It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has managed to do some outlandish and bizarre things with its core cast of characters over the years. Some of these developments have been quick and jarring, but one significant change that recently occurred on the series has been in the making since the very beginning of the series. Mac finally and definitively came out as gay during this week's episode of the FXX series, and the underlying reason for the decision was to try and send a positive message from the overwhelmingly dark series. It's Always Sunny star Charlie Day explained:
I also think with what the sort of message is behind him making that decision, I think it actually does more sort of societal good to finally have Mac make that decision. So we decided, all right, let's find a way to actually have that happen.
Times have changed since It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia debuted twelve years ago, and Charlie Day's recent comments to Uproxx indicate that the creative forces behind the series finally decided that it was time to commit to that specific character development. While It's Always Sunny's characters have never really been known for their desire to do anything good or decent, the guys who play them see it as an opportunity to do some good and make a positive statement about society.
Of course, it's worth mentioning that It's Always Sunny didn't reveal Mac's homosexuality in the most delicate way. The smoking gun that ultimately confirmed the gang's longtime assumptions about Mac turned out to be a dildo-equipped exercise bike aptly named the "Ass Pounder 4000." The episode may send a positive message, but that doesn't mean it's free from vulgarity. That's not the Always Sunny way.
Honestly, it's also not like they're compromising the character by doing this. Mac finally coming out as gay wasn't exactly a shocker for longtime fans of the series. It had been telegraphed consistently as far back as Season 1, and regularly hinted at from season to season. It's an evolution that fans have seen coming from miles away. In fact, the show allowed Mac to come out last season and subsequently incurred a negative response from fans when it walked back on the revelation. According to Charlie Day, that backlash was one of the main reasons why It's Always Sunny finally decided to go all in on Mac's homosexuality. Day explained:
Well, I think the season before we had him have that moment and then quickly take it back, and I think there were maybe a lot of people who were sort of disappointed by that, which makes sense. That's what our show is. You know, these characters are out to disappoint you.
These characters may disappoint us, but seeing Mac finally come out is a seriously satisfying culmination of a twelve-year character arc. Given It's Always Sunny's penchant for the absurd and the offensive, we don't think the series is going to use this development to make too many politically correct statements in the coming episodes.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia airs every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. EST on FXX. For more information regarding all of 2017's spring debuts, make sure to take a look at our midseason premiere guide!