An overwhelming majority of the shows on television try to stay away from controversial topics and hot button issues. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has made its reputation tackling them head on. For the most part, the response to all the weirdness has been overwhelmingly positive since it premiered in 2005, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things the stars wish they could change or have a do-over on. For star Glenn Howerton, it’s the episode title “Sweet Dee’s Dating A Retarded Person”.
Here’s what he had to say…
The admission came in an oral history with GQ that chronicled the Sunny Gang’s beloved musical ‘The Nightman Cometh”, and it’s a particularly interesting quote (at least to me) for a couple of reasons.
The line between what’s acceptable and what’s not is constantly shifting, and for creators who live on the edge, that can be problematic. As a result, some of them look back in retrospect and are very liberal with apologies and some look back and refuse to apologize for anything. Glenn Howerton’s admission that he has few regrets about the show but is willing to be frank about one of them seems like a healthy perspective. It’s also an indication of just how honest the cast has always been, and that honesty really comes through in the writing.
The episode in question follows Dee and her new boyfriend Kevin, who is an up and coming rapper. Dennis claims they went to elementary school together, and he was in special education classes. The rest of the episode is spent trying to figure out what his mental capacity is and whether it’s okay to bring up the behavior of a little kid after he’s grown up. It has a lot of compelling and nuanced things to say about mental health, but it does so in a way that’s blunt and uses some terms we’re a lot less accepting of today. Honestly, you could probably say the same thing about most It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia episodes.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia returned from its hiatus last month for the premiere of its 13th season. It has already been renewed for Season 14, and at this point, it seems like the stars will likely have free reign to decide when and how to end the show on their own terms. Fingers crossed that won’t be for at least a couple of more years, and when it does happen, everyone involved will figure out the perfect way to send the hilarious and foul-mouthed show out with a bang.