TV Review: "It´s Always Sunny In Philadelphia" 10X04: "Charlie Work"


Charlie Kelly is the fan favorite on Sunny, and for good reason. Any time an episode is Charlie centric, I get happy because the character is one of my favorites in television history. The writers have crafted a character with so many bizarre and whacked-out eccentricities that an entire show could revolve around him, easily. It doesn't hurt that Charlie Day embodies the character with a manic energy with a dollop of genuine heart and endearing naivete.

The running gag of "Charlie work" (degrading, gross, dirt level tasks the rest of the Gang can't be bothered doing) on the show gets the full episode treatment as Charlie is obsessed with passing a health inspection.  You see, Charlie is exuberant in his dedication to Paddy's Pub and keeping in running on a day to day basis. He knows the place inside and out. He keeps the toilets flushing, the rats at bay and basically makes sure the place is just safe enough not to kill somebody. He's not really good at his job, but he takes the utmost pride in it.

Charlie Work relies on constant rapid fire dialogue, a roving single take shot (an obvious riff on the Oscar contender Birdman. Banging, jazzy drums even accompany this segment of the episode, just like the Michael Keaton comeback vehicle) and a dizzingly energetic performance from Day. The pace is so frantic and the dialogue is spat out with such force that it's easy to miss something if attention is not being fully paid.

Charlie is the innocent of The Gang. Well, relatively speaking. He has his moments of pure shittiness like the rest of them do, but his issues stem more from a place of ignorance and an almost childlike quality instead of narcissistic sociopathic tendencies. The Gang never truly gives Charlie the time of day unless they need him for something. He's never listened to or consulted and he is constantly taken advantage of and being underestimated, and "Charlie Work" is a perfect example of The Gang's dynamic from Charlies perspective. Not many episodes have explored this angle from a single character perspective, and it's refreshing to see it done. I hope they do it more in the future, as seasons 11 and 12 have been confirmed.

While the plot is about Charlie, the rest our friends all get their moments. My favorite would have to be Frank and his quirk of flushing things down the toilet to calm himself down when things get too hectic. There is also a running gag of Charlie banging a bar stool on the ground every time he passes it. The reason isn't paid off until the end, when it's revealed to be yet another excuse to totally shit on Dee, who is even more of a doormat for The Gang then Charlie is.

Spoilers are light this review, because I think Charlie Work is best left as fresh as possible because it's a unique episode for Sunny visually, as well as structurally taking place essentially in real-time.

8/10. Fast moving, fast talking, and as always The Gang is on point. Season 10 is shaping up to be yet another strong run for our favorite Gang.
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