It’s Always Sunny, “Mac’s Mom Burns Her House Down”: Finally, the Estelle Getty closure America needed.

It’s back. Every single time this episode went to commercial, it became apparent to me that something strange and powerful was happening deep down in my heart. I had enjoyed the previous block of the show without questioning the plot, wondering if opportunities for bigger jokes where wasted or thinking about how I wanted to see more or less of certain characters. Now, I’m not saying this was the best episode ever or anything, but the key word tonight was balance.

The jokes were balanced, the plot was balanced and not pushed in any extreme directions and the characters were used in a proportion that made sense to the plot. The thing I realized about this show is that the short seasons and long gaps between episodes make me judge it much more harshly. If I have to wait for months, I want a homerun every single time it steps up to the plate. If they just churned out safe crap every week with a couple of high points, I’d probably wouldn’t feel let down. Remember kids, you can’t get your heart broken by the girl you never notice.

The episode had a simple set-up: Mac’s mom (Mrs. Mac) falls asleep with a lit cigarette in her mouth and burns her house down, leaving Mac to take care of her. Meanwhile, Charlie is having his own problems helping his mom now that his creepy uncle moved out, so Dennis decides that the two moms should move in together. Charlie and Mac jump onboard once they realize they could create a new “Golden Girls situation.”

The comedy throughout the episode comes naturally – Mac’s mom is her usual disgusting self, Charlie’s mom is neurotic (way more than ever indicated before), there’s an indestructible dog named Poppins (hopefully a homage to beloved cat “Agent Jack Bauer”) and the attempts to make life resemble The Golden Girls go up in flames (because the episode is about fire.) There’s a side story about Sweet Dee wanting to beat a sore throat so she can see Josh Groban in a park. After shunning her, Frank realizes that he will have no one to care for him when he is old and tries to win back her trust. It all ties together without feeling rushed and the little touches are where the show got me.

Highlights:

  • Mac’s sick dog is not only gross, but it has emphysema and needs to have his eye popped in with someone’s knuckle.
    Charlie’s mom makes him vacuum the ceiling for splinters and is terrified that an animal will eat her face.
    Frank’s care package for Dee consists of coffee, Mexican peanuts, candy and a stud magazine.
    Frank’s idea of small talk with his daughter: “You still get periods?”
    The gang’s fear of nursing home includes the statement “why don’t I just rape her myself?” and a fear of soap-dropping.
    Mrs. Mac loudly proclaiming “I smell like shit.”
    When the Golden Girls bonding over cheesecake plan starts slowly, Charlie exclaims “I feel like if you and I were in a room with perfectly good cheesecake, all sorts of conversation would start happening.” This also led to an impromptu singing of the entire theme song, which is something I’ve been known to do both with friends and the very first week of my first job.
    Old people bonding over racism and ignorance will always be funny. It’s also why Grand Torino was one of the best comedies of 2008.
    A voicemail cameo from Artemis while backstage at the Josh Groban concert: “Groban’s feeling frisky and somebody’s gotta tap that ass.” I said I wouldn’t complain about character use, but Artemis is welcome to pop her bra off and blast her nips on the show anytime.

Now, cross your fingers that my over-celebrating a solid episode leads to even better things for the rest of this season.

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