Photo: FXX

Should The Sun Shine Once Again On It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia?

After bailing early in Season 8, our commentator tries again, but will it take?

Show: It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Premiered: Summer 2005.

Why Was It Made? It's hard to remember in the age of prestige dramas like Justified and The Americans, but FX was once a third-tier cable network in a position to take a chance on a few untested writer-actors and their even meaner take on Seinfeld.

Why Did I Stop Watching? Over the course of its long life, Dave and I have sincerely loved many episodes of Sunny. But the last of those -- "Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games" -- aired in 2011. Other than that, episodes in recent years have ranged from okay to pretty bad, so sometime early in Season 8, we decided we were probably done.

Why Give It Another Shot? I was going through the offerings on FX's new comedy spinoff channel FXX to record every episode of Mad About You, and there it was. People sure still seem to like it, so maybe we'd find it's tightened up since we watched it last?

What Aspects Of The Latest Episode Would Seem To Invite Further Viewing? Episodes that focus on Dee (Kaitlin Olson) can be hit-or-miss, but this one did four things very right: it offered a meta-commentary on the fact that Dee is almost always the victim of her brother Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and their two best frenemies Charlie (Charlie Day) and Mac (Rob McElhenney), and that if she were a real person, she'd probably eventually just give up; it revived Dee's standup comedy career, and Dee's involuntary nervous gags while performing same; it didn't focus on giving us the gang's take on a controversial current event; it sidelined the show's Pierce, Frank (Danny DeVito).

What Aspects Of The Latest Episode Discourage Further Viewing? If this one episode combined all the things I want to see in most episodes, does that mean they're burnt for the rest of the season? I mean, already next week's episode apparently revolves around the issue of guns in schools.

Final Verdict: The payoff of the season premiere -- which actually made me yell "Oh, NO!" in a way I don't think I have at a sitcom since the last season of Curb Your Enthusiasm -- was strong enough for me to get back on board for at least a couple more episodes.

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