Ground Zero Mosque – T.V. Ad

There are so many thoughts currently running through my head at the moment. After watching this video I have so much to say that I do not even know where to begin. I’ll probably start off my giving my opinion and view on this whole ‘Ground Zero Mosque Building’ decision. My family unfortunately lost a loved one from the 9/11 attacks, and it is always a sensitive subject for me to talk about. My first cousin, Timothy Patrick McSweeney, was a firefighter for Ladder Company 3, and one of the twelve people Ladder 3 lost that day. Upon hearing the news that there are plans in the works to build a mosque within the vicinity of Ground Zero, I remained bias. I did not want to start a debate against people regarding a very difficult topic. I am a proud American, and I was able to understand both sides arguments. Getting back to the video, you can instantly see and feel the negative connotation and vibes it gives off towards its audience. The first thing the video says is: “The audacity of Jihad”. First of all, the word ‘jihad’ when translated from Arabic to English, is a Islamic term that means ‘struggle’. Which most people can relate too. The main message the creators of this video want to get across to their audience is that ALL muslims are terrorists, which is not true. The video also disregards the fact that the mosque would be built in the vicinity of Ground Zero, instead they imply that it will be build on the very same ground. They even claim that all muslims will be rejoicing in the mosque, to celebrate their victory for destroying the World Trade Center. A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam, not a place to rejoice and celebrate the death of thousands. It was obvious the use of contrasting words in this video to get its audience riled up. What was worse than the words chosen in this video, were the images picked to be showed. All the images were negative ones, showing the collapse of the towers and the attacks on September 11th. They even showed video clips of Muslims dancing and being merry. However, this does not mean that they were celebrating anything even remotely close to the 9/11 attacks. As I remain neutral, I am still able to remember that day vividly, even if I were only nine years old. That day affected everyones lives, and videos like these do not help. It just goes to show how many people can be manipulated by the media.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Season 1&2 Wrap Up

I cannot believe my blog assignment has already come to an end. I remember my first blog post (which was probably better than some recent ones) and how nervous I was to write it. I had no clue what I was doing, and at times, I still don’t. It was difficult at first to write a blog without giving a summary of the episode and most of posts can prove that to be true. As I continued, I tried my best to veer away from summarizing. I thought without a summary my blogging would be vague and boring. At some moments it was, and I unconsciously went back to summarizing again. I eventually got the hang of it. However the pressure was on for my third set of blog posts, considering my professor would be reading and grading them. I hope he gives some of the old posts a glance at as well.

I absolutely loved my show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t as intrigued as I had hoped I would be at first. I thought watching a television series and blogging about it afterwards would be a lot easier than it actually was. I wasn’t able to fully enjoy the episodes at times because I kept be reminded that it was homework, and my grade for the class. As I watched the episodes I began to feel lost in trying to find something to write about, rather than just enjoying the episode. As I got the hang of the whole process, I did begin to enjoy it. There is no need for me to mention once again my admiration for Kaitlin Olson portrayal of Deandra Reynolds. I am certain most of my blog posts have discussed that aspect. Other than Kaitlin Olson, I would have to say the whole cast was amazing. The chemistry between all five of them is amazing. Even Danny DeVito was able to notice the instant chemistry between the four younger stars, which is one of the reasons why he joined the series; because he saw potential.

Earlier seasons of the show, especially the first season, received mainly negative reviews. Gillian Flynn of Entertainment Weekly reviewed the first season negatively, commenting “it is smug enough to think it’s breaking ground, but not smart enough to know it isn’t.” Later seasons of the show received favorably ratings and even gaining it a cult following. I cannot wait to watch the next seasons, especially if they were rated better than seasons one and two. I hope they don’t cancel the show after the seventh season and continue to create more seasons.

Also mentioned in my previous blogs, my favorite episode of the two seasons was definitely Hundred Dollar Baby, the homage/parody to the Academy Award winning film Million Dollar Baby. One of my favorite things about this show is how at the beginning of every episode, the audience is told when and where the scene we are about to see takes place. I found that unique because not many shows do that and it gives the episodes more a realistic feel to it. I also like how the theme song is “Temptation Sensation” which could be juxtaposed against the gangs idiotic behaviors.

I am so glad I was assigned this series and I don’t know if I would want to blog about any other show. I can’t wait to watch seasons 3-7 and catch up with the gang. I also can’t wait to start watching the rest of the shows on the list from the beginning of the semester. I think I might give Dexter and Freaks and Greeks a shot.

I definitely rate this season a 5/5.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Season 2, Episode 10: Dennis And Dee Get A New Dad

When I first was assigned this show, I did some research and I skimmed through summaries about it. I came across something about Dea and Dennis having a biological father and another father, Frank, Danny DeVito’s character. Even though I had this prior knowledge, I completely forgot about it. I thought the shows creators were playing a joke on the audience and it was all a misunderstanding. But they continued on with the fact that Frank isn’t Dea and Dennis’ biological father, instead he is Charlie’s. This whole episode was like a father’s day episode, because everyone in the gang met their real fathers and the audience was finally introduced to them.

This is the first episode that we were able to see Mac’s dad, and let me tell you, he is a sight for sore eyes. The camera angle at first was an over the shoulder angle, just showing a reaction shot of Mac and Charlie, and the back of Mac’s dad in prison. The suspense was killing me, and I could not wait any longer to see what actor portrayed Mac’s dad. Or what Mac’s dad looked like in general. Long behold, Mac’s dad is played by Gregory Scott Cummins. He is not a widely famous actor but he has been in a few television shows and some smarts parts in a couple of movies. Regardless, Mac’s dad Bill instantly creeped me out. Bill has cold piercing blue eyes, which gives him a distinguished and crazed look. He has a tattoo of barbed wire around his neck. Once again the costume designers were on their ‘A’ game because they picked the right tattoo’s and wardrobe for this character. Mac’s dad Bill looked like he was straight out of a gangster-mob movie. I also find it extremely amusing that Mac’s dad is in jail, yet Mac is the complete opposite of him. Looking back on previous episodes, Mac’s mom was not much of a looker either. I was really starting to sympathize for him.

Watching this episode also gave me a sense of nostalgia. A majority of the episode revolved around the (hopefully obsolete) old social networking site, Myspace. Even I began to feel old, because this episode aired August 2006. Myspace was relatively new and popular back than. It’s almost hard to believe it has been 5 years.

One funny scene in this episode dealt with the soundtrack. I loved how there was a distant sound of violin’s playing within a restaurant that Dea, Dennis and their parents were eating at, and every time they began to argue, the music would stop. Moments later it would start back up again. I found this funny because it was as if the band would stop and listen to them argue and begin to play and hope no one noticed. I also like how they picked Stephen Collins to portrayed Dea and Dennis’ biological father, who is the polar opposite of Danny DeVito. It was funny how Dea and Dennis had more in common with Danny DeVito’s character Frank, than they did their biological father.

I watched this episode by myself on a Monday night. I would give this episode a 4.5/5 rating because it still didn’t beat the Hundred Dollar Baby episode. I was sad to realize that this was the last episode of the season and my last episode for my blog assignment.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Season 2, Episode 9: The Gang Exploits A Miracle

I myself am Catholic and I found this episode entertaining. I think its a refreshing break from reality and everybody should be able to laugh once in a while. In this episode I was able to relate to Mac a lot. I think in most episodes I am able to relate to Mac, except for the difference between his body build and confident personality, we have a lot in common. The way Mac reacts to his faith and God is the way any practicing Catholic would react. Of course Mac has committed sins, (a few more than most people) he has a good heart and his ‘fear’ of God is what depicts his strong religious values. Mac does not like how Charlie is seen as the most religious out of the group and by others, because he knows that in reality he is more religious. Mac knows the most about Catholicism and actually practices it. Granted in some episodes he uses it for his own personal favors. Including this episode, he exploits his faith. What pissed Mac off the most was when Charlie said to him “Dude if you don’t think you’re going to hell, you need to take a long look at yourself!”. This is an insult towards Mac because personality has a sensitive side. Mac is always trying to please people. He knows that, even though he sins at times, God will allow him into heaven when he dies. But the fact that Charlie actually noticed and said he is going to hell, worries Mac. Mac feels that he might actually end up in hell. Mac personality varies and has polar opposites to it. This episode allows us to witness that.

Also in this episode is another rare opportunity where the audience is able to see Dea be the person using others, rather than people using her all the time. Dea thrives on the occasion to use others for her personal gain. Since Dennis and Frank are constantly insulting Dea, she takes an advantage she can get to inflict that pain back on some other poor defenseless stranger. It is moments like these where the audience is able to recognize the family trait and similarities between Dea and Dennis. Even Frank at times.

One of my favorite lines in this episode was said by Charlie when he states “This is one of the more ridiculous things we have ever done dude!” I found it amusing because it is the first time the characters show to the audience that they know the things they do are dangerous, irresponsible, ridiculous and idiotic. However, they continue to do it. I was also able to catch the lines of this episode so quickly because my DVD would not turn off the subtitles, so most of the time I found myself reading along with the episode.

I watched this episode by myself again, alone in my bedroom on a Monday night. I would give this episode a 3.5/5 rating because in no way, shape or form did it compare to ‘Hundred Dollar Baby’ episode. I do not know why, but in my opinion, I just felt like this episode was dragging on without a purpose.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Season 2, Episode 8: Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody’s Ass

I started to like the idea of Dea and Charlie working together. Even though they have been teamed up before, I felt this time there would be a purpose. Dennis’ attitude is extremely arrogant and confident of himself. He is unable to empathize, destroys others property, betrays his friends on numerous occasions and insults people about their appearances in their presence. Dennis doesn’t hold back and is constantly putting down the rest of the gang, including his father. Dennis is endlessly telling Dea she is a failure at acting and a failure at everything she does. Which is why at times Dea teams up with Charlie, because she feels it is better to have someone support her rather than no one at all.

If you look through my previous blog posts, you will be able to see that I was extremely creeped out by the McPoyle twins by their first appearance in the series as I was in this episode. Who ever casted these actors as the brothers did an amazing job because I truly do get creeped out by these guys. The whole incest thing weirds me out, and now they even included their sister in on the ‘fun’. They way they dress also adds to their disturbing appearance. The costume designer for this series does an amazing job as well because she or he chooses to dress up these actors in bathrobes because it is out of the everyday normality. It is not everyday that you see two grown men walking around town in nothing but their bathrobes. I think it is the keen sense of detail that adds to this shows comedic style. If you watch carefully, you are able to see little props in the distance behind the characters, that make or break a scene. The best are the main characters facial expressions. In my opinion, facial expressions are the funniest part of any person. I grew up watching peoples facial expressions to make me laugh, but most of the time, that is the only thing that catches my attention. I also love when you can feel the chemistry between the cast. As the series gains popularity, the cast and crew becomes closer which allows them to form a special bond. In some scenes you are able to notice when an actor is acting or when they are genuinely laughing and reacting to a cast mates gestures or jokes. I cannot remember the exact episode, but there is one scene where Charlie Day, who portrays Charlie, was ‘going insane’ and making a weird face and Rob McElhenney, who portrays Mac, genuinely could not control his laughter. I think it is the little things like this that catch my attention and make me continue to watch a show. If I can personally feel that the cast is giving this series all they have, than I will give them my attention.

I watched this episode by myself in my bedroom on a Monday night. I give this episode a 4/5 rating because it is going to take a lot to beat the previous episode before this one. That one will still be my favorite, for now. However in this episode I did like the way Danny DeVito’s character Frank went off and did his own little thing without bothering the gang like he normally does in most episodes.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Season 2, Episode 7: Hundred Dollar Baby

This episode, was definitely my favorite. Hands down. It took the seventh episode of the second season for me to hysterically laugh uncontrollably. I don’t even know where to begin. Anyone who has ever read my blog before could tell that Dea (portrayed by Kaitlin Olson) is my favorite character in the entire series. Seeing that Dea had a huge storyline in this episode, could be one of the many reasons why I loved it so much.

Immediately I was able to notice that this episode would be an homage/parody to Million Dollar Baby, starring Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman and scored, directed and produced by Clint Eastwood. Knowing Dea’s personality, it wasn’t too hard to realize that she would consider this a classic movie. Dea is an extremely independently strong woman, and would definitely love movies that depict the same aspects. I was amazed by the huge coincidence between how my blog before this one mentioned the sexist element within in the series, and how this episode was more or less about sexism. Even Dea called the guys a bunch of sexists. As I have mentioned numerous times, I enjoy a female comic a lot more than I do a male. So this episode really caught my eye because I loved being able to watch the transition of Dea’s character. Dea slowly transformed from a push-over to a strong, powerful and self-defending woman. With the help of steroids. Kaitlin Olson does an amazing job at portrayed Dea, and I praise her performance every week. This episode allowed us to see a different side of Dea that we normally never get to witness.

If I had to convince one of my friends to watch this season of the show, I would definitely pick this episode for them to watch. This episode is a prime example of what the series is about. It gives the audience a great sense of who the characters are and why they act the way they do. The soundtrack for this episode suited it well. It made it feel as if I were watching a low rated inspirational movie. I especially like the song at the end, where Frank knocks out his old opponent and subsequently paralyzes his daughter in the same way Hilary Swank’s character is paralyzed in Million Dollar Baby. The ending scene is a hilarious parody of Million Dollar Baby, and I would not expect anything else from this series.

This episode is a milestone for Kaitlin Olson’s character Dea. Dea finally is able to branch out and fend for herself. Of course she is insulted numerous amount of times by her family, friends and complete strangers throughout the process. Thanks to the steroids causing Dea to experience mood swings, we as the audience were able to see the many different sides her. As the steroids began to kick in, Dea became very competitive and I could not help but find myself hysterically laughing at the things she was saying. While challenging another boxer to a fight, Dea “trash talks” her by saying; “I will eat your babies” and “I’m gona’ paralyze this bitch”. The subtle use of the word ‘bitch’ gets me every time and I find it a very entertaining outlet for characters to curse on television. Foreshadowing the end of the episode, Dea’s opponent does actually become paralyzed, but by Frank instead.

A few random things I noticed in this episode that I felt the need to randomly mention is how Charlie has a framed poster of a German Shepard hanging on the wall in his apartment. The poster is new because it is not visible or present in previous episodes, which make me wonder why he even has it in the first place. Another detail I noticed was how Mac was eating a banana while watching two shirtless guys fight. He also constantly requested that Charlie take his shirt off. It was random and strange but still funny.

I watched this episode on a Monday afternoon with my brother, in our bedroom. I definitely give this episode a 5/5 rating because I really enjoyed it and it was (in my opinion) the funniest episode so far.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Season 2, Episode 6: The Gang Runs For Office

Each blog becomes more difficult for me to write as I begin each episode. I feel as if I hit a writers block every time I start my blogs. Mainly because I do not want to sound repetitive and try my hardest to branch out differently from my previous posts. However, in this episode I began to notice that the gang participates in idiotic events that are not even remotely realistic. Why would any of them feel confident enough to run for comptroller within their town. A comptroller is a management level position responsible for supervising the quality of accounting and financial reporting of an organization of a town. Not one member of the gang is politically intelligent, nor has the ability to run for office. Every member in the gang have high hopes and are extremely arrogant and confident of themselves when in reality, they should spend more time educating themselves and making themselves more aware of their situations.

I want to dedicate a paragraph to Danny DeVito’s character, Frank. Frank has to be one of the world’s worst dads! Frank is constantly exploiting and insulting his children, even after he claims to have their best interest. Frank has only been in a handful of episodes, but I am sure he will definitely get himself and the rest of the gang into worse situations. I was not surprised that Frank decided to, more or less, pimp his daughter out just so he could receive a bribe in this episode. It is one thing for the Dennis, Mac and Charlie to harmfully insult Dea, but it is so wrong for her own father to insult her. This is why I feel the comedic value of this show is amazing. Everybody loves to watch characters be belittled by their parents in television series. It gives the audience a sense of comfort and something for them to relate to. Most people can relate to not being able to live up to their parents standards and expectations of them. Just like on the television show Friends, Monica Gellar (who is portrayed by Courteney Cox) is constantly being ridiculed by her mother and insulted regarding her being single, unemployed and ‘desperate’ looking. I instantly linked Frank and Monica’s mom together because of the similarities between their relationship with their own children. Granted, Frank is a bit more brutally with his insults towards his children, especially Dea. Frank is not winning a ‘World’s Best Dad’ award anytime soon, but he does have some aspirations for his children’s future. When it comes down to it, he will always be there for his kids, just not the way normal fathers would be.

Once again, Dea received the short end of the stick in this episode. The guys are always seen picking on her and questioning her far superior intelligence. However this was the first episode we were able to witness a one on one relationship with Dea and her father. Frank came to Dea in this episode as a desperate and last resort. No one ever seems to want Dea’s help or opinion on anything, which is starting to send a sexist vibe towards the audience. If you sit back and analyze the situation as a whole, you would be able to see that the guys in the gang are somewhat sexist. They constantly ignore and insult Dea, as well as other females within the series. None of the guys even maintain a longterm relationship. With the exception of Charlie’s crush on the waitress, which even she is mistreated by Dennis a few times. Even Dennis and Dea’s mom is seen as a sex-hungry, divorced, middle aged gold digger. There are not many strong independent female characters in this series. This is why I feel I have such a strong compassion and liking towards Dea, because I view her as the underdog. I am constantly waiting for her to succeed and show the Dennis, Charlie and Mac that she is not someone they should take for granted. After all, she has taken enough abuse from them and her father, regarding her ‘unattractive’ looks and her “5-head” (an insult implying that a persons forehead is so big that it should be called a “5-head”).

I watched this episode on a sunny and cool Sunday afternoon in my living room by myself. I would give this episode a rating of 3.5/5 because I was not fully entertained. It could be due to my allergies and how sick I felt, but this episode in my opinion was not as good or funny as the previous ones. One of my favorite lines in this episode came from Dea when she said to Frank “God, you’re a horrible father!”. It made me laugh, and I felt her pain. You cannot help but feel bad for her.

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