It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is dark comedy sitcom. It used to be on FX but now it’s on FXX. She is one of the two female characters that play a major role and she is the only one who actually gets a name. Dee has been in 133 out of the shows current 134 episodes while the other, the Waitress has been in 26. Dee, her twin brother Dennis, her father Frank, and their friends Charlie and Mac are all horrible people and with the possible exception of Frank, are all alcoholics. Along with that Dennis and Dee once got addicted to crack so they could go on welfare instead of working. They all work at their bar Paddy’s Pub. They are all bad people in different ways and that probably helps them be friends.
During high school she wore a back brace because of her scoliosis. There she met Matthew Marra who fell in love with her. She abused that on many incidents including saying she would kiss him if he ate cow poop. He ate it and she refused to kiss him. Dee went to Penn State college where she majored in psychology. She failed her classes. During her time there she was institutionalized for setting her roommate on fire. She dreams of being an actress/comedian but as extreme stage fright. Meeting up with Matthew marra again she convinced him to leave his life as a priest for her only to leave him when he was no longer useful to her. This was his downfall into being exploited by her and her friends, going from a priest to a homeless man. She has many insecurities because of things such as her father treating her poorly along with wearing a large metal back brace all through high school. She is fast to speak her mind despite all this and violent on occasion. In short, she is a very human character, she is not perfect.
Feminism meaning the belief that men and women should be equal is something that I doubt Dee would be against, but would Dee describe herself as a feminist? She calls out when she isn’t treated equally and does what she can to prove that she is is just as capable as any man at anything. In season three episode two titled “The Gang Gets Invincible” is a fine example. In this episode the Philadelphia Eagles open up football trials to the public. Dennis and Mac try out and tell Dee she can not because she is a woman. This leads Dee to dress as a man to prove herself. Dee then turns out to be a better runner than the guys and extremely good punter. SHe then reveals herself as a woman and tries to show how good a punter she is, promptly shattering her foot. In the end the guys were right that she couldn’t play football, not because she was a woman but because she has glass bones.
Some People might say that because Dee is often made fun of that she is diminished as a character. A running joke is to ignore anything she says. This leads to her being a more powerful character because she actually has to try. ANother running joke is calling her a bird. In season sex episode seven “Who Got Dee Pregnant?”, the men all tell a story of their christmas party. It involves Dee who was dressed as an angel. This then moved onto her being dressed as a bird who only squeaks and then into a literal ostrich. This may seem overly cruel to her but in reality everyone is treated equally as poorly. They all make fun of eachother because as friends they are able to without meaning hurt on each other.
The psychology of any of the characters on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is frankly interesting. None of them really had a good upbringing. Dennis and Dee never had a good christmas, Frank would find out what they both wanted and then buy it for himself instead of them. Along with that Frank isn’t even her biological father because their mother cheated on him. Another example is season eight episode six “Charlie’s Mom Has Cancer”. In this episode Dee says that Frank is losing it in his old age. He then proceeds to hire a psychic, and make an elaborate scheme that culminates in them digging up the corpse of their deceased mother. Perhaps the most psychoanalytic episode is season eight episode five “The Gang Gets Analyzed”. Dee is talking to her therapist and brings everyone else along. She lies to her therapist, saying that she was the first choice to be the female lead in the movie The Notebook. Another reason for her behavior is because she never succeeded. She wanted to be an actress but that never panned out. She wanted to be popular but had scoliosis in high school which gained her the nickname The Aluminum Monster. She never got to go to her highschool prom and because of that when a highschool boy tries to use her to make his ex girlfriend jealous, she a woman in her thirties gladly obliges. Season nine episode one entitled “The Gang Broke Dee” focuses around how her life is horrible and her depression. The gang ends up getting her to do standup comedy where she becomes successful only to be revealed that instead of being successful it was all a trick to show her she could still sink lower. In general she clearly has addictive tendencies, undiagnosed depression and anxieties and probably more.
How is this all important? Always Sunny is a pretty popular show. FX and FXX tend to have shows that are stereotypically male. Things like The League and Archer. On a male centric network there are actually strong female characters. The characters are not flawless or perfect, they are human. If there is any place where strong female characters are important it is in male centric places like FXX. Dee shows everyone that just because she is a woman she does not have to be perfect, she can swear, she can drink, and she doesn’t have to follow stereotypes. Dee is an example of what a real person is, albeit not a morally good person. Dee isn’t a role model but she is a representation of a character being actually realistic while also being strong and defying stereotypes about what she should be.