If you are a fan of the show, you are well aware of the incredibly talented cast and crew behind It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I'm not gonna talk about that in this blog post. Within talking about this show, I will acknowledge it's genius through a different approach. When writing characters, there are different ways you can go about doing so however, the most common approach for a sitcom is to start with a bland, 1-dimensional character that we the audience know a few things about. Then the rest is fletched out when the actor is found. The writers play to each actor's abilities and strengths, which change depending on the actor and the character changes with it. In the case of this show, the actors were the writers. Dennis, Mac, and Charlie were all written by and for the actors who portray them (Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, and Charlie Day). Due to this, there is a level of control and collaboration, which is almost unheard of a television show, this giving them a more intimate understanding of a character that some shows have trouble keeping in a sitcom. Specifically watching this show, it is great seeing how dysfunctional each character is and their relationships between the rest of the "gang". Without spoiling the show, having the foundation built into your character's history is how you can stay true to a character after 14 years. The show also plays with common tv troupes, there is a lot the show toys around with, which is too many to go though in one post, but with keeping in the theme of character, the troupe they seem to follow and have the most fun with is the idea of these people only hanging out with is each other. On every sitcom that I can think of the main cast never changes. The revolves around small group of people from start to finish, whether that's coworkers at an office building, a small suburban family, or some young and attractive friends in the city. It's how every major sitcom functions. As an audience we know that it is a TV show you have your main cast that predominately makes up the show with guest stars and other supporting roles to expand on the scenes that don't involve the entire group at the same time. However, this isn't an accurate reflection of how most people live their lives. We meet new people constantly and where overtime the average person's social circle can change dramatically over the years. In "It's Always Sunny..." takes this idea and runs with it. What would happen if you surrounded yourself with the same people every single day of your life and what would happen when these people are all egotistical morons ? Regardless of what is thrown at the gang, they never learn or grow from anything that happens. They been addicted to drugs, witnessed to murder, involved in a hostage situation, dealt with loss of loved ones, confronted a serial killer, tackled every hot-button political topic imaginable ("The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis", "Mac Fights Gay Marriage", "Gun Fever" and it's sequel "Gun Fever Too: Still Hot" to name a few) but eventually, they always just end up back at the bar, no different for having gone through any of these experiences. Vince Gilligan, writer of Breaking Bad states "Television is historically good at keeping it's characters in a self-imposed stasis, so that the show can go on for years, or even decades", which is usually a point of contention that I have with most shows, but in It's Always Sunny, this self imposed stasis is exactly what continues to make the show work. They're too self-centered to ever address the very real and very numerous problems in their lives. No matter how cruel they can be to each other, they always come back because it's what is familiar, and considering the pattern of destruction they have interacting with people outside of the gang, no one else really wants anything to do with them, except for the people who are just as much of a mess as they are, like the McPoyle's, or the Ponderossa's, so they continue to spiral downwards, becoming more selfish and vain and greedy as the show goes forward. Overall, that is the magic of the show, it's why I'm still enjoying it after watching the next episode after the next. There is something oddly satisfying about seeing these complete assholes go through all of this suffering but never seem to grasp that they are the cause of their own misery, and never learn from any of their mistakes.