It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 2, Episode 1, “Charlie Get’s Crippled.”
One of my favorite television programs is the popular FX comedy, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Each episode finds a gang of young adult friends facing new adventures as they attempt to successfully manage a bar in urban Philadelphia. Recently, I watched an episode that explored many stereotypes about individuals who use wheelchairs titled, Charlie Get’s Crippled.
In this episode, four able-bodied characters examine what treatment they would receive from the public if they had a visible disability. Although numerous aspects of disabilities are explored, the most memorable scenes in the episode occur when two able-bodied characters, Dennis and Mack, get into wheelchairs and explore a local shopping mall. There they encounter an individual who is using an actual wheelchair to facilitate his disability, who approaches them to chat. Dennis and Mack immediately overemphasize their pretend disabilities, claiming that they have polio. Although this scene is comical in nature, it does raise an important question: “Why can’t many able-bodied individuals accept those with disabilities as real people?”
Having watched this episode before taking this course, I would not have examined this idea before. Sometimes it takes a comedy to raise important questions that other mediums may not be brave enough to explore.
McElhenney, R. (2006, June 29). It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Charlie Get's Crippled.