We Review It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia SN12 EP03 – “Old Lady House: A Situation Comedy”


It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has started Season 12 with 2 home runs – The Gang Turns Black and The Gang Goes to a Water Park. After two excellent episodes, expectations were high for them to keep the momentum going.

In this episode, after Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day) receives what he views as a letter from his mother that sounds like a cry for help. Charlie’s mom is living with Mac’s mom. The gang decides to put up surveillance equipment to see if Mrs. Kelly truly is in danger.

After reviewing the footage – including several threatening comments from Mac’s mom, Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton) comes to the conclusion that with the right editing, the footage might make a good sitcom. Things keep building as Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito) thinks he can use the show to get himself some action. Dee Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson) naturally tries to use the show as a showcase for her comedy, but finds herself permanently trapped between stairway spaces.

Honestly, this is a premise that sounds funnier than it plays out. The joke about Dennis putting a laugh track over a threat starts out funny but overstays its welcome. Speaking of the laugh track, the characters’ commentary on laugh tracks is a little too on the nose to be funny.

Also some of the parodies of old school sitcoms (including references to The Honeymooners) feel a little passé. I think one of the reasons these jokes don’t click is that the show keeps up its normal MO while still trying to present this episode as a satire.

However, don’t write this episode off entirely. There are jokes that work. Charlie has some of the funniest lines in this episode, especially when he’s showing off the note he received. Some of the bits about Dee being trapped in the stairway are amusing, even if they grow repetitive quickly.

The episode becomes a little funnier when Dennis starts going overboard, treating this too much like a real sitcom. Dennis tries adding characters such as a creepy character who Dennis thinks he can frame as a romantic interest. Much to Mac’s (Rob McElhenney) annoyance, Dennis even considers removing Mac’s mother from the show. Plus, this episode ends on a darkly humorous note.

Overall, “Old Lady House: A Situational Comedy” is a passable but not great episode. There have been much better episodes, but there have also been much worse episodes. Maybe if what I described sounds funny, you might like this one.

The Good
  • - Some funny lines from Charlie, especially his note - The show livens up as more stuff builds and builds - The ending is pretty funny
The Bad
  • - Much of the humor and criticism is too on-the-nose - Some of the parodies feel a little passe - Attempts to mix satire with regular humor just don't gel

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