IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY 11X04 Debriefing: Dennis and Dee Make A Porno

IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA -- "Dee Made a Smut Film" -- Episode 1104 (Airs Wednesday, January 27, 10:00 pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Rob McElhenney as Mac, Danny DeVito as Frank, Glenn Howerton as Dennis, Kaitlin Olson as Dee, Charlie Day as Charlie.
CR: Patrick McElhenney/FX

The big day has finally arrived — Dee gets an actual speaking role in a movie! Only, her “art house” movie takes a strange turn, and the gang has to break it to her that her movie might not be as “foreign” as she thinks it is…

Obviously, oblivious Dee would ignore all the signs in front of her that she was in a porno flick (I mean, Richard Grieco!), and as usual, it takes Dennis to burst her bubble, because Dee can’t have nice things. Strangely enough, though, it leads to a discussion amongst the guys about what constitutes art — namely, that even Charlie’s doodles could pass as art in certain circles. (The doodles he does in chalk — before eating said chalk, because it settles his stomach.)

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy FXX

This spurs Mac on: he decides to perform an experiment, by surreptitiously placing one of Charlie’s paintings in an art gallery, and trying to convince its owner (Mary Holland) that it isn’t trash. Mac doesn’t buy her distinction between garbage and art, but Frank is riveted by one particular artist’s sob story. Mac tries to one-up it by pointing out just how pathetic Charlie’s life is (“He’s an illiterate janitor whose mother tried to abort him”) but the woman promptly ignores them.

Dennis has a plan of his own: given that 50 Shades of Grey is such a hot commodity these days, he wants to turn his “erotic memoirs” into a legitimate art house film, because, Dennis, and takes his story to the Philadelphia Motion Picture Society to back it. The director doesn’t bite until he reluctantly promises to hire a female director, and even more resignedly asks Dee to do the job. Plus, he gets a “big star” to headline the film: none other that Richard Grieco himself!

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy FXX

Charlie is still on his own Grieco kick, and his art has taken an avian turn. (He just wants to draw eggs that represent eggs, bro.) Mac is infuriated, because this won’t do for his punk-the-art-nerds prank, but Charlie is doing art for art’s sake. In walks the show’s biggest sad sack, Rickety Cricket! This is where Mac’s subterfuge takes another twist: they’re going to use Cricket (David Hornsby) as the face of the art, and Charlie is going to draw Cricket’s life. A perverted Cyrano de Bergerac tale, if you will.

Frank is tasked to pose as a fellow art collector to the gallery owner, complete with a Sia-inspired wig. He’s playing up the ridiculousness to the max, until he spots the painting that caught his attention upon his first visit. (Is this reminding anyone else of when he got high on LSD at that tailgate party years ago?)

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Courtesy FXX

The movie shoot is well underway at Dee’s apartment, and it’s going as well as you could expect. Dee’s a little concerned about the material, and figures out that Dennis was seduced by their school librarian in high school when he was 14. (Everyone seems to realize he was raped except him — Sunny, so subversive and dark.) Meanwhile, at Paddy’s, the guys are holding Cricket’s “exhibit,” to which they’ve invited the gallery owner — who comes because Frank just bought that painting from her for $35,000.

In comes Dee to foil all their plans, by presenting a rough cut of her movie for all to see. It’s as terrible as you’d expect, but classic Sunny. The bigger picture is getting the woman to pay big bucks for one of Charlie’s drawings, and that too comes crashing down. It turns out she’s not even the actual owner — her parents are. She’s a spoiled trust fund baby, and lectures them all that art is worth whatever it means to the people it affects, which in this case, for her, is nothing. (It also means Frank just spent thirty grand on something worthless.) “When is stuff art?” begs Mac.

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy FXX

Dennis has a moment of enlightenment: art is only good when the right people say it is. It first seems like he’s beginning a scathing commentary on the commercialism of art and how its soul is being removed — until he brings it back full circle to remind everyone that the true takeaway is that he wasn’t raped by 50-year-old Mrs. Klinsky. Talk about an exit, folks.

While this episode didn’t have the big splash that last week’s ski extravaganza did, it did boil Sunny down to its essence. The gang are all completely out of touch with reality, and create their own inside the microcosm of the bar. The show has never been afraid to touch on sensitive topics so as to reflect their implications while keeping the characters oblivious — Charlie’s illiteracy, Mac’s sexuality, and now Dennis’ alleged sexual assault — but I must admit I never really see any of these dark turns coming, which I suppose is a good thing when we’re into the eleventh season.

Courtesy FXX

Courtesy FXX

I loved the callback to Charlie’s “art,” and perhaps loved even more that he didn’t care about what anyone said about it, in a way only Charlie can. Moreover, I liked that Dee finally got a break in her acting career — only for it to be as disastrous as it could be, because we all know she’s pretty terrible at it. (I admit, I laughed when her movie went from “art” to porn in a nanosecond.) Of course, no season is complete without a Cricket appearance, and he keeps mining the depths of depravity — it makes you wonder if one day he’ll ever finally win over the gang, but at this point, he seems to almost like where he is. Just when his life can’t get any more miserable, it does, but that’s what the gang’s here for!

Other odds and ends:

  • There were a lot of great lines this week, but I think my favorite was this one of Dennis’: “Frank is basically the Cinemax of humans.”

How did you like this week’s episode of Sunny?


All photos courtesy of FoxFlash

 

Nels

Nels knew how to operate a TV remote control before she knew how to talk. As a result, she has spent an inordinate amount of time pretending she actually lives on a soundstage. When she isn’t watching whichever show is currently capturing her heart, she is writing about how said show is currently capturing her heart. She loves pie.

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