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17 years after its pilot aired, It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia is now the longest-running live-action sitcom in US TV history, with its fifteenth season now out in the world, and heading to Netflix in the UK on February 1.
With just eight episodes this season, the gang waste no time reminding us why we have missed them. In the first episode, they do 2020: A Year in Review, in which it is revealed that the gang have had large parts to play in lots of the political chaos that took place that year in the US; from voting fraud, to creating the hair dye that ran down Rudy Giuliani’s face.
In the next few episodes, the gang spend a lot of time reminiscing on their past and the lives they’ve led so far – including finally revealing how they came to buy Paddy’s Pub all those years ago. The second episode of the series goes meta as the gang (and the show’s creators) reflect on their Lethal Weapon episodes, in which they shoot their own sequels. Earlier episodes that feature the gang making Lethal Weapons 5 and 6 (as well as a few other questionable episodes) have been removed from streaming services, due to the use of blackface and other racial stereotypes. In this episode, Frank discovers that they’ve been removed from their local library for this very reason, so they decide to shoot a new movie but be more conscientious with their approach and casting decisions.
The second half of Season 15 has the gang exploring their identities. As they embark on their adventure to Ireland, there are questionable situations and certain revelations that are sure to shape their futures and their character going forward.
Removing the gang from their regular setting is always a bold move, because they’re not safe to be anywhere near the general public, let’s be honest. So plonking them in the middle of Ireland (during a global pandemic no less), was a risk for the show, but it absolutely paid off. This is Always Sunny, so of course, you can expect COVID to play its part this season some way, somehow.
15 seasons in, the show delivers its longest story-arc in the final 4 episodes of the series. Throughout the show’s run, there have been the odd ‘to be continued’ endings, but nothing of this ambition or scale. These episodes are the highlight of the season, providing the dark humour the show’s fans have come to expect in spades. There’s a particular moment in episode seven (Dee Sinks in a Bog), that takes the crown for the most disgusting thing the show has ever done – which is some feat considering what we’ve witnessed the gang do over the years.
There’s one particular scene in the season finale that is emotionally on par with the Season 13 finale ‘Mac Finds His Pride’, and I dare you not to get teary-eyed during it. It’s great to see the show’s writers, Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Glenn Howerton, prove once again that they can still pack an emotional punch among all their twisted humour when they want to. These moments are rare in the show’s historic run, but they’ve never felt out of place or shoehorned in.
Season 15 is a rollicking good time that both reflects on the show’s journey so far and proves that the gang are still the absolute worst people in the world. But we just can’t stop watching them. Not long after Season 14 was released, Always Sunny was renewed for four additional seasons, meaning we’ve still got lots more shenanigans from the gang to look forward to, and based on how strong this entire season is, I say bring them on.

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