Probably one of the worst ideas ever is to put The Gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia near, around or in charge of children. In the third episode of the season “Frank Reynolds’ Little Beauties,” not only are they put in charge of about a dozen children, but they also have to put on a beauty pageant. And as usual, when the gang tries to do something right, everything goes horribly wrong.
While at a strip club, Frank meets a man looking for investors for a beauty pageant. Frank is willing to front the money but finds out later that the man is a pedophile and that it’s actually a children’s beauty pageant. The gang starts out hesitant, but Charlie gets them on the right track. Charlie states that while in other countries women have to wear “big black tarps or whatever”, but that “in America, we can show toddlers in tiny bikinis, we can make them tan. Because that’s our right as Americans.” According to Charlie, “we should dress up our little kids, just to show other people we can.” After this rousing speech, the gang gets to work on their pageant.
Frank’s main goal is to let everyone know that he doesn’t like to diddle kids, even though he looks like a complete creep after busting his face open tripping in the bar. Charlie, Dennis and Mac get together to work on music for the show. Anyone who is a fan of the show’s previous musical interludes, such as “Day Man” and “The Nightman Cometh” musical will have fun with their choices. Dee tries to coach the girls but after getting in a fight with one of them, decides to help an indifferent pageant contest win. Dee unfortunately is the closest thing the show gets to a pageant mom, which seems like a missed opportunity. A great highlight though is Charlie trying to choreograph a dance for the young stars. With the gang under watch by the “Family Association for the Protection of Children”, or “FAPC”, they try about as hard as the gang can to not screw things up.
The show immediately seems like a bad idea. Frank has gone to a mortician for his makeup to cover up his shattered face. He also thinks it’s a great idea to bring the mortician to the pageant, since he clearly has nothing to hide if he’s willing to hang out with people as creepy as the mortician. The gang even recruits Artemis to do sound, even though she has no understanding of what she’s doing. As they state “who else are we gonna get? We don’t have a deep bench.”
The four sing a hilarious into song and with Frank joining the stage in terrifying white makeup reminiscent of his days as The Penguin, stating clearly that he doesn’t diddle children, the show is off. The show is going fine…until the gang gets involved. Dee does a duet with her favorite girl about how parents stink that couldn’t be less appropriate when she says that moms are a “big humongous pain in my vagina!” Following that up is t he only boy in the show who gets a little help from Mac, Dennis and Charlie. They turn his simple version of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” into a futuristic techno song, fresh with painted on abs and a laser show.
The show is nearing its end when a unknowingly miked Frank talks to the mortician about whether or not he ever has sex with the dead bodies. Frank goes on about the topic for longer than any normal person does, including OK’ing such activities. After realizing his mistake, Frank takes the stage again to try and cover. Frank hits the ground when the cops come running in, and it surprisingly isn’t for anyone in the gang, but instead they are coming for the man from the “FAPC”. The gang decides they want no part of this, claiming that while little beauty pageants may be an American tradition, they’re not a proud one.
This season, the gang has mostly been splintered into separate stories, but here it’s nice to see the five of them work towards a common goal. “Frank Reynolds’ Little Beauties” hits some classic It’s Always Sunny notes that are always great, like Charlie dancing and the gang creating their own musical interludes.
This third episode was probably the weakest so far this season, not going as dark as prior episodes. I mean no one even died this episode! But even lacking the darkness that this season has previously encountered, the singing, the dancing and the gang working together made “Frank Reynolds’ Little Beauties” a fine episode, even without the murders, blood vomiting and crack addictions.