Considering how well Season 7 of ‘Sunny’ has crammed in jokes about Fat Mac, you might expect the episode titled ‘How Mac Got Fat’ to be one of the season’s very best. Alas, it’s just an average episode.
Episode Summary: Mac goes to a Catholic confessional to convince the priest (W. Morgan Sheppard) to spite the rest of the Gang for making him fat. Via flashbacks, we see why Mac puts the blame on everyone else. Six weeks earlier, Paddy’s started thriving in business. Mac, Dennis and Dee became obsessed with their success and let the business go to pot. Mac began partying too hard to pay any attention to the bar, and Dennis became overly vain. Without Dennis to back him up, Mac got caught in one of Dee’s crappy plans to hire replacements (or “avatars,” as Mac calls them) to work their shifts. When Mac finds a muscle-bound beefcake to fill his role, he decides that he has to bulk up to resemble his avatar more. After the bar’s good business tanks from sheer neglect, everyone else returns to their earlier states, except Mac, who thought that the avatar plan was still on track because nobody told him otherwise.
Episode Thoughts: There could have been a dozen ways to better explain why Mac put on so much weight. Watching the Gang splinter off into separate selfish states is pretty funny, especially when Dennis dyes his hair and chemically burns his skin. But the main explanation to the season-long obesity mystery should be better. It could have involved old friends like the Tranny or the McPoyle clan, or it could have been something completely new. The route that the show chooses is mild and tame compared to its potential, or the quality of this season’s Fat Mac jokes.
Frank has some great moments throughout the episode. His one-track mind gets stuck on pulling pranks, like waking Charlie up in the middle of the night to make “meat bombs” by sticking firecrackers into lamb meat, as a new way to “flash cook a gyro sandwich.” He puts up two new stop signs in an intersection, thinking that it will stop all traffic because nobody will be able to go, only to have Charlie point out that he actually made the intersection safer by turning it into a four-way stop. It’s silly, I know, but funny nonetheless.
As Charlie struggles to hold the down the fort while everyone else goes off in their separate directions, he supplies a few classic Charlie moments. When Franks explains about his meat bombs, a frustrated and tired Charlie throws a temper tantrum and escapes the idiotic banter by “going in the crevice” between the head of the sofa bed and the backing of the couch. And when Charlie and Dennis sniff turpentine fumes in their back office two-man rave, Charlie’s trippy dancing is really funny.
Dee’s selfish story is tame, nothing we haven’t seen before. Instead of repeatedly telling long jokes that never land to her customers, she should have brought back her racially insensitive characters. Her best line of the episode comes near the end. After walking in on Charlie and Dennis’ office party, she asks, “What the hell are you dickbags doing back here?” I’m always a fan of vulgar lines, but when that’s the funniest thing Dee does all episode, it’s a sure sign that this isn’t the best of ‘Sunny’.
Emo Dennis is pretty funny this week. He’s completely worried about his vanity. “Clearly, the success of the bar has proven that I’ve achieved physical perfection and there’s nowhere to go but down.” All Dennis cares about is not looking good. He dyes his hair jet black to eliminate a few gray strands and destroys his face with a chemical peel. Thank heaven for his depression, because that’s what convinces Charlie to huff fumes in the office.
It’s weird to see Skinny Mac back on screen. It’s been almost a year since we’ve seen him like that. After ten straight episodes of nasty Fat Mac, it’s sad to see him go. Hopefully, he’ll linger around until the end of the season and give us more high-pitched, whiny Charlie impressions.