I’ve never thought much about the class dynamic of the Gang—Dee and Dennis representing the upper crust of society and Mac and Charlie bringing up the dregs. God knows where Frank fits in. How did they all join up and decide to open a bar? What made Dennis break the barrier and allow himself to manage a business with two degenerates (I always figured Dee was a tag-along)?
It’d be prime territory to mine the origins of the group (and who doesn’t love seeing the early family lives of the four? One of the highlights of the Christmas Special was the glimpse we get into each one’s childhood memories). But “White Trash,” while it brings up the class differences, doesn’t explore it too deeply.
As the episode opens, there’s a heat wave in Philly, which gets the Gang itching for a dip in one of Philadelphia’s three pools, the first being at the local Country Club (which seems odd that they haven’t been banned from it yet).
Mac and Charlie show up, a six-pack and Charlie’s adorable little inflatable fish in tow, only to be rejected for not being members, and when they ask how to become members, are told that the Club’s already at capacity.
Back at the bar, they pitch a plan for fixing up one of the dilapidated old pools of their youth to Frank, who isn’t interested, while Dee and Dennis maintain that real reason the Country Club wouldn’t take M&C is because they’re white trash (hence the title).
Mac and Charlie head to the fixer-upper pool while Dee and Dennis try their luck at the Country Club…and meet pretty much the same response as Mac and Charlie. Crestfallen, they hit up the public pool, which is a massive step down (“They’re wearing sneakers in the pool!”), complete with broken glass, children throwing rocks, and Frank’s pool game of “Grease the Watermelon” (I also like how Frank borrows a towel from one bather by letting him take a bite from his hotdog).