Look, when it comes to the holiday season? Television needs to mix things up a lot when it comes to their 24-hour holiday marathons. Okay, are we still good with A Christmas Story? Yeah, that gets a pass. Not sure why, but it does. But It's a Wonderful Life? It's a story about a dude with Stockholm Syndrome who needs a near-death experience and selfish supernatural intervention for him to get control of his life back finally. And Miracle on 34th Street? Nothing more than an infomercial for department stores that falls apart towards the end (barely redeemed by the courtroom/Santa's mail scene). But then there's FXX's Kaitlin Olson, Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, and Rob McElhenney-starring comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Now, they've had one of the best Christmas episodes running for the past dozen years. So where's the love? Because this year seems like the perfect time for FX Networks to start making 24-hour airings of "A Very Sunny Christmas" an annual tradition on par with "Life" and "Miracle."
If we're putting our cards on the table, FX Networks? We saw what you did on FXX on Friday nights. You pushed back the "Always Sunny" mini-marathons to 1 am ET. Don't think we wouldn't notice… and we are not pleased. But we're more than willing to table that for the spirit of the holidays. That said, there's no reason this can't happen, FX Networks. And we're talking on FXX or FX; doing something on streaming or a FAST channel or something like that doesn't count. And this needs to be a tradition… not happening one year, then taking two off, and then returning again.
But to that end, never let it be said that we don't have a case to make for our request. We're going to kick things off with a clip that may best represent the qualities that this special has that should make making it a new 24-hour holiday tradition a no-brainer. Following that, we consulted only the finest mind in Bird Law (we won't name-drop… but you know who) to make our case as to why "A Very Sunny Christmas" should've been celebrating its tenth year as a holiday television tradition by now:
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Does Right by the Holiday Season
Written by Day & McElhenney and directed by Fred Savage, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia S06E13/14 "A Very Sunny Christmas" finds Mac (McElhenney) and Charlie (Day ) attempting to rediscover the spirit of Christmas for themselves, while Dennis (Howerton) and Dee (Olson) attempt to convince Frank (DeVito) to change his ways. Look, I could rattle off a gaggle of reasons why this episode deserves its own 24 hours of recognition: the flashbacks to The Gang when they were younger (DeVito with the bad dye job/wig alone is worth it), the revelation that Charlie's Mom (Lynne Marie Stewart) was a one-woman "Santa's Little Helper;" Dennis and Dee proving they don't really get the meaning of "A Christmas Carol;" Charlie probably killing that mall Santa and getting away with it; and Frank's Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer/Frosty the Snowman-inspired claymation nightmare.
But instead, I'm sticking with Mac's journey…
Turns out Mac's "sweet holiday memories" of Christmas with the family were actually altered and repressed memories of robbing other families at Christmas. Mac's dad Luther (Gregory Scott Cummins) made that their annual "family tradition," convincing Mac that's how the real Christmas worked: taking stuff from others while they're asleep. As anyone who's familiar with the show knows, this had to be some deeply ingrained s**t when it takes Charlie, of all people, to bring Mac back around to reality. So what do Mac And Charlie do when they feel like there's a "wrong" that needs to be righted? Oh, they'll right it…and sweet baby Jesus, help anyone who gets in their way. So from there, Mac's "road to salvation" involves returning a stolen Omnibot, a malicious, near-deadly encounter with a department store Santa, and convincing Ricky Falcone (American Gods' Pablo Schreiber) that his life's been a tragedy ever since his toy was stolen…whether Ricky wants to believe that or not.
Because Ricky soon realizes one thing we've grown to love and appreciate about Charlie, Mac, Dennis, Dee, and Frank – as he's yelling at them out of his bedroom window in the middle of the night: for these lovably narcissistic sociopaths, it's always about The Gang first. Even if it means caroling at people against their will in the middle of the night just to make themselves feel better. But as the final scenes show us, as the rest of The Gang joins Charlie and Mac in a little rock-throwing holiday tradition, we get the biggest truth that shines out from this episode: turns out "family" isn't necessarily about those you're related to – but those you relate to. And it's that final message that allows this holiday episode to more that cross the finish line into being deserving of a 24-hour recognition. So let's make it happen, FX Networks… there's still time to stay off our "Naughty" list.