I have a confession to make. I love It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
I love it so much. And I'm coming clean about it.
I used to think my love for that show made me a bad feminist and a bad progressive.
Why, you ask? Because of things like this:
Don't worry, I'm easing you into things.
If you're thinking to yourself right now, "I am offended," don't watch any more videos. Maybe just skip down and read the rest of the blog.
By the way, they show part of that movie later on in the series. Both Mac and Dee show up in black face.
There's a fair amount of really terrible things in this show.
And they don't all have to do with race.
Okay, those are legit some of the most controversial moments in the show and with zero context, I understand why some of you may be thinking that I'm a terrible person for loving them (I especially love that last one). Absolutely nothing is off limits. Sexism, racism, child molestation, sexual assault, drug addiction... it's all been covered.
Here's the thing though - this show doesn't make you laugh at women, people of color, people who have been molested or assaulted, or drug addicts. We're laughing at these horrible, vile people and at the consequences of them being sexist, racist, narcissistic psychopaths. Consequences like being ripped off in a drug deal and becoming addicted to crack, being hit in the face with a volleyball, and watching their boat burn and sink. The one constant in this show is these are horrible people and nothing good ever happens for them because of their horribleness. There's even a Christmas Carol-esque episode that ends horribly for the gang because they are horrible people.
I'd actually go so far as to say this show is kind of a secretly progressive one. It's essentially the show version of "rape jokes are okay if you're making fun of the rapist." As viewers, we don't relate to any of these characters. Not a single one. We're not supposed to. That level of separation allows people (particularly white people) to watch and see the sometimes subtle, sometimes overt things these people do that are sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. and subconsciously want to do everything they can to NOT emulate them. They're always called out on their terribleness and they're always punished in some way.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is covertly teaching White America to be less terrible.
It's also just ridiculously funny and has been for 12 years.