There’s a sitcom currently running on TV that quite frankly offends me. I’m not easily offended. In fact, about the only other thing that I find offensive is people who are always feeling offended. It seems that, in this country, being offended has risen to become America’s favorite pastime. Hearing all these people who get on TV and blather on about the things that offend them, I began to think I was missing out on something.
Not wanting to feel left out, I decided to start looking around for something to be offended by. Unable to find anything under the sofa or out in the bushes, I turned to the TV. That’s how I came across an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” In case you haven’t seen it, the show is about four young bar owners and one of their fathers, who is played by Danny DeVito. Once you’ve seen a few episodes, it becomes uncertain if and who Danny DeVito is actually a father to, which gives you an inkling into the lifestyle of the show’s characters. To put it mildly, these five constitute the worst gang of perverted, ignorant, and egotistical people you have ever seen.
So, what offended me about it? Well, as the title implies, these people are from Philadelphia, which makes them Yankees. Sure, they’re South Philly Yankees, which even New Jersey Yankees try to distance themselves from. Still, most non-Yankees would fail to make that distinction, and so it would be real easy for someone to watch the show and believe that all Yankees are as shallow and egotistical as these people. The fact that they’d be absolutely right has nothing to do with it.
Figuring I was on to something here, I started watching episode after episode in order to work myself into a good, artery-bursting lather. I wanted to become outraged to the point of leaving profane voice messages on the phones at FX Networks, who airs the show, and sending death threat letters to Rob McElhenny, the show’s creator and one of the co-stars. I might even get inspired post a raging tweet or two.
But then something strange happened. The more I watched, the more I found myself liking the show. I mean, yeah, it does portray Yankees in a bad light, carrying on a tradition that was established in earlier series like “The Sopranos.” (It was because of this show that when I first moved to Louisiana, the first thing people would ask me is if I was “made.”)
Although I did feel a my knickers wadding up into a bit of a twist, to me the show’s entertainment value easily trumped its offensive character. Watching some gang of miscreants with planet-sized heads cook up idiotic schemes for money and sex, only to see them come crashing down time after time under the weight of their own ineptitude, is just plain funny no matter how you slice it. Plus, there’s Danny DeVito.
I’ve come to the realization that getting offended is just not in my DNA. I’ll just have to leave it to someone else to take up the cause against stereotyping of Yankees by the public media. I could offer this column as the first target. It’s the least I could do to help.