“Sunny keeps its reprehensible characters relatable by dangling empathy just out of the audience’s reach.”
For the Sunny formula to truly work, the gang can never be entirely beyond the reach of viewers’ understanding. One strategy there is to have each member of the gang point out when another has gone too far. No one is ever right for very long on this show, any character’s horror at what another member of the gang is doing subsumed by self-interest, or their own plain stupidity. A prime example of this dynamic is season nine’s “Mac And Dennis Buy A Timeshare.” Frank quite sensibly uses his business acumen to explain why Mac and Dennis should not fall for what’s clearly a scam—but he does so while inexplicably trapped in a piece of playground equipment. In his underpants. For the entire episode. Even when a member of the gang is right about something, his own wrongness is invariably on full display.