It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "The D.E.N.N.I.S. System" Season 5, Episode 10 - Review

On paper, this episode was right up It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's alley. For those of you who love Dennis Reynolds as the misogynistic, narcissistic playboy of the Gang, everything was set for him to lead the way towards poking fun at modern methods of seduction like Neil Strauss' book, "The Game," or VH1's The Pick-Up Artist. But just like the last episode, I felt they repeated too many themes and situations we'd seen in earlier, funnier episodes. And there was a large chunk in the middle featuring a clinical explanation of the D.E.N.N.I.S. System which just felt flat. However, things finally got rolling during the climax at the fair where the craziness we expect from Always Sunny was out in full force.

The title of the episode refers to Dennis' six-step technique of wooing, banging and eventually dumping a woman. He spent much of the episode outlining the system and teaching it to the Gang, pointing out their successes and mistakes along the way. The problem was, little of it was very funny. Everyone knows Dennis is a horrible person, which is why it's so great when the tables are turned and he gets his comeuppance at the end. But that didn't happen here. He punished a woman who was dumb enough to sleep with him, then walked away guilt free. Look, the Saw movies are unintentional comedies with bits of torture thrown in, but Always Sunny is supposed to be funny, so the emotional torture of that poor woman just stood out as a real misfire. Even the Top Gun-inspired love scene didn't work.

But for all the problems with the main story-line, we can always rely on Sweet Dee. She was so affected by Dennis' system, she vowed not to get played by her boyfriend Ben, (the war vet played by Travis Schuldt) and wound up sabotaging a perfectly good relationship in the process. Travis Schuldt has mastered the role of wide-eyed innocent from his years on Scrubs, so his turn as Dee's naive boyfriend was pitch-perfect. The child-like wonder and excitement of having his face painted like a lizard at the fair made their break-up all the more delightfully sad. In Dee's case, the show stayed true to its core, by ruining every good thing that these despicable people luck into.

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