|Dee and Frank attempt to elope (Episode 303, "Dennis and Dee's Mom Is Dead)|
|McElhenney before season 7|
Another way It's Always Sunny defies genre conventions is by playing with the notion that characters get more attractive over time, or as the series progresses. It's Always Sunny decided to combat this when Rob McElhenney decided to gain fifty pounds for the show's seventh season. He did so "to buck the sitcom convention that TV characters, unlike the rest of us, tend to get more attractive over time - he didn't settle for a fat suit." (Gray, 1). There have been no attempts to alter Danny DeVito's appearance in any way, as the character has continued to age with DeVito. Even Dee, the only female character on the show, is often times shown when her personal hygiene is questionable, a practice rarely done on other situational comedies, although it is a regular occurrence here. Most of the comedies currently on TV maybe commit one or two episodes a season to a particular character having a bad hair day, makeup, etc., but I cannot remember the last show in which one of the leads decided to gain fifty pounds in between seasons, just to buck typical genre conventions. Genius.
Although it is this type of genre bending that can turn off critics, "It's Always Sunny fails because it goes against the narrative tradition from which it came," (Martin, 21) I believe this is the reason It's Always Sunny has stayed on the air for such a long time. In defying basic genre conventions, the gang manages to give the audience a fresh look on the comedy genre, as they play by their own rules, and try to stray from conventionality as much as possible. The creative control working behind It's Always Sunny has never been afraid to take chances by breaking genre conventions, while other shows who refuse to do so become stagnant as their run carries on. It's Always Sunny has managed to give audiences a fresh look on the five friends living in the city and completely turn it upside down, their willingness and ability to humorously defy conventions being their strongest asset.
Gray, Ellen. "Rob McElhenney Tells How They Keep 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Fresh and Funny." Philly.com. N.p., 12 Oct. 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.
Martin, Jake. "Something out of Nothing." America Magazine 2 Aug. 2010: 21-25. EBSCO. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. <http://ehis.ebscohost.com.proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=af4eea55-ee1a-406f-896a-d8d6b2a991e2%40sessionmgr198&vid=2&hid=104>.
Munro, Kristin D. "Rob McElhenney Gets Real." Philadelphia Style 2012: 1-4. EBSCO. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. <http://phillystylemag.com/personalities/articles/good-fella?page=1>.