Why It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia Changed Dee's Character

While some shows change things up in major ways as seasons pass, viewers can always count on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to stick to its comedic guns – someone get that gun away from Frank! – and we take comfort in knowing it won’t make any dramatic leaps in narrative approach. Though it all goes back to when the show was first conceived, Sweet Dee probably would have been completely different had Kaitlin Olson not been the actress cast in the role. Let’s all give thanks that her skills changed the character for the better.

Stars Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day were talking with Vice about the show’s first 10 seasons on FX and FXX, and Howerton explained how Dee’s personality was formed.

You can see the evolution in the first series; mine and Rob's characters didn't change all that much, but we wanted the character of Sweet Dee to [change]. We didn't want a typical ‘the girl is the straight guy and the guys are the crazy ones who the girl doesn't get to be as funny as’ show. We knew we didn't want to do that, but we didn't know how. When we cast Kaitlin she brought so much to it in the first season that we were able to figure it out, and figure out what was funny about her. I have to give her a tremendous amount of credit because she really pushed us.

Olson is hands down one of the funniest people on TV right now, and has been for years. Not just considering women, either, but everyone. Even on this show, in which every single actor is memorably hilarious. I mean, you’ve got Danny DeVito at his most depraved, Howerton at his most pompous, Day at his most imbecilic, Rob McElhenney at his most Mac-ish, and that’s not even considering the plethora of winning side characters like Artemis Pebdani’s Artemis, David Horsby’s Rickety Cricket, and Jimmi Simpson and Nate Mooney as the McPoyle brothers. There are no misses on this show.

Day went a little further into how one of their creative goals is indeed holding the show to its own fairly simple rulebook of characteristics.

We really strive to make sure the characters don't change very much. Sort of the heart of the show is their unflappable ignorance and lack of self-awareness that allows us to laugh at some of the despicable things they do.

Dee seems like she would be the least morally repugnant, since she’s the bird character that everyone likes to throw under the bus, but goddammit, she’s just as awful as those around her. Check out a particularly fabulous supercut of her best moments below.

Season 11 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will soon be upon us, as it set to premiere on Wednesday, January 6, on FXX.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.