It’s been a while since The Gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia have truly been together as one group and also going head-to-head. While it’s sometimes fun to see them off on their own adventures (see “The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore”), it’s always nice to have the five together in Paddy’s.
Usually one member of the group has something to be outraged about, but in “Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games,” the group has nothing to be angry about, so they pull out the game which the episode is named after. Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games is a amalgam of all their favorite games, and it’s just as insane, crazy and undecipherable as you would think a game made by this group would be. The game is like a combination of Trivial Pursuit, Hungry Hungry Hippos and drunken Double Dare. The game has three levels: mind, body and spirit. I could explain the rules further, but not even the gang can remember them all, as evidenced by a three-ring binder bursting at the seams with rules. In the past, Charlie and Mac have lost every game, leaving Dee and Dennis the opportunity to win the prize: smashing Charlie and Mac’s player pieces.
The first round, “Mind,” consists of trivia. But it’s more like a memory game since it’s all questions and answers they have created. For example: “What is the greatest band in the world?” “Chumbawamba!” or Charlie’s own question he couldn’t even remember: “Dennis is asshole. Why Charlie hate?” “Because Dennis is a bastard man.” The second round was “Body,” which contains physical challenges, such as a human Hungry Hungry Hippos with grapes and throwing darts at a competitor’s hand without them flinching. Even when they get hit. Finally, “Spirit” deals with breaking spirit as much as possible. Past games have left Dee in tears for a month, but as a drunk Dee states, they may be good at emotionally battering her, but she’s getting good at it now.
As the game winds down, Dee and Dennis are on level three, while the team of Charlie and Mac are still on level one. When it turns out that Dee and Dennis have been drinking water the entire time, Charlie and Mac instantly move up to level three, making the game closer than ever before. When the timer runs out with both tied up, they must consult the dreaded black card, which states that the winner of the game is decided by a coin toss, which of course Dee and Dennis win as well.
“Chardee MacDennis” gives each character at least one great moment, from Dennis unflinchingly taking darts to the hand to Mac’s attempt to flip over the game board that is nailed the bar, which he has previously acknowledged that he will still try to flip over. Plus the game allows for great restrictions on the gang that are rarely seen, such as a rule where the players can’t cuss. This mixed with the constant stream of various alcohols makes for plenty of hilarious moments for the gang.
In the last few episodes, the gang has been fractured, so an episode where they all get together for an insane board game is a welcome change. The basic group dynamics haven’t been utilized as well as they could be this season. But the cockiness of the Reynolds siblings and the constant failings of Mac and Charlie made this a great episode that ends the show’s run of recent duds.