Unlike titles for previous episodes of Always Sunny, “Dee Reynolds Shaping America’s Youth” is somewhat misleading. In actuality, the Dee (Kaitlin Olson) storyline seemed more like a way to show of the Gang’s version of Lethal Weapon 5, with them playing every role of course. A good storyline alone can’t make up for lack of jokes in a comedy show. After watching this episode, I feel obliged to say that the reverse can still work without a strong storyline to tie it together. All in all, I liked Lethal Weapon 5 so much that I wish it was an actual movie.
The show resumes with Dee substitute teaching for her school’s drama class while Charlie is the school’s janitor. While Dee’s lack of control over her students remains consistent with the last episode, Charlie has apparently made a name for himself amongst the students, ironically as “The Professor.” He knows most kids by name and everyone is quick to greet him. In spite of this new found happiness, the job hardly seems to have changed Charlie’s demeanor as Dee is still forced to say: “Don’t eat trash Charlie” when he when he offers her a “perfectly good” orange from the garbage.
With Dee and Charlie gone, the gang decide to pass the time by revisiting a movie they made a while ago, Lethal Weapon 5. This kicks off a debate as Dennis doesn’t believe blackface was an acceptable choice in portraying Murtaugh. Personally, Mac was more upset that “[Dennis was] doing Murtaugh in whiteface” and Frank felt the real issue was how much shoe polish was used. The hilarious racist dialogue didn’t stop there, however, as Frank believed that James Earl Jones did a good blackface and Mac thought Dark Vader was black.
To make the kids think she’s cool, Dee brings them to the bar to watch a play on video, but Dennis switches the tape for Lethal Weapon 5. Like every good buddy cop movie, this one was rife with guitar segues and slow motion slides across a car hood. In the first half of the movie, Dennis plays Murtaugh as whiteface and Mac as Martin, then, deeming it necessary, Mac plays Murtaugh with blackface while Dennis plays Martin with an Australian accent for some reason. Despite how ridiculous the movie was, I was actually surprised by the great performance Frank put forth as the one-eyed, Native American villain in the movie; Danny DeVito really showed himself through his character. In the subsequent scene, I was then surprised for a different reason as the movie turned into a pornography with Frank’s character and his mistress. Awkward sex aside, the storyline of the movie was a little confusing, but one could ascertain that someone tainted the tap water supply. While one would find this lacking for Lethal Weapon 5, it made for a good one liner as Murtaugh electrocuted Frank the Native American villain: “How about a little…tainted tap water”.
This episode had a lot of great moments and it saddens me that I cannot perfectly capture how awesome a movie Lethal Weapon 5 was. Always Sunny has been on so long that it episodes seem bland because of a lack of change. Episodes like this and the Halloween episode spice things up from norm and make the jokes all the funnier.