“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” kicked off its new season over at FX sister channel FXX, but there was one person who wasn’t that excited about it. As the episode’s title suggested, “The Gang Broke Dee.” After years of putting up with their abuse, she’d finally just given up completely.
She was disheveled, depressed and didn’t respond to their attempts to make jokes at her expense at all in the way that they wanted. So they set about trying to fix her up at least enough that they could start tearing her down again. To Dennis, this meant setting her up with a man. To the rest of the gang, it meant helping her achieve her dream of becoming a stand-up comedian.
On stage, the depressed Dee just started talking about how terrible and disgusting her life had become, and the audience just ate it up. She had a catchphrase — “The joke’s on me.” — quickly got a fan club and started finding greater and greater success. And then, she got her big break. She landed a guest spot on “Conan.”
Unfortunately, this was right about when her gagging stage fright started setting in, so it might be a good thing that nothing was as it seemed. Her entire stand-up journey had been a prank played on her by the gang — minus Dennis. They’d hired actors to cheer her terrible jokes, and Frank had even chartered a plane to fly around Philadelphia for six hours, tricking her into thinking she was headed to Los Angeles.
In the end, the joke truly was on Dee, and IGN’s Matt Fowler loved it. He acknowledge that the entire episode was one giant set-up for a big payoff, but it was totally worth it. Over at ScreenCrush, Damon Houx agreed, writing, “Wow, what an amazingly brutal punchline that is somehow just vicious enough to be hilarious.”
Season 9 of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” continues on its new home FXX on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
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