It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Review: “The Gang Tries Desperately To Win An Award” (Season 9, Episode 3)


After years and years of somehow surviving despite seemingly no customers ever buying anything from their bar at all, this week the Gang decides that it’s finally time to win an award. After all, Paddy’s is a bar, why can’t it be the best bar in Philly? Well, it may have to do with the fact that their bartender can’t make anything other than a bottle beer, or it could even be the fact that they were once dubbed The Worst Bar In America. But nah, it probably isn’t any of those things. It’s probably just the fact they’ve never been nominated right? Well, that’s the thought process that leads to the Gang desperately trying to win an award on this week’s episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

The Gang decides to go on down and find the right people in the industry who can get them nominated. Frank is willing to pay the guy all the attention he needs, but it turns out the entry fee is only 10 dollars, and the Gang had always returned that form covered in feces and racial slurs. Once the $10 is paid, they’re officially in the competition. They then decide to check out one of the past winners to see just what it is that bar is doing right.

The first thought that should conjure is that this episode is reminiscent of back when there was a bar crawl and the Gang had to check out their competition’s microbrew. This time around, instead of running into Mr. Kim and a pirate door, they enter a bright, neon-filled, pop music-blaring bar. It’s the sort of happy place where people actually enjoy themselves, and thus the Gang hates it. They see it as too bright, too loud, and too pleasant. After a little while observing the way the bar works though, they’re ready to adopt just about everything they see and make Paddy’s the new Suds. Meanwhile, Frank has been trying to win over the manager (played quite well by Oscar Nunez of The Office) who has been to Paddy’s and says it’s nothing more than a bunch of people sitting around and yelling at each other.

When it comes to the best way to win the competition, everyone has a different idea. Mac, Dennis, and Dee want to make their bar a happy, joyful place, with pleasant banter to keep the customers entertained. Basically everything they saw at Suds is brought to Paddy’s. Frank wants to go darker with it, make the bar a classy, upscale place, with martinis and dim lights. Kind of like the strip club he was at the night before. And Charlie, well Charlie wants to win best song, despite the fact that there is no best song competition.

The night where all the voters come to Paddy’s rolls around, and it’s Dennis’ method that seems to have won out. The bar is bright, and people actually seem to be enjoying themselves. It’s a stark change from the way things usually go. Of course, the banter between Mac and Dee doesn’t quite work out how Dennis planned, so he takes some of the guests into the back room for an exclusive club, which is supposed to be Frank’s martini bar. Instead, the door is opened to reveal Frank and Artemis, less than clothed, with a bottle going uh… somewhere into Frank. The problems complicate further when Charlie comes out of the basement high as a kite on spray paint, and sings a song that consists of a lot of bleeped words. He then spits at the patrons, which the rest of the Gang interprets as a signal and follows suit. So what if they didn’t win the award? At least they weren’t unoriginal. Still, would’ve been nice.