It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: "Mac and Dennis Break Up" 
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It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: "Mac and Dennis Break Up" 

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It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

"Mac and Dennis Break Up" 

Season 5, Episode 9

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“Mac and Dennis Break Up,” Sunny’s best episode this year so far was definitely its calmest, lacking any big set-pieces, or guest stars, or appearances by green man, or even a scene set at the bar. But in terms of sheer jokes per minute, this episode is up with the best of Sunny. It relied entirely on the chemistry of the cast, and this is a cast that can make a shrug or a glance seem funny in the right context. Also, any episode that shows us more details of Charlie and Frank’s life together gets a rave from me.

Rather than everyone going on some big caper, the plot was set in motion because Dennis and Mac wanted to borrow a big bowl from Dee to make popcorn for their movie night. “You guys don't have a bowl?” she asks, quite rightly. What self-respecting Predator fan doesn’t have a popcorn bowl? Along with the usual ribbing about how she looks like a bird, Dennis and Mac mock Dee for her latest acquisition, a cat, as another sign of her descent into spinsterhood. Dee responds with a snide jab at Dennis and Mac’s coupledom, and well, there you have it, an episode is born.

Now, I’m sure I’m not the only person that’s getting sick of the whole “bromance” trend that’s sweeping its way through Hollywood, but done right, the bromance gag works, and this episode did the bromance gag right not once, but twice, with both Mac & Dennis and Charlie & Frank, as well as examining the delicate nature of the bromance, by pairing bros in each couple off with each other, with disastrous effects, of course.

As in all bromances, there was a break-up scene, with Mac angrily confronting Dennis about the long time he spent at the video store renting Predator, only to come back with Transporter 2! Mac is worried he won’t be able to follow the movie because he never saw the first Transporter, which seems like a stretch to me given Mac’s love of cool stunts and shit. But he’s more worried about the beefcake video clerk who recommended the change to Dennis. “I feel like you won't stop talking about him!” he moans. "I asked for a movie recommendation," Dennis protests. "Well, you got one,” Mac shoots back, barely holding back the words “you slut.”

Who’s side is everyone on in the breakup? On the one hand, Dennis has a point that watching any movie, even  masterpiece such as Predator, 30 times in two months is overkill. And Mac babbles incessantly about everyone’s physique: “It's important to pack on mass!” On the other hand, if you say you’re going to the store to rent Predator, and you come back with Transporter 2, well, that’s just not cricket. Jason Statham is a lovely gentleman, but still.

After the fight, Mac offers to leave, and flounces off to Charlie’s, where he upsets their delicate balance by cleaning. Who knew Mac was such a fussbudget? These scenes were the best in the episode, my opinion on almost any scene in Sunny featuring the goings-on in Charlie’s apartment. Frank cleans his toenails with a steak-knife, but injures himself: “I need some trash to bug up the cut!” Mac’s suggestion that he use a sock, rather than trash, delights Frank but rankles Charlie, who finds it a perfectly good waste of a sock. When Dennis calls to get the scoop on Mac’s new life, Charlie decides to bail. He’s almost always the best, but Charlie was definitely the best this week because of his bitchy, girly aloofness about everything. First he’s pissed at Mac for cleaning up, later on he’s pissed at Dennis for his girly insistence that they watch a movie together. It’s nice to see Charlie not be the pathetic one for a change.

Of course, just as everyone breaks up, it all goes to shit. Frank can’t stand Mac’s fussiness, who makes him “put on airs” like not eating cat food and throws away his toeknife. Charlie thinks Dennis is way too needy, and immediately gets way more into trying to extract Dee’s cat from the wall, where it is hiding. Dee suffers the most of all, as suddenly everyone starts showing up at her house and smashing the walls, when we all know that Dee really just needs to be alone, for the rest of her life. So Dee re-unites Dennis and Mac by luring them both to a restaurant (to meet a giant-breasted woman) and getting them to agree that she looks like a bird, and Mac needs Dennis to help him come up with good…“words.”

Along the way, we learned some terrific facts. Apparently, cats have just started following Charlie around, probably due to his feral hair. He thinks the best way to get cats out of walls is to send in more cats, but he also thinks that cats don’t obey the laws of nature and can flatten themselves out. Mac, on the other hand, thinks apple skins are “loaded with toxins” (leading to the two great individual gags: Dennis whining at Dee to peel his apple for him, screaming "I'M NOT ALLOWED!"; and Frank spitting apple gore all over the place on Mac’s orders). He also thinks cigarettes suppress apple bacteria.

But it’s a happy ending too, because Charlie and Frank, or Dennis and Mac, are always going to get each other out of jams, because they’re partners. Dee, of course, will never get out of a jam, and ends the episode stuck in a wall, where she belongs. She needs a sidekick! I bet this is the most low-concept episode of Sunny we get all year, but as long as they can find a way to focus on the ensemble’s chemistry like this no matter what the plot, I’ll always be satisfied.

Stray observations:

So, who’s bought a Dicktowel? The site is still going strong!

Charlie traveled from his place to Dee’s place with a Cheetos bag in hand.

Dennis and Mac were both nervous about meeting the big-breasted lady. "She had giant boobs!"

Several characters did weird dances when near each other. The best being Frank and Charlie’s gruesome twosome thrusting.

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