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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: It's A Very Sunny Christmas - television series DVD / comedy DVD / holiday special DVD review
IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA: IT'S A VERY SUNNY CHRISTMAS Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 1/2 star
Actors: Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson, Danny DeVito
Director: Fred Savage   Distributor: 20th Century Fox
DVD release: 17 November 2009   Runtime: 43 minutes
(1 disc)
Format: Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Features: Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital Stereo - English), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), Young Charlie & Young Mac deleted scenes, Behind-the-scenes making-of featurette, Sunny sing-a-long

The Christmas special for the FX show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, It's A Very Sunny Christmas, is one to avoid. Even for an extreme comedy, it misses the mark.

The special is a farce loosely based on the Scrooge theme. Danny DeVito is the jerk of a father who goes out of his way to ruin the holiday for his adult children. They in turn use their fuming bitterness and anger to teach him a lesson. Meanwhile, Charlie and Mac take a romp down memory lane and discover how disgustingly broken their childhoods actually were. In the end, the group learns a demented lesson. The brief Wonder Years -esque moment that serves as a finale (Wonder Years alum Fred Savage directs) just isn't enough to keep this one out of the garbage can.

It's A Very Sunny Christmas is somewhat reminiscent of The Simpsons or South Park, but with adults, live-action and, sadly, a complete lack of anything resembling humor. The gunk and gore attempted is usually better left to cartoons. Two grown men attack Santa and explore ridiculously extreme family dysfunction involving sex for hire and toy theft traditions. Overall, the squawky voices mingled with the constant whining and tantrums, nastiness, and oddly placed nudity makes the show an utter waste of forty-five minutes.

Poor writing and low quality acting are the hallmarks of It's A Very Sunny Christmas. It is billed as a comedy but relies entirely on crudeness, gore and language with a shallow, regurgitated storyline. Shock factor does not a comedy make:
"And this is how they will react
When they finally crack
They'll rip your arm off at the bone
Eat it like an ice cream cone
And gouge your eyes out with a spoon."
To get the full effect of this little ditty, imagine the gushing and splattering blood. The beginning of this scene is the closest it got to "funny."

The extra features watch like a pair of young teen boys with a clunky old camcorder who decided to memorialize their worst thoughts and impulses for posterity - worse than the show itself, if possible.

Pushing the envelope can be great in comedy, or it can be a horrendous mistake. It's A Very Sunny Christmas is an unfortunate flop.
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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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