By Analeigh Hughes

Since the first season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” aired in 2005, a lot has changed. However, after watching the premiere episode of its 13th season, it is clear that despite Mac being skinny again, the Paddy’s gang hasn’t changed a bit.

In Dennis’s absence, the gang has managed to find someone to take his place — Cindy, who is played by Mindy Kaling. We do not know how they met her or how their relationship came to be, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned from 13 seasons of this show, it’s to expect the unexplained. She attempts to rally the Gang to Make Paddy’s Great Again by inciting a political ideology showdown to bring down their rival bar.

The plan is going well, and Cindy appears to have taken over as the Gang’s fearless leader, until a misunderstanding leads to a giant doll of Dennis (that can’t be returned) being delivered. In typical “It’s Always Sunny” fashion, something completely harmless messes with their psyche, making it impossible to complete the task at hand.

Another It’s Always Sunny trope that has carried over to season 13 is the gang deciding to change their lives, but then quickly reverting to their old ways. Although Dennis’ absence has created a new dynamic, by the end of the episode the gang has decided that they prefer the way things used to be. In the final moments of the episode, Dennis’ fate is revealed to us all.

There are many tropes that are continued from season to season, yet they never feel overdone because they are applied to a variety of different scenarios. Some things haven’t changed in 13 seasons — whether it be the Gang’s insecurity in their relationships or Charlie’s love for The Waitress. They’ve even started to poke fun at some of these, such as when Dee says that she can hear the Dennis doll telling her to put more makeup on.

Although the general nature of the show has not changed much, one thing they have always done a great job with is keeping up with the current times. It can be very easy for long-running TV shows to fall into a timeless black hole,  but “It’s Always Sunny” successfully acknowledges that the world is not the same as it was 13 years ago — yet still makes you feel like no time has passed while inside Paddy’s.

Featured Photo Credit: “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”‘s Facebook page.

Analeigh Hughes is a junior journalism major and can be reached at analeigh@terpmail.umd.edu.

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