“Creepier,” “darker” and “more shocking” are words the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia used to describe aspects of the show’s upcoming eight season.
Most of the Paddy’s Pub gang came out to celebrate Tuesday the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood, but Danny Devito (Frank) was notably absent from the screening, which came one day after he and his wife Rhea Perlman announced their separation after 30 years of marriage.
The cast declined to speak much about their co-star’s personal life, but Glenn Howerton (Dennis) called Perlman "part of the family," who had occasionally visited the show's set.
“We love them both,” Rob McElhenney (Mac) said “We’re supporting both of them.”
So, what can fans expect from season 8 of Sunny?
Without getting into spoiler territory, the season premiere sees the return of Dennis and Dee’s Nazi grandfather (last seen back in season one), with the two being asked to make a difficult decision about his life. (Charlie, Mac and Frank have their own schemes going, which involve unearthing long-lost Nazi treasure.)
There will also be a Halloween episode, which Charlie Day (Charlie), described as being more stylized than the show is used to and drawing inspiration from Friday the 13th.
“It’s very funny and at moments shocking and scary, and I think it's one of the best episodes we’ve done,” Day told The Hollywood Reporter.
Howerton revealed an episode tentatively titled “The Gang Dines Out” will delve further into the bizarre, codependent relationship between Dennis and Mac. He said the “routine Dennis and Mac have” involves a monthly fancy dinner we haven’t seen before.
There will also be some unsavory revelations about Dennis.
“There is further evidence that Dennis really does always have a camera running in his room,” said Day. “He gets creepier and darker. Dee gets sadder and lonelier.”
“—--And uglier,” added Kaitlin Olson (Dee). “Bigger feet and limbs. By the way, just for the record, I am a very average size eight foot. My feet are not gigantic.”
Olson revealed what may be Dee’s greatest desire, noting that in episodes in which she and her brother team up, “All Dee wants is for Dennis to be proud of her.”
“There’s something really sweet and sad about that,” Olson said. “And every once in a while he’ll give me a glimmer of being proud. I think that maybe that might all be that Dee wants is for Dennis to be proud of her.”
The cast also reflected on their character’s growth (or lack thereof) over the years. McElhenney noted their characters don’t grow or learn from their mistakes.
“That’s the beauty of the show. The end of each episode is a total reset button. So when we come back in to the next episode, it’s as if the whole previous episode or previous five seasons almost didn’t happen,” McElhenney said. “We didn’t actually learn anything or grow or change, so it doesn’t matter.”
But Day added that in a way the characters have changed, but not for the better.
“If you think of a criminal over time, they probably don’t change and learn the error of their ways. They just get better at crime,” Day said. “I think in a way their deviance gets refined. So they evolve in a very dark way.”
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returns Thursday at 10 p.m. on FX.