I’m afraid I’ve never gotten into FXX’s very long running comedy show, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
To be honest, I never “got” it. Is it funny/funny or satire or….what is it?
(It never felt funny to me….at least, not MY kind of funny. Which is, of course, one of the most subjective things out there. Liking/Not liking any form of art/entertainment is obviously very subjective, but comedy is so deeply personal…you either get it or you don’t wanna.)
For those of you unaware, the show centers on a gang of oddball friends who center their lives around the seedy Philadelphia bar and they all generally act like all awful assholes to one another. It’s really just a show about assholes trying to out-asshole one another.
But, “Sunny” had a stunning finale last week to wrap up their 13th season (13?!?!? Really?) The character Mac, played by hottie patottie Rob McElhenney, danced a dramatic and compelling modern dance number to come out to his imprisoned father. No, it doesn’t really make any sense that a complicated modern dance number with water effects and dramatic lighting would happen in prison, but that’s how this show is.
The number, in contrast to the rest of the show, was played dead seriously…it wasn’t funny or a parody. It was a gorgeous piece of dance theater with an emotional overload to short circuit a Nicholas Sparks novel.
It also doesn’t hurt that McElhenney, one of the creators/producers of the series, displays his muscled up body for the number. The actor worked out for months to get buff enough to portray his newly out character and to have the correct physique for the very demanding choreography required.
Towleroad offers up some backstory with links to more info on the production of the number.
Mac has gone from heavy to “comically jacked” as AV Club notes, and now we know why: “In this week’s season finale, it was revealed that the reason Mac is in such good shape is that he’s been preparing an elaborate modern dance piece in order to express his emotional turmoil to his imprisoned father. Recently, Vulture got the inside story on this breathtaking surprise performance, which apparently took months of work and planning to make happen. First, in order to get into the shape necessary to pull this off, McElhenney worked with celebrity trainer Arin Babaian, who gained notoriety working with Channing Tatum on Magic Mike. Once he was in good enough shape to dance for two hours a day, he reached out to choreographers Alison Faulk and Leo Moctezuma, and together they crafted the emotional modern routine that McElhenney would ultimately perform alongside professional ballerina Kylie Shea.”
It is a beautiful piece of television. McElhenney went out on a limb in every possible way to stretch himself as an artist, and it pays off. The actor himself is straight but he’s tuned into the LGBQT world. His mom divorced his dad when McElhenney was young and came out as a lesbian.
Whether you like the show or not, this moment from the show is worth checking out.
It’s the kind of thing that wins buttloads of awards.