This underappreciated sitcom by writer & actor Ricky Gervais is decidedly special. The series revolves around a possibly autistic carer who works at an old people’s home and straddles the line between bold characterisation and editorial insight with exactly the right poise. Gervais’ trademark satire continues to shine but this time comes from a place of strong social responsibility.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is deserving of its flagrantly ironic title. It delivers what is promised: humour that’s pitch-black. Dark comedy has always been used to explore serious social issues in a light-hearted way, but creator/actor Rob McElhenney is particularly adept. Not only does he confront the most personal aspect of life – our humanity – but does so in a way that is thought-provokingly fun. In short, this superb sitcom is an unforeseen advocate of modern morality. The four main characters Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Dee (Kaitlin Olson), Charlie (Charlie Day) and Mac (Rob McElhenney) are incredibly mean, selfish, vain and cowardly to the point of abstraction. Their questionable choices always lead to anarchic conclusions, both physically and mentally, cleverly subverting their personalities.
Amidst the cloud-swept moons of crisper evenings comes Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. However, far from being the creepy slasher flick that the title evokes, the film emerges as a stunning work of art. This Wild-West inspired storyline is centred on an Iranian vampire and was produced by Elijah Wood. The movie incredibly demonstrates the transformative power of conceptual creativity. The backdrop is the dark criminal world of the fictional ‘Bad City’, but Amirpour’s artistic vision manages to nurture a vitality that rises, overflows and saturates the whole narrative: profound thinking crafts what could otherwise be gloomy or clichéd territory into an ecosphere of a luminous dream-land.
A Rebellious Perspective on Mental Health (2013) “This is what I learned at the hospital. You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, you have a shot at a silver lining.” Pat Solitano