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'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' Recap - Dee Reynolds: Shaping America's Youth

Becky Broderick Becky Broderick
November 12th, 2010 11:20am EST

Despite her name being featured in the title, no one will ever remember this half-hour of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" as a "Dee episode." This one was all about Riggs and Murtaugh. Er, Dennis and Mac.

Dennis and Mac in Lethal Weapon 5

Maybe I was just too anxious to see the gang's production of "Lethal Weapon 5," but I felt like the first half of this ep dragged a bit. Dee and Charlie were still working at the school, with Dee subbing for the injured Dr. Meyers and Charlie relishing his role as janitor. There were some funny bits—all the kids calling Charlie "Professor," Charlie digging an orange out of the trash and Dee demonstrating her acting skills by telling the class their old teacher died—but there was really nothing worthy of, say, a very special Sunny clip show. (Not that they would ever stoop to that.) And, as much as I love Charlie, I thought his subplot in which he decides to "mentor" a troubled juggalo (do they still even exist?) was kind of pointless. It wasn't until the whole gang was together that the magic started to happen.

Dave Foley, back as the exasperated principal, is visited by Dee and Charlie, who are both seeking permission for something. Dee's request to take her class on a New York City field trip is denied because the school has no funding for the arts program and, more importantly, because Dee is merely a sub and pretty much a total stranger. Charlie's request to let his juggalo friend Richie wear his clown makeup in school is also denied. When Charlie inappropriately offers to get Richie cleaned up, the principal wearily begs, "Please don't bathe the students."

Since Dee's original idea was shot down, she calls Dennis and Mac to ask a favor. Normally, they wouldn't do anything to help her but, in this case, helping her means helping themselves. Dee wants to screen a movie at the bar, which the guys see as a perfect opportunity to see how an audience reacts to a little old school Hollywood racism. Earlier, Dennis and Mac had been arguing about re-shooting some possibly offensive "Lethal Weapon 5" scenes and, as always, the guys have a typically twisted take on what qualifies as racism. Dennis is disturbed by Mac's decision to play Murtaugh in black face, yet thinks his own affected "black voice" is perfectly fine. Mac feels the opposite, while Frank's main concern with whites portraying blacks is to make sure the "lips look funny." (Oddly enough, no one seems to take offense to Frank's LW5 character, an evil Native American with a very Tonto-esque way of speaking.) To settle their debate, the guys decide to screen "Othello," for Dee's class to see how they react to a black-faced Laurence Olivier as Iago.  

Charlie and Richie show up at Paddy's soon after Dee arrives with her class. To Dee's dismay, she discovers that Dennis and Mac have pulled a last minute switch on her and are now screening LW5. Turns out, the kids think it's the greatest movie they've ever seen, and I can't really argue with that assessment. How glorious is this film? Let me count the ways:

1. Dennis and Mac switch roles halfway through the movie
2. Handwritten signs over Paddy's door indicate scene location
3. Frank as the villainous, gluttonous, sex-crazed, blind-in-one-eye Indian
4. Frank, as producer, only bought a green screen for his half of a scene (so it looks like there's a giant aquarium in the bar's back office)
5. Charlie's horrible acting in a variety of roles
6. The appropriately cheesy soundtrack
7. The good old graveyard-in-the-rain scene, capped off with Dennis and Mac crying and shooting their guns into the sky

Of course, what everyone will remember about LW5 is the "out of nowhere" love scene between Frank and an actress/hooker. The whole time, when I wasn't whimpering in the fetal position, I was thinking of another movie I once saw called "Nail Gun Massacre." (I'm not making that up. Netflix it. It's hilariously bad.) In it, there was a completely gratuitous sex scene between two not-very-attractive people that went on and on for as long as it took me to visit every circle of Hell. I took this trip again watching Frank's scene. Still, it's impossible to turn away, even for Dennis, who calls it "unwatchable."

Charlie's juggalo friend is so moved by LW5 that he washes off his clown makeup and shows up at school in black face.  When the principal sees this—and finds out about Dee's pub movie screening—the janitor and the substitute teacher are fired. Nothing is really said about Charlie being kicked out of the gang. I guess it's just assumed that he will return now that he's out of a job.

Charlie in Lethal Weapon 5Grade: A-

Random Thoughts:

- Best line of the night: "In the 'Lord of the Rings' movies, Ian McKellen plays a wizard. You think he goes home at night and shoots laser beams into his boyfriend’s a-hole?” (Mac, explaining to Dennis the difference between acting and real life.)

- The school kids had some good moments. I loved that none of them knew where Broadway was, and that one of them said he'd been to Paddy's before.

- Dennis wins at both the Murtaugh and Riggs roles. His sandpaper, Danny Glover-esque voice was perfect. And although his Riggs had a much thicker Aussie accent than Mel Gibson's ever had, he wore the hell out of that feathered mullet wig.

- Mac is a handsome man. Mac in black face is just creepy and wrong.

- Apparently, the villain's henchman was Kurt Cobain.

Photo Credits: © Fox Broadcasting


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