For nine seasons, the It’s Always Sunny gang has razzed on each other. On Dennis, they’ve pointed out his sociopathic tendencies - for Mac, his delusions of attractiveness and karate skills. For Charlie, his illiteracy and strange living situation. For Frank, his overall disgustingness. But none of the gang has gotten quite the amount of hate as Sweet Dee, the gang’s punching bag.

After nine years of being called a bird, unattractive, and untalented, Sweet Dee finally breaks. She’s become immune to the digs and bird jokes and transformed into a trash-cake eating, smoking, un-bathed, shell of a person.

While the gang has never been one to care whether one of their own is happy or not, they find it unsatisfying to mock a person who takes it without a fight. So they decide to help fix her shattered self-esteem. Frank, Charlie, and Mac try to get her back into her comedy career, while Dennis wants to find her “a very average, if not below average man.”

It’s a very funny season premiere, not feeling too stale even after nine years of re-tread jokes and very little character development. Dee is always going to be a sad sack, but she has never before given up hope, still believing in her non-existent acting career. That’s why this episode works so well. Seeing her sink so low that she can’t bother to bathe or even get upset when she’s mocked mercilessly is tough because it comes set with suicide jokes and lack of hygiene.

Her comedy routine is great satire on the emergence of female comediennes whose jokes all seem to end in a punch line about her vagina. The sound effects were a great Dee-addition, made only funnier by Dennis’s frustration. (“The crabs have machine guns. That makes sense.”)

In the end, Dee’s success as a comedian is a ruse created by Frank, Charlie, and Mac. They spent thousands of dollars on actors and private jets for the sake of bringing the fun back to razzing on Dee. Which seems about right.

Yet, Dennis’s admission that he loves his sister and is proud of her comes without prompting. He’s not in on the joke, but it has broken him nonetheless. Could his admission that he loves Dee be character development for a man who has become more emotionless over the past nine years? Probably not. But it was entertaining to see, even if it will be promptly forgotten.

Other Musings:

• I love that Dennis kept bringing out Polaroid picture of his choices of below average men for Dee. Of course, Dennis still has a Polaroid camera.
• “Joke’s on me” as Dee’s catchphrase seems like commentary on the show as a whole.
• “I stepped in front of a bus, but it missed me. I can’t even get a bus to hit on me.” Dee’s comedy was dark, but very in character.