Before you read any further, make sure you’ve seen The Gang Solves The Gas Crisis and have at least a vague memory of it. If not, stop! Go back to season 4 and watch it. Otherwise you will miss out on full appreciation of one of the most brilliant episodes of comedic television in a long time.
That’s right, The Gang Recycles Their Trash is not only one of the all-time funniest episodes of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, but one of the best episodes of any sitcom in recent years. Bold statement, I know, but it is certainly warranted, as the show took the mockery of themselves and the rest of TV to a new level, and found something special in the process.
There’s a consensus among some critics that the 8th season of a sitcom is when the writers begin to run out of ideas and simply find new ways, many times by slightly shuffling around the characters, to recycle the jokes that they’ve already gotten far too much mileage out of.
Well tonight the Sunny writers recycled and they shuffled characters, but they made no attempts to hide their efforts or their intentions. They took some of the best pieces of the funniest episodes of the past, including the main plot from potentially the funniest, The Gang Solves The Gas Crisis, and wove them together, all while acknowledging exactly what they were doing, and with the cast doing subtle imitations of each other when they had been shuffled to a spot where someone else previously was.
The title may be the wittiest part of the whole episode. Simply hearing The Gang Recycles Their Trash, one would assume that the episode would involve the gang and trash, which it did, but the title was a direct reference to what the exceptional writing trio of Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, and Glenn Howerton did with the episode.
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