It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Recap: Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth
The amazing thing is that the further anyone distances themselves from The Gang, the more like an actual human being they appear. Dee seems to be, sort of, doing pretty well as a substitute drama teacher, despite her own glaring lack of talent, and Charlie, well, was born to be a janitor, and, with his eidetic memory, ingratiates himself to the students. He even takes a young Juggalo (leave it to Sunny to make an ICP reference—is this 1998?) under his wing to teach him…uh…whatever it is he has to teach.
And Dee is showing a surprising amount of commitment to her duties as teacher, even though there is a distinct lack of understanding the allowances granted to a substitute and, indeed, the art budget, neither of which permit a field trip to New York.
And the rest of The Gang (Frank, Mac, and Dennis) is discussing their fan film of Lethal Weapon 5, specifically whether going in blackface to portray Danny Glover is morally superior to playing him as a white guy. Frank stubbornly insists on blackface, noting that Laurence Olivier played Othello, and, you can guess where it goes from there.
Actually, no you can’t. Remember a few weeks ago when I was talking about how the title of an episode usually indicates whether or not it’s going to be really good and not just good? I forgot about when the title has nothing to do with the episode. Just when I thought this one was going to mine Dee’s failed ambitions, it took a direction no sane person could predict.
Instead of New York, Dee takes her class to the bar for a screening of Olivier’s Othello, and that film’s swapped out for Lethal Weapon 5.
On the surface one could say that it was just filler for Sunny to make up half the running time with a movie parody, but this is Sunny at its gloriously depraved best.
Dennis does a fine Danny Glover impression, playing Murtaugh as a white guy (at least in the first half; he and Mac switch roles as Murtaugh and Riggs later on); Charlie shows off his horrendous acting skills? (“The person who just died was YOUR wife”); and Frank plays such a culturally insensitive Indian Chief that I wasn’t quite sure what he supposed to be until his ostentatiously gratuitous sex scene. And by that time, I didn’t bother with thinking.
This is a sublimely hilarious, albeit unexpected, episode, whether or not you’ve seen Lethal Weapon. All you need is Mac in blackface and Dennis sporting an Aussie accent while he breaks Charlie’s stunt arm (or needlessly rolls over the hood of car). It’s pure indulgence and delightful—and I still love the joke of having the show itself ignore Dee and pursue something more interesting.