This Always Sunny review contains spoilers.
Always Sunny Season 13 Episode 3
Some of my favorite episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are when they force odd pairings of characters. In truth, that happens in almost every episode. The Gang gets along with virtually no one. The people they do tolerate are heinous. Seemingly well-adjusted characters like Maureen Ponderosa, or Matthew Mara, or The Lawyer are turned into creatures just for hanging around the Gang for too long; Maureen died as she lived, as a cat-woman; Mara the former priest became Cricket, a drug-addicted vagrant; and there is now a one-eyed Lawyer in Philadelphia.
None of these people should hang around each other. They have no reason to. When the Always Sunny writers do chose to have these oddball characters recur, they drip feed them to us. It pays off when Artemis, the Waitress, Mac and Charlie’s moms, or even Gail the Snail drop in and provide some of the funniest material in any given episode.
Grouping them together in “The Gang Beats Boggs: Ladies Reboot” is less about fleshing out these women as characters than it is simultaneously a rebuke of Hollywood’s reboot phase and a critique on the toxic reaction from men (and women like Dee) in response to female-led projects.
The episode begins with Dee bringing the ladies on an “all-female” flight to Los Angeles for the Women’s March. Having lost in the original episode, the season 10 premiere “The Gang Beats Boggs,” Dee is set on drinking 70 beers on the cross country flight, a nod to a rumored feat achieved by baseball player Wade Boggs. It immediately goes wrong as Artemis replaces the booze with labia rings and other instruments of fake spirituality to sell to vulnerable women in LA. They eventually continue the game with pink rosé, the only alcohol available on board.
From the start, Artemis is against beating Boggs. “It feels lazy and uninspired to do exactly what the men do,” she says. In thinking the women need to create their own narrative, Artemis’ viewpoint illustrates a spectrum of attitudes on a flight initially inspired by the #MeToo movement. Not only is it an all-female flight, but there are also female pilots, which sends Charlie’s mom into hysterics. She’s trapped in the mindset that pilot is a male role, and a woman cannot safely operate an aircraft.
Dee, on the other hand, sees gender roles as barriers she can break down. Even if it’s almost physically impossible to drink 70 beers on a flight, she’s going to do it to one up the guys. Vindictiveness often drives her actions, and she’ll create fake rivalries with women, stepping on her sisters, if it means beating the men. As Always Sunny writer Megan Ganz told us last week: Dennis and Dee “are the yin and yang of toxic mascufemininity (TM).”
The Waitress, and her alcoholism, represent a double standard. When women binge drink it’s sad and desperate. When men do it, it’s a triumph. It’s the stuff of legend. Boggs and Boss Hog.
Each of the women and their respective views exist in a vacuum on the flight. On the way to an event that’s meant to promote unity and sisterhood, they fight, bicker, and don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion other than their own. They might not have shattered any glass ceilings or come to an understanding of how to combat toxicity, but they did have a maximum gross out at the end. “Gross out humor taking it to the next level – nobody expects that from women, that’s why it’s so shocking,” Artemis says. It’s not shocking in the slightest. We expect it from these women. And we love it.