It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is finally back this week, and viewers will immediately notice some big changes to the popular FXX series when It’s Always Sunny season 13 debuts.
For starters, Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton) has been doubly replaced by a visually similar sex doll that was ordered by Mac (Rob McElhenney) and professional scammer Cindy (Mindy Kaling). Throw in a few obvious references to the current political climate in America (like the premiere episode title, The Gang Makes Paddy’s Great Again) and you’ve got the makings of another great season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Kaitlin Olson, who has played Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds since the very beginning, thinks the show’s return to form has everything to do with the yearlong break everyone took between seasons 12 and 13.
Kaitlin Olson talks It’s Always Sunny season 13
“It was great that we took a break for a year because we just really, really needed one,” she explains. “Everyone was so excited and enthusiastic to come back after taking a year off to do this season. Everything is fresh and exciting again. I mean, that being said, these are like my favorite people in the world. It’s always fun to show up and just play with them all day.”
So yes, the series’ continued success has just as much to do with the recent break as it does with the cast and crew’s camaraderie. Yet Olson adds that their dedication to being as funny as possible, regardless of whatever taboos or boundaries they may be crossing, is also a big part of the success of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
“We just like to do stuff that’s unique and different and interesting,” she says. “I don’t like hearing people say the same catchphrases over and over again. I don’t want to see the same storylines over and over again. I have always been drawn to comedy storylines and sensibilities where people say things that I haven’t heard before. Or when they take a very common topic and give it a completely different spin. Something I haven’t seen before.”
Consider the fourth episode of It’s Always Sunny season 13, titled Time’s Up For The Gang. When Olson heard they were going to “[do] an episode about the #MeToo movement,” she “got so excited” about the prospect.
“I couldn’t possibly fathom what they were going to do with it. Then I read the script and it just fulfilled everything I wanted it to be,” she laughs. “This show is so smart, funny and unique. It’s also still very relevant to what’s happening today. That’s just a really amazing combination, and it’s really hard to find on TV these days.”
Even so, with 13 seasons under its belt, wouldn’t it be safe to assume that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia won’t last forever? Original cast member and writer Howerton left the show after last season, after all, so its inevitable conclusion is a safe assumption, yes?
“When we aren’t making each other laugh anymore, or it’s starting to feel old to us, I think we’ll be happy to move on,” Olson reflects. “Nobody wants to overstay their welcome. I know they already have their final episode planned out. They won’t even tell me what it is. But we’re really proud of the show we’re making, so I think once we can’t say that anymore, we’ll all be done.”
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia season 13 premieres Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 10 p.m. on FXX.