A Political History of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

| Wed Sep. 11, 2013 3:52 PM EDT

"The Gang" is back for its ninth season of dedicated nihilism and political incorrectness.

The new season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia premiered last Wednesday, this time on FX's newly launched spin-off channel FXX. The series—starring Charlie Day as Charlie, Glenn Howerton as Dennis, Rob McElhenney as Mac, Kaitlin Olson as Dee, and Danny DeVito as Frank—has a much-deserved reputation for outrageous and low-brow comedy ("Seinfeld on crack," it's been called). During a blind date with a beautiful woman, a nervous, sweat-drenched Charlie lies about his job by telling her he's a philanthropist, but mispronounces it as "full-on rapist." When Dennis visits his old frat house, the brothers are torturing a pledge with a stun gun to the genitals. You know, stuff like that. But the copious layers of crude humor mask one of the show's less appreciated virtues: Oftentimes, it gets damn political—and on a wide range of issues, from foreign policy to welfare.

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