What happens when you get five degenerate friends that own their own dive bar in Philadelphia? You get some raucous and off-putting situations with a tumultuous storm of dark and politically incorrect (but nonetheless hilarious) behavior. Such is the premise of the TV show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Since the show’s inception in 2005, Sunny has become a major hit for its oxymoronically pitch-black and light tone.
Throughout the years, the show has acquired a pretty large fan base and FXX has recently renewed it for its 13th and 14th seasons. The show has spawned plenty of merchandise, a traveling rendition of one of the episodes, and a consistency to the show’s plot and nature. A big fan of the show, Max Rubinstein (former Dickinson graduate and my partner in crime) allowed me to interview him about his fandom. For him, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is more than just a source of entertainment; it serves as both a connective tissue for his social relationships and way for him to make new connections.…Continue Reading
The Dick Van Dyke Show can be seen as one of the first sitcoms that resembles our modern conception of the genre. The show strayed from its predecessors, with Mary Tyler Moore’s spunky take on the housewife role and a new mobility evoked between home and work. At the same time, The Dick Van Dyke Show has roots in the older Vaudeville-variety style of the 1950s. This in-between existence is perfectly exemplified in the season one episode “Oh How We Met the Night We Danced.” The popularity of this episode most likely stems from Van Dyke and Moore’s incredible comedic and dancing talent, both of which were hallmarks of the show. However, this seemingly simple episode reveals much about the historical, political, and industrial contexts of the series.
One of the most popular episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show, “Oh How We Met the Night We Danced” reveals how Rob and Laura Petrie, the protagonist couple, first fell in love.…Continue Reading
Fresh Off The Boat is one of the newest ABC sitcoms. It comes to the network from Nahnatchka Khan, who based the show off of chef Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same name. Though the title suggests a family of immigrants just arriving to the United States, the show follows the lives of the Chinese Huang family after their move from Chinatown in Washington D.C. to Orlando in the mid-1990’s. It centers on their struggle to assimilate to a new culture, while also having much more similar sitcom tropes such as difficulties fitting in at school, challenges running a successful business, and issues surrounding parenting.
Though the show revolves around hip-hop fanatic, 11 year old Eddie (Hudson Yang)–who, despite being young, has a sharp wit to him–the episodes all have the theme of assimilation central to their plots in one way or another. Eddie, for instance, is trying to fit in with the kids around him in school. His mother (Constance Wu) is trying to fit into the new white culture that she has found herself surrounded by.…Continue Reading