggle late in their runs. Always Sunny is one of the few exceptions. It has managed to push the envelope even further and does so in a manner where it keeps it fresh without going overboard. You can see the evolution of it since it's first episode. The first few seasons feel like they were deranged but able to handle themselves somewhat in society. These last few years go towards the crazier route to where all bets are off.

As long as the quality is still there and no real changes are made, Always Sunny is going to keep airing until they feel it's time to give it the curtain call. That might come up quicker because of the age of Danny DeVito, who joined in its second season. Not to mention some of the other cast members doing their own films and appearances on television. Either way, they still have quite a bit of time before filming a new season whenever that comes. Even though they are signed on for a few more year, anything could happen.

Down the road years from now, Always Sunny will be held in high regard compared to some of the mainstream shows of today. It has the checklist marked with the all stuff that is needed to run for a long time and become a modern classic. May this show continue to get all the respect it deserves.

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