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‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Seasons 11 and 12 Announced by FXX

The sun is going to keep on shining in Philadelphia for at least two more seasons. TV Line  confirms FXX has renewed  It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia  for an eleventh and twelfth season, making the series the longest running comedy in basic cable history. Both seasons will consist of 10 episodes each. Additionally, FXX has also locked down the primary cast. Read More... http://www.tvequals.com/2014/04/04/its-always-sunny-in-philadelphia-seasons-11-and-12-announced-by-fxx/

SideReel Takes One for the Team

March is an epic sports month. Baseball is back, March Madness is imminent (or in progress, depending on when you're reading this), regular season pro-basketball and hockey games start to have a desperate feel to them. (Also, it's lacrosse season, which probably means something to a select few!) SideReel doesn't cover sports, but we do cover sports-themed television, so we've put together a list of the most sportacular episodes of our favorite shows. Did your choice make the Elite Eight?   How I Met Your Mother  S3E14: The Bracket (The Final Four) Truthfully, this is only tangentially related to sports, but given that it was a nod to the, uh... growing field of bracketology (and not at all a shameless ploy to promote CBS 's ownership of the NCAA Basketball tournament), but it is a well-crafted episode that finally acknowledges that Barney is kind of (and by kind of I mean extremely) cruel to women. Turns out that in the aftermath of being Barn-stormed (did he ever use that? If not, he should have), they don't really hold him in high regard. Also, basketball is referenced.   Friday Night Lights  S7E42: State Season one of FNL was basically flawless. From its heartbreaking pilot to its joyful finale, it was a perfect and gorgeously paced paean to the long game. For my money, "State" has the most touching scene in the entire series: the victory parade set to Tony Lucca 's cover of Texas legend Daniel Johnston 's " Devil Town ". As the Greek chorus that is local sports radio says of Coach Eric Taylor at the end, "He healed this team, and he healed this town."     The Simpsons  S3E17: Homer at the Bat There are many strange and wonderful moments in the third season of The Simpsons , but this episode certainly serves as a time capsule of the era we chose to believe the best of our baseball players. The roster of stars in this episode also does double-duty as a list of "Yikes, that guy! Eeesh." True, there are some on there who survived the '90s with their reputations intact, but there were some other spectacular flameouts. Luckily, the best line in the episode is uttered by good guy Ken Griffey, Jr., and I'll tune in every time to hear him say, "There's a party in my mouth, and everyone's invited!" (a line he reportedly had great trouble recording).   Switched at Birth  S7E40: Game On Switched at Birth is a pioneering show that should get more respect among the wider population than it does. Newsflash, America: ABC Family is not just for teens! Aside from the fact that it's given wonderful exposure to the deaf community, its characters have real, multidimensional personalities. Bay Kennish is a talented modern artist, while Daphne Vasquez (the terrific Katie Leclerc) is a gifted basketball player. "Game On" puts her team (from Carlton School for the Deaf) into a regional basketball tournament—and they truly shine. Sure, the underdog victory is a frequently-used trope on TV, but SaB never makes it feel trite, just exciting, honest, and well-deserved.   Star Trek: Deep Space Nine  S7E4: Take Me Out to the Holosuite There's no crying in spaceball! I was always charmed by DS9 's references to baseball as an obscure and weird obsession of Captain Sisko's. It was one of those things that made the show actually feel like it was from the future, looking at something so omnipresent to us now the way we look at the harpsichord. Imagine trying to learn a sport that went out of fashion hundreds of years ago—and playing it against a species that's stronger, smarter, and (supposedly) unphased by pressure? Vulcans are practically naturally dosed with PEDs! It's a cheerful hour in an overwhelmingly dark final season, and all the more wonderful for that.   The Colbert Report  S6E11: Dick Ebersol Stephen Colbert takes on speedskating and the Winter Olympics in general in this 2010 episode featuring Shani Davis and then-head of NBC Sports, Dick Ebersol. Doing what he does best—skewering those who take themselves too seriously, something the Winter Olympics (and the Summer Olympics!) have long been guilty of—Colbert is untouchable. The guy probably deserves some kind of gold medal—in fact, I'm sure he'd be the first to agree.     It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia  S5E7: The Gang Wrestles for the Troops Pro-wrestling is a sport! Or, at the very least, it's a "sport"... probably... maybe. Its overt narcissism and "villainy" are the same qualities found in an average episode of It's Always Sunny , which make the two an ideal match. Plus, having donned their eagle (pigeon) costumes, the guys sing about being BIRDS OF WAR before taking on poor Rickety Cricket, shown here having the most demeaning moment of his life up to this point. Oh, Cricks, it doesn't get better. [Sadface.]   The League  S2E13: The Sacko Bowl SideReel kind of loves The League ! And by kind of, I mean WE LOVE THE LEAGUE ! None of us actually do fantasy sports, but it doesn't stop us from enjoying it vicariously through this show, what with its excellent cast and mean jokes (we, too, are excellent and mean). So it's appreciated that there's a competition for last place (the titular bowl) which leads to a year-long shaming of the "winner." We're not bad people, we just like watching them on TV.   Leah E. Friedman  is the editor of SideReel.com. When she was 8, she asked a JCC basketball coach to take her out of the game due to perspiration. You can follow her musings on  Twitter .

SideReel's Guide to Travel (Television)

The dead of winter is a tough time! The post-holiday glow has turned into a monthlong hangover, you don't want to use up your vacation time yet, and it's too cold to do much of anything except hide under a blanket. But fret not, SideReelers! We've put together a list of our favorite travel-themed episodes just for you. So go ahead; substitute the warmth of your television for the warmth of the sun, and hide away until spring.     An Idiot Abroad  S2E7: Mount Fuji Karl Pilkington (the ornery producer of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's radio series) was sent around the world—three times—on  An Idiot Abroad . He hated every minute of it. But out of his irritation and confusion often came somewhat profound statements. HIs trip to Japan's Mount Fuji allows for quite a bit of demented-yet-beautiful introspection. Upon reaching the summit, he utters in wonderment what so many have probably thought about accomplishing any great feat: "I've done it, haven't I? Completed it. But I feel like shit, even though... that's amazing... I feel like shite."   Friends  S4E23: The One With Ross's Wedding Travel episodes are designed to take well-known characters out of their comfort zones—something that's especially necessary when we only really see them on three or four sets.  Friends  did a number of travel episodes for this very reason, but this two-parter, set in London for (one of) Ross's (many) wedding(s) upped the ante for everyone (Monica and Chandler have sex! Rachel crashes the ceremony! Phoebe's stuck at home and super pregnant!), while also offering a delightful montage of all things British (set to the iconic "London Calling" ) as well as appearances by billionaire Richard Branson, the Duchess of York, and a pre- House Hugh Laurie.   Modern Family  S1E23: Hawaii Pity the Pritchetts, pretty please. Phil and Claire might live a charmed life now, but they never did get their perfect wedding or honeymoon. Phil (hapless though he is) wants to change that on their family trip to Hawaii. Anyway, the rationale is really beside the point, as what this episode does is show us what a vacation at a luxe Hawaiian resort is like. Spoiler alert: It's really nice. Sure, Haley flirts with boys and gets drunk and Cam and Mitchell lose Lily, but those are just hijinx. In the end, it's hard not to be squarely focused on those vistas and infinity pools. Hmm, how much is a flight to Hawaii anyway?   Parks and Recreation  S5E1: Ms. Knope Goes to Washington Leslie Knope's perky enthusiasm for everything government couldn't possibly have a better showcase than this episode which finds her and office dullard Andy visiting Washington D.C. to visit their respective paramours, Ben and April. And you know what? D.C. benefits from their earnestly happy mid-westernness, especially in contrast to its usual televised portrayal as a dark hellhole teeming with evil. Cameos by actual lawmakers (Senators Boxer, Snowe, and McCain) give the impression that it's just that easy to bump into the powers that be when in the nation's capital, but let's be honest: It'd be way more exciting to meet Knope.   Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations  S1E2: Iceland Only masochists (and your editor) vacation in Iceland in the winter. It's pitch-black for all but four hours per day, and there isn't much to do but eat, drink, and sit in the hotsprings. Actually, I'm totally unclear as to how that's not an ideal vacation. Anthony Bourdain would seem to agree with me, it seems. In this second episode of his landmark Travel Channel series, the man enjoys all the hospitality of this tiny Viking nation, and delves into its particular delicacies—including Hákarl , Iceland's famous fermented shark.     It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia  S5E2: The Gang Hits the Road The most difficult part of traveling is, well, the traveling aspect. Once you get where you're going it's bliss—or at least it should be. The Gang being The Gang, though, they never actually make it to their destination. They get sidetracked by the requirements of Dee's bladder, the wonders of Philadelphia's Italian Market (where Charlie tries a pear for the first time and is... underwhelmed to say the least), and the fact that they're all just too damn lazy to do the work of driving. But why leave Philadelphia anyway? At least that's what I keep asking myself.   Bones  S9E7: The Nazi on the Honeymoon There's nothing more singularly irritating on a vacation than a workaholic. Unless that workaholic is Temperance Brennan and the vacation is her long-awaited honeymoon with new husband Seeley Booth. Why see the sights of the Paris of South America (or Buenos Aires, Argentina, as it's formally known) when you can go to the city morgue and get involved in Nazi hunting? I mean, that's the most romantic getaway I can think of. Besides, how many beaches can you sit on before you yearn to be reunited with your bonesaw?   The Simpsons  S7E20: Bart on the Road "The Simpsons are going to [place name]," is a timeworn plot device on this past-its-prime series, but this Bart-centric episode from the seventh season will never cease to be gut-bustingly funny. Through a convoluted series of events, Bart, Millhouse, Nelson, and Martin end up with a rented car, and decide to travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to see the Sunsphere —which turns out to be a decrepit tower filled with wigs. I'd say something about the destruction of the Sunsphere being a metaphor for what happened to this once-great series, but you know what? Let's just bask in the glory of its heyday.   Leah E. Friedman  is the editor of SideReel.com. She once traveled to Sweden in February. You can follow her musings on  Twitter .

The 15 Funniest Episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

I'll say it. I'm basically an awful human being. And as an awful human being, I love that paean to sociopathy,  It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia . True, I'm from Philly, and I'm fairly certain they used my friend's apartment building for the exterior shot of Dee's apartment, but that's neither here nor there. I love the show because it's hilarious and mean. But when I sat down to pick the 15 funniest episodes, I ran into a problem. In rewatching the series, I realized that something like 90% (conservative estimate) of the episodes are amazing . So these are MY top 15. You might pick a totally different bunch. So if you think I'm wrong (and yes, I know I left Pepe Silvia and can wine AND Charlie going America all over everyone's asses off the list), argue with me. It'd only be in the spirit of the show, after all. Worst case scenario, I'll be relegated to Charlie work.   15. The Gang Recycles Their Trash Season 8, Episode 2 Sunny skewers its characters on a regular basis, but it's the meta-skewering in this episode that vaults it into the top 15. And when the sanitation workers of Philadelphia go on strike, why shouldn't the gang retry failed schemes of the past (from selling a service door-to-door to running billboards) and see them kind of succeed for once? In an otherwise lackluster season, "The Gang Recycles Their Trash" seems to acknowledge that the show's best days may be behind it, but at least it's not going to pretend it doesn't know that.   14. Thunder Gun Express Season 7, Episode 11 This one clearly takes inspiration from the episode of Seinfeld where that foursome tried (and mostly failed) to meet up for a movie. But as misanthropic as that show was, this one — that has the gang running around Philadelphia, ditching one another when it becomes convenient, and... uh... hijacking a boat full of tourists — probably beats out that nihilistic masterpiece. Bonus creepy points go to Dennis listening to his self-recorded sex tapes in the car.   13. The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6 Season 9, Episode 9 With the blackface vs. blackvoice argument a thing of the past, "Lethal Weapon 6" is pure fan service. There's barely a framing story here and what little does exist is just an excuse to build on season 6's "Dee Reynolds: Shaping America's Youth" and show more of the gang's demented take on the Lethal Weapon franchise. Yes, Mac and Dennis switch characters halfway through and Frank gets his creepy sex scene featured, but it's the homoerotic locker room scene where Mac's latent urges for Dennis take center stage that steals the show.   12. Mac and Dennis Break Up Season 5, Episode 9 A throwaway insult from Dee causes Mac and Dennis to question if they're not just a little too dependent on each other, causing a game of musical apartments. Mac attempts to spend time with Charlie and Frank, which causes Charlie to head over to Dee's, etc. Dee attempts to right her wrong by luring the roommates to dinner with the promise of "large breasted women" — who, of course, fail to arrive — and the boys are once again best friends. As Sunny goes, this is as low key as it gets, but even it's smaller, sweeter premise leads to some ace Charlie lines, including the iconic "Cats do not abide by the laws of nature."   11. Charlie Gets Molested Season 1, Episode 7 You'd think that even a show whose pilot was called "The Gang Gets Racist" would draw the line at making fun of child abuse. You would be wrong. The first season ends with this supremely warped (and, well, hilarious) episode in which we meet both the disgustingly greasy and opportunistic McPoyle brothers and Charlie's perverted, pedophilia-inclined Uncle Jack. In playing Charlie's potential childhood molestation (at the hands of a gym teacher) for laughs, we were given the first brutally honest glimpse of what we'd be in for in the following seasons, a mentality exemplified in this exchange: Charlie: OK, OK. First of all, there are people out there who actually have been molested and you guys are going to exploit that for your own personal gain? You assholes are securing your places in hell. Ryan McPoyle: We've thought about it. We're willing to roll the dice.   10. The Gang Saves the Day Season 9, Episode 6 How would you react if you were in a convenience store being held up? If you'd use the situation to your own advantage — whether that's to showcase your karate skills, become a famous actress (don't ask), or marry the woman of your dreams — congratulations, you'd fit right in with the gang. Really, the episode is in pretty strong territory up until the last segment: Charlie's dream, a note-perfect homage to Up, where his fondest dream is not to travel to Paradise Falls, but instead to purchase bushels of janitor and waitress children at the "Baby Store," and bury his beloved wife next to his equally beloved rats. It's sweet and sad and hysterical all at the same time.   9. The Gang Gets a New Member Season 6, Episode 8 Group cohesion is a fragile thing. Introduce a rogue element, and it could all come crashing down. The rogue element in this case being Jason Sudeikis as a former member of the gang. Previously (and poetically) ejected from the group by being pushed out of a moving car, this time he's back and better than Charlie at just about everything — butt dance included — except deferring to Mac and Dennis. The decision is clear: ejection by vehicle, part deux. On the upside, Mac is now free to eat fries, despite Dennis's fatwa on the action.   8. Paddy's Pub: Home of the Original Kitten Mittens Season 5, Episode 8 Just gonna leave this here: Hello, Charlie Kelly here, local business owner and cat enthusiast. Is your cat making too much noise all the time? Is your cat constantly stomping around driving you crazy? Is your cat clawing at your furniture? Think there’s no answer? You’re so stupid! There is! Kitten Mittens. Finally, there is an elegant, comfortable mitten for cats…. I couldn’t hear anything! Is your cat one-legged? Is your cat fat, skinny, or an in-between? That doesn’t matter! Cause one size fits all! Kitten Mittens! You’ll be smitten!   7. Mac Fights Gay Marriage Season 6, Episode 1 Mac's biblical convictions (and his willingness to abandon them) have always been a big part of Sunny, but never moreso than when he attempts to justify his rejection by a transwoman whom he'd bedded before her final surgery. Incensed that she's now free to marry someone he deems subpar, he embarks on a one-man crusade — all the time ignoring Charlie and Frank's impending tax-related (and possibly incestuous) nuptials. I guess the Bible only applies to hot chicks.   6. The World Series Defense Season 5, Episode 6 OK, let me level with you: This was the first Sunny episode I ever watched — and it was only because of its Phillies connection. I watched it at work (hiyo!) and then I immediately watched it again. And thus a love story was born! Truthfully, Sunny doesn't acknowledge its hometown often enough for my taste, but this is a terrifically funny tribute to Philadelphia and its fairly insane fans. It's also the genesis of Mac's sticker-laden love letter to Chase Utley, which is a tour de force of epistolary storytelling in its own right.   5. The Gang Gives Back Season 2, Episode 6 We're in the homestretch here, so we're getting to the really disturbing essence of the the gang. Blow up a building in the name of fake jihad and what's your sentence? Apparently in Philadelphia, it's to work with underprivileged youth in a rec basketball league. Yikes. Of course (of course!) the gang splits up and teaches the kids to fight dirty, complete with shoving tacks into opponents. But it's Charlie's discovery of the Waitress in his court-ordered AA session that really cultivates the seeds of her hatred sown in the next episode on our list.   4. Mac Bangs Dennis' Mom Season 2, Episode 4 There are no real winners in this episode, but there are two clear losers: Charlie and the Waitress. In using his knowledge of Mac's indiscretion with the twins' mother to manipulate the rest of the gang for his own purposes, he inadevertenly causes the object of his affection to sleep with... Frank. She, of course, only sleeps with him in order to get back at Dennis, who'd been playing his own game with Charlie. Charlie is shattered. The Waitress is shattered. But us? We laugh. Because we're all actually terrible people.   3. Dee's Dating a Retarded Person Season 3, Episode 9 Dennis might actually be the worst person in the gang. The others all have their own issues, but he likes to manipulate them for the fun of it. He's basically a psychopath. Case in point: this episode. Dennis convinces his sister that the up-and-coming rapper she's dating suffers from mental retardation (a term that I, quite frankly, don't even feel comfortable writing). He even accompanies her to the boyfriend's house (he lives with his mom) and so colors her opinion of him that she feels forced to dump him based on suspicion alone. But really, the main storyline here is less important than what gets introduced in this episode, namely, The Nightman. More on that in a second.   2. The Waitress is Getting Married Season 5, Episode 5 Sunny is at its best when it functions as a showcase for Charlie's incomprehensible tendencies, which is why the last two entries on this list are what they are. The gang, worried for Charlie (aw) when they find out the Waitress is engaged, set out to find their put-upon friend a match. I'm not sure any description can do justice to this episode, all I can do is quote Charlie, trying to explain that he's a philanthropist: "I'm a full-on rapist! You know: Africans, dyslexics, children. That sorta thing."   1. The Nightman Cometh Season 4, Episode 13 And here we are, the episode so amazing, they took it on the road and toured with it. A send-up of musicals, romance, and the show itself, The Nightman Cometh is one of the funniest half-hours that has ever aired on television. Kudos especially to the fearless Charlie Day, who's never been better, and is clearly having the time of his life. Get this man a Broadway show, stat. Bonus Pepe Silvia: Leah E. Friedman  is the editor of SideReel.com. She's from Philadelphia and she's a terrible person, but the two aren't related. If you know where to get a Wawa hoagie in San Francisco, she's all ears. You can follow her musings on  Twitter . 

'It's Always Sunny': 'The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6' - What did you think?

The glorious moment as come, as "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" presented their version of "Lethal Weapon 6," which is likely the only version anyone will ever see. The episode centers around the gang looking for $40 million to finish the movie they've already filmed.The movie within the episode features several memorable moments, including Mac (Rob McElhenney) in way too much blackface makeup while portraying Danny Glover's character, Roger Murtaugh. While Dennis (Glenn Howerton) spends most of the episode playing Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), the two of them switch places partway through.Just to make it a little more bizarre, Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) gets in on the blackface as well, playing Murtaugh's daughter, who is marrying Riggs. Unfortunately for the gang, none of their potential investors, including a bank and a dot com company, are interested. That means they're forced to rely on Frank (Danny DeVito) to bankroll them. Of course, with his money on... http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2013/10/its-always-sunny-the-gang-makes-lethal-weapon-6---what-did-you-think.html

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 9 Finale 2013 “The Gang Squashes Their Beefs”

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia  “The Gang Squashes Their Beefs” Season 9 Episode 10 airs Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 10:00pm on FXX. Episode Synopsis:  “The Gang Squashes Their Beefs” – When some bad blood with old foes compromises their ideal Thanksgiving, the gang decides to make amends by breaking bread with those they’ve hurt. Read More... http://www.tvequals.com/2013/11/06/its-always-sunny-in-philadelphia-season-9-finale-2013-the-gang-squashes-their-beefs/

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 9 Episode 9 “The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6?

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia  “The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6″ Season 9 Episode 9 airs Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 10:00pm on FXX. Episode Synopsis:  “The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6″ – After creative differences over what constitutes tasteful nudity cause Frank to pull his money out of Lethal Weapon 6 during filming, Mac, Dennis, and Charlie screen their rough footage for investors in hopes of raising enough capital to finish the production of their latest masterpiece. Read More... http://www.tvequals.com/2013/10/30/its-always-sunny-in-philadelphia-season-9-episode-9-the-gang-makes-lethal-weapon-6/

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 9 Episode 8 “Flowers for Charlie”

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia  “Flowers for Charlie” Season 9 Episode 8 airs Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 10:00pm on FXX. Episode Synopsis:  “Flowers for Charlie” – When an experiment successfully multiplies Charlie’s intellect and takes him away from the bar, the rest of the gang find themselves struggling to complete the menial ‘Charlie Work’ that has kept the bar running for so long. Read More... http://www.tvequals.com/2013/10/23/its-always-sunny-in-philadelphia-season-9-episode-8-flowers-for-charlie/

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 9 Episode 7 “The Gang Gets Quarantined”

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia  “The Gang Gets Quarantined” Season 9 Episode 7 airs Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 10:00pm on FXX. Episode Synopsis:  “The Gang Gets Quarantined” – When a severe flu outbreak sweeps Philadelphia, the gang voluntarily quarantine themselves inside of Paddy’s in an attempt to keep their singing voices pristine for an upcoming competition, although they have trouble adhering to the strict rules they’ve set for themselves. Read More... http://www.tvequals.com/2013/10/16/its-always-sunny-in-philadelphia-season-9-episode-7-the-gang-gets-quarantined/

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 9 Episode 6 “The Gang Saves the Day”

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia  “The Gang Saves the Day” Season 9 Episode 6 airs Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 10:00pm on FXX. Episode Synopsis:  “The Gang Saves the Day” – When a routine trip to a convenience store places the gang in the middle of an armed robbery, each of them is forced to explore how they react in extreme situations. Read More... http://www.tvequals.com/2013/10/09/its-always-sunny-in-philadelphia-season-9-episode-6-the-gang-saves-the-day/
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