It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 8 Review “Pop-Pop: The Final Solution”

Going into the latest season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” I wasn’t sure what to expect, given the promos making the rounds.

For those unfamiliar, the ads for the latest seasons implied that either there was going to be a sitcom-within-the-sitcom based on the antics of our gang, or else that our fave cast was going to be replaced by a new cast altogether. Naturally, I assumed the former, but it was either an elaborate hoax or they haven’t gotten around to that plotline yet, because there was nary a sight of the likes of Andrew Dice Clay (in Danny DeVito’s role) or Xzibit (as Sweet Dee!), among others. (Here’s a link to said trailer)

Could make for some fun laughs, right? If anything, it’s such a crazy idea; it might actually work- at least if it was a one-off episode or a recurring bit on the show. I don’t know if it’s something I would want to watch on a long-term basis, but that’s mostly because I like the show just fine as it is, which is a testament to the cast as it is now. (Long-time fans will recall that Danny DeVito didn’t join until the second season.)

Anyway, none of that factored into the first episode, the amusingly-titled “Pop-Pop: The Final Solution,” which revolved around the decision by Dee (Kaitlin Olson) and Dennis (Glenn Howerton) as to whether or not to pull the plug on their not-so-beloved Pop-Pop (Tom Bower), a former Nazi (hence the title) currently in a coma.

This in turn led to the realization by Charlie (Charlie Day) that the box of mostly Nazi-themed memorabilia that he and a newly-svelte Mac (Rob McElhenney) trashed in a previous episode contained a painting of a dog that could have possibly been drawn by Hitler himself.and thus could be worth a fortune. The problem was that Frank (DeVito), Charlie’s roommate, was creeped out by the painting (“Its smug aura mocks me.”) and gave it away, so the boys must track it down.

All of this led to the usual off-kilter hilarity, which, this being “It’s Always Sunny,” is to say anything but the usual sitcom fare. The show really is like “Seinfeld” minus any sort of redeeming value in the characters whatsoever. If ever a cast actually deserved to end up in the clink at the end of the show’s run, it’s this one, and I don’t think anyone would bitch about it in their case. If anything, it seems about right. They’ll either end up in jail or dead or a variation of the two, mark my words.

Honestly, can you think of another comedic show that features a prominent plot about committing euthanasia? Or where that would be feasible? (Okay, maybe companion show “The League,” but even there, it would be a bit out-of-character.) Much less where the people dealing with said predicament decide they should work their way up to it by sentencing a pound pooch to its doom? (“Let’s kill something less important first, see how that goes, then move up.”)

Okay, so they ended up setting all the dogs free instead (“Let’s let Pop-Pop and these dogs die as nature intended- slowly and painfully.”), but leave it to this show for that to make things worse, when upon returning to the hospital, a doctor informs them: “We’ve had an incredible amount of stray dog attacks all over the city, so our ER’s slammed.”

It all ends with the boys determining the painting is worthless and tossing it in the fire, only for it to be revealed, as they walk away, that the painting was indeed helmed by Hitler and they just burned away a fortune. Ah, “IASIP,” you truly don’t do happy endings, do you? Gotta love it.

Overall, fairly inspired hilarity, if not the truly off-the-wall meta-com the ads promised, but hopefully we’re working our way up to that, because it’s too awesome a conceit not to explore for real. We’ll see in the weeks to come.

Best lines: Mac, regarding his sunglasses: “Now I can determine a subject threat level without them being able to feel my retinal assessment.” (“Retinal assessment” is now my new favorite saying.) Dennis, regarding the visit to Pop-Pop, who’s surrounded by left-over soup: “We are making a decision about whether or not to take an old man’s life, not whether or not to eat old rancid soups!” Mac, determining who would play him in the movie based on their “DaVinci Code”-like Hitler quest: “This is about ripping open the fabric of historical fact and making a film about it, starring Ryan Gosling as me! He’s the only one who can handle my intensity!”

What did you think? Business as usual or a new low? Personally, I thought the old home movies of the Nazi Boy Scout Camp were worth the price of admission. Were you disappointed not to see the Bizarro alt-universe cast? Or are you relieved to see it was just a stunt? Let me know in the comments!

  • My favorite line was Dee calling Frank a “Weeble Wobble.”

    Solid first episode with a very classic Sunny feel. Great start to the new season.

    • Mark Trammell

       Came this close to including that quote, but the review was getting a bit long. Def a funny line, though!

    • Mrmerlin33

      how can you say the show has a “sunny”  feel to it?? it is literally a totally different show then it used to be. I honestly think if you really believe what youve said that your a stupid person

      • blah

        YOU’RE a stupid person!

  • Sting6ph

    great start “) of the season….

  • Danricherson

    I knew that Charlie was gunna start eating the soup… and it still grossed me out

  • Mrmerlin33

    Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia 2005-2010. I seriously dont understand how any of you people that “this was a great start” to the new season. This episode was just a contiunuation of the embarrassment that was last season. The show is so choppy and is trying waaaay to hard to “push the envelope” opposed to just being funny. I dont know why they feel like they have to shock people. For their are almost no words to describe my disapointment with what the show has turned into. They have these insanely stupid situations that they get in and out of with no explanation and nothing to show for it.  You people that think this show is still awesome I honestly think you might just not be ver smart. Just cause its the same characters does not mean you have to think its funny and laugh. How can you not see it? Their trying so hard to be funny and its awkward and does not work.(them freeing all the dogs plus cricket) Seriously how stupid was that scene? Or their in the dentist office and never have any sort of confrontation with a receptionist or a dentist. That whole episode i maybe have chuckled once. Do they think just wearing the duster makes it funny?? IT DOESNT. My theory on the show totally sucking now is that Mac charlie and Glenn all are married with kids now and just matured past the ability to think and write funny. Other then that I really dont know, maybe them be successfull now has gone to their heads and they have turned delusional. I’m not sure exactly what is the reason for the show totally changing for the worse but it honestly saddens me because this show was my sanctuary in the pool of shit that is relentless on cable tv. After the first episode of season 8 I wanted to make sure I wasnt just being negative and expecting to much so I turned on an episode from season 3 and doing that reminded me of what the show once was and just how briliant it was. Im still going to watch every episode from this new season but in my opinion the show is over because the minds of the briliant people who mold it have warped into something else, into something new, into something thats not “sunny.” Like I said before RIP Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you had a good run…

    • Jdogpark

      They needed to broaden their audience so they have to have low-brow humor now to appeal to the masses

    • Ahelpfulcompanion

      Calm the fuck down yes I agree this episode let me down a little but how can you call season 7 an embarassment with episodes with rum ham and shushers I didn’t laugh much at pop pop the final solution but ANYTHING is better than season 5s the great recession the one episode of sunny I will never watch again

      • Mrmerlin33

         are you shitting me??? the great recession is one of my favorite episodes of all time and the scene where they figure out their just giving away free alcohol is an all time classic sunny scene. your crazy dude, you must be the type of person that is buying this new version of sunny

    • Youngsales21

      Y u mad tho? 

    • Mark Trammell

       You make some good points. True, the show has softened its approach a bit- though in this show, that’s a relative term! You may be onto something with the fact that everyone (in real life) has gotten married, with kids, et al. Oftentimes, when entertainers are young and hungry, they really put forth the effort to get noticed, then when they achieve that success, they don’t try as hard anymore. Witness “Seinfeld,” the show “Sunny” typically gets compared to. The show started out shaky, got good- then great, but by the end they were largely going through the motions and not really trying. It was almost as if they themselves were going for the “Seinfeld” feel and had forgotten how to really be funny. It took a new show- “Curb your Enthusiasm” for one of the creators to get it back, and going back to stand-up for Seinfeld himself. “Sunny” has been on for a while now, and the creators/stars have enjoyed some success outside of the show, part. Charlie, with “Horrible Bosses.” I suspect they will end it soon, but hopefully we can get a few decent eps out of them before they do. I don’t think this ep was all bad- I laughed a fair bit- but watching this back-to-back with “The League,” it was noticeable which show was on the downswing and which was “in the zone” and it was clearly “League” that was the latter. Still, the “new” cast thing could be fun…or a “jump the shark” moment. We’ll see…