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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 28th September 2018 > Kaitlin Olson

Kaitlin Olson


THE FXX SITCOM IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA HAS BEEN RUNNING for 13 seasons—that’s two more than the classic comedy Cheers and four more than Seinfeld. Like Cheers, it’s about a gang of people who frequent a pub-style bar, Paddy’s; as in Seinfeld, the friends never grow or learn anything. Intentionally cheap and anarchic, the show (sometimes called Seinfeld on crack) features a group of sociopathic alcoholics: volatile Mac (co-creator Rob McElhenney), illiterate Charlie (Charlie Day), degenerate patriarch Frank (Danny DeVito) and his delusional twins, Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson). Since its debut in 2005, the shameless Dee has dabbled in blackface, lured her friend into cocaine addiction for her own financial gain and held a funeral for her fake baby to get out of an IRS audit. It’s the sort of behavior that turns a sitcom, and a character, into a cult phenomenon. “When we started, we were doing things that nobody else was,” Olson tells Newsweek, “and the show is still completely unapologetic and brave.”

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THE PUTIN PINCH There used to be a bar in downtown Moscow called Sanctions, featuring caricatures of Western politicians and serving only Russian booze—a one-stop summation of President Vladimir Putin’s attitude toward the efforts of the U.S. and Europe to economically kneecap his country. Putin and his Kremlin-controlled propaganda machine have a history of shrugging off sanctions, despite a fifty five percent crash in the value of the ruble, a collapse in foreign investment and rising inflation. Russia, Putin boasts, will always survive the West’s efforts to destroy it. That narrative will be aggressively tested in the coming months should the U.S. government make good on the harshest economic sanctions ever imposed on Russia.