I haven't caught up with the Philly gang for quite some time. When It first started on Comedy Central years ago I tuned in every week and did the same when they switched to FX but as I got older and busier, I've only caught repeats and reruns. If I didn't see it on SVOD platforms like Netflix or during a meeting with Flip The Hood Co-Creator David Campbell playing in the background, I didn't see it at all but recently I seen an ad for the Season 12 Premiere and I just had to see it. I didn't know how to feel. I didn't know if I should be offended but I was laughing at the concept. These characters aren't good people, so what would happen if they were black for a day? I mean, do you remember when they went black face to play Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon? (I got to admit tho, I thought it was pretty funny).
The series follows "The Gang", a group of five depraved underachievers: twins Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton) and Deandra "Sweet Dee" Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson), their friends Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day) and Ronald "Mac" McDonald (Rob McElhenney), and (from season 2 onward) Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito), the man who raised Dennis and Dee. The Gang runs the dilapidated Paddy's Pub, an Irish bar in South Philadelphia.
Each member of the gang shows varying degrees of dishonesty, egotism, selfishness, greed, pettiness, ignorance, laziness, and unethical behavior; they are often engaged in controversial activities. Episodes usually find them hatching elaborate schemes and conspiring against one another and others for personal gain, vengeance, or simply the entertainment of watching another's downfall. In their latest episode, the gang get struck by lightning and wake up in black bodies. They name different movies and series trying to understand what happened to them. Wizard of Oz? Freaky Friday? Quantom Leap? To Me, this reminds me of the film Watermelon Man, a 1970 American comedy-drama film, directed by Melvin Van Peebles. It tells the story of an extremely bigoted 1960s era White insurance salesman named Jeff Gerber, who wakes up one morning to find that he has become Black. The premise for the film was inspired by Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, and by John Howard Griffin's autobiographical Black Like Me.
Unlike the film, the Sunny gang have a different but very similar experience, the biggest difference is they believe they were in a musical (because it was easier to explain the plot in song, and not because black people are musical). Frank sings waiting for the moment he can say the N word (he doesn't) and the others get their white privilege checked at the door while asking "What are the rules?" (they could of got a copy of Hidden Colors 1-4 and got their answer). I think this episode is my favorite episode out of all of all 12 seasons. I wasn't as offended as I thought I would be when I saw the ad and actually ended up appreciating it. It was funny and insightful to hear what the other half think what "black life" is and the question I ask all the time when it comes to white supremacy, What are the rules?