Archive for February, 2010

viewed at 9 A.M. at a friend’s house with a friend

One name describes who this episode is centered around; Lucille Bluth.  We meet another incompetent character in this episode; The Bluth Lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn.  With someone like that as your lawyer, you can’t help but feel sorry for this family and their predicament. He offers them to let their father free for $20,000, and sneaks in that it’s for one day (this day happens to be the art pageant).  This art pageant is when families are put in famous paintings as the characters (the Bluths always get Michelangelo’s the creation of Adam).  George Bluth Sr. is usually god, while Buster plays Adam (which he doesn’t want to do).  Apparently Buster has gone forth with dating Lucille Austero and doesn’t want his mom to find out about it (they eventually go to the pageant and buster is caught with her by his mother).

This time though, George Michael plays Adam which allows him to wear a muscle suite to impress Maeby (that plan fails).  Upon seeing how the picture is supposed to look, GM discovers that his sexual organs will be on display or better yet a prop of it.  He feels embarrassed about it, but after a talk with Tobias (who is a never nude) GM decides to wear denim short shorts which apparently pisses off a lot of people.  Now Tobias’s case is weird because I have never heard of someone who is a never nude (up until this revelation everybody thought Tobias just liked wearing them; another hint at his potential sexual preference).

Now back to Lucille, she sees that Michael and Lindsay are becoming friendly and sees this as a rise to everybody hating her, so she turns to her manipulative ways and presents false information between the two to turn them against each other.  This ends up failing because they both see what is going on here.  Originally Michael was going to lend Lindsay the money to pay off the credit card debt, but they decide to use it to free dad for the following reason.  Michael, being the only rational one in the family sees Barry as incompetent and just out to make a quick buck for doing nothing (aren’t all lawyers?). On top of that, they both want ot teach their mother a lesson.  His goal is to hire Wayne Jarvis who is Barry’s rival (wow more rivals in this show, just what we need).

Wayne won a case against Barry where Barry called his gay employee a homo.  (Barry mentions something about homo’s in the beginning which he realizes was wrong to say).  It’s actually a bit interesting because, the actress who plays Lindsay; Portia de Rossi is actually a lesbian in real life.  The parallel drawn there is that Portia would probably feel for the man Barry was sued by and stand by him (her character being someone about rights would protest Barry as well and actually agrees with Michael’s opinion of Barry).  This will be accomplished by letting dad see Lucille Bluth with Barry (who they assume is “admiring” Lucille).  As usual, their plan for revenge fails  because not only is Lucille there with Wayne, but their father tries to run away (that plan fails too).

Gob actually accomplished something for once in this series.  He has proven that you can go lower than dumb.  After getting drunk with Lindsay, Michael admits that he has fallen for Gob’s girlfriend Marta.  During the episode, he is caught by Gob listening to a business training tape to speak in Spanish and tickets to Portugal (which were fakes printed by Maeby to see how her parents would respond to her leaving).  I guess he still can’t put 2 and 2 together to figure out that Michael is out for Marta.  This suits me fine, as I think Gob doesn’t deserve her in the first place.  I seriously don’t see what she sees in Gob and it kind of bothers me, because she’s not some stupid woman; she is smart and knows he’s an ass.  I guess it’s true that nice guys finish last.

I watched this episode with a friend the other day.  She had no idea what was going on but thought it was a funny episode.  She said that her favorite part was Tobias coming out of one of those tryout stalls with the underwear on top of his short shorts.  He was asking the woman who works there how well they hide his “thunder,” which I thought was funny and typical of Tobias.  I on the other hand though the chase at the end between GBS, Michael and Gob was funnier to me because, Michael is running after his father to stop him from escaping while Gob is chasing Michael on his Segway (he thinks Michael is packing his bags to leave south of the border and abandoning the family).  Just the sight of GBS running in his god costume was funny, especially with his beard about to fall off.  After he hears that their mom is here on a date with someone he runs back only to get tazed by the cop watching him.  Also a bit hard to notice, but the episode was around Christmas (within the show’s time) and yet the house cleaner, Lupe was wearing “BOO!” shirt.  I guess she didn’t realize what holiday it was.  All in all, this episode had the makings of a good episode like most of them.  It had deception, failure and made it all look funny.  I just hope they get rid of Barry soon because, I have a feeling he’s going to do them more damage than help.

Funny Quotes:

Tobias: “I would be happy to Adam uh, I prefer a speaking part-“

Lindsay (interrupting Tobias): “Please don’t speak for the rest of the meeting.”

Tobias: “Excuse me; do these effectively hide my thunder?”

Gob: “New attorney and he’s learning Spanish?  He’s hiding something; and I intend to find out what it is.”

Lucille: “Do yourself a favor.  Get him drunk.”

Random lady (asking about GBS missing): “Where is god?”

Another random lady: “There is no god!”

Episode Rating: 5/5


Viewed at 5 P.M. at home

Wow, talk about action, this episode was full of it (the right and wrong kind).  In this episode, we see two relationships struggling (3 if you count GM and Maeby but that’s just wrong if u ask me).  The couples in play here are Tobias/ Lindsay and Lucille/ George Sr.  To start things off There are some shady international accounts that Michael needs and yet again nobody will give him.  Kitty knows it and after connecting her attraction with Gob, Michael helps him by asking him to get close to her to find out about them.  Gob is forced to have sex with her in the storage room and regrets it (she’s cross-eyed without the glasses and her hair, when untied is horrendous).  Unfortunately he doesn’t get the information Michael seeks (who didn’t see that coming after all the previous failures).  Gob is only doing this to get help in convincing the warden to sign off that he escaped in a magician fashion (his latter to the warden gets him arrested with his head poking into the trailer his mom and dad are doing the dirty deed in).  Talk about desperate; Gob is one guy who I certainly am glad I am not.

Tobias and Lindsay meanwhile are on the verge of a divorce (she doesn’t support his acting, especially after she pulls his towel off to find him wearing short denim shorts).  I kind of wish Tobias would finally get a revelation that he is gay.  Not only would that add another twist into the story, but it’s also just one of those things where it is so plain obvious that everybody could see it.  Lindsay even hinted at it in episode 1 when Tobias found his new passion.  They end up going for therapy only to convert the therapist into an actor.  Unfortunately it did not solve the fact that Tobias was paying more attention to acting than he was to Lindsay.

Meanwhile, Bluth Sr. wants out after witnessing the umpire get killed by an inmate during a softball game.  He has also admitted that he’s horny and hasn’t had sex in a month even though he’s been in here for 2 (take it however you want, but my money is on him and T-Bone since they were cell-mates).  He convinces Michael to get Lucille to come which Michael does (only to find out that for the past 8 years he has been having an affair with Kitty).  I guess he took off his glasses when he was with her too so he didn’t have to suffer the same fate as Gob did.  So in a way one relationship has been reignited while the other seems to be growing progressively apart.

I think the best scene was when Gob tries to get out of the trailer Kitty is in only to confront the warden, who just read his threat letter.  The warden detains him against the trailer window that Bluth Sr. and Lucille are doing it in.  It was just so funny not only because Gob got screwed over (never seems to get old), but because the thought of his parents having sex repulses him (he mentions this midway into the episode).  Poor fool, that Gob.  I just felt sorry for him.  That and the scene where Gob and Kitty have sex the first time, because she repulsed him so much after taking her glasses off and her hair down.  Even the lights off didn’t help because there was some light still present.  If I were him, I’d stick with his wife but then again I think she should’ve left him for Michael a long time ago (or at least after spending time with Michael during the awards ceremony).  The episode was full of laughs and maybe even more so than the previous ones.  I’m liking this show more and more as at progresses towards the end of the first season.

Funny Quotes:

George Bluth Sr.: “Daddy horney Michael.”

Gob (in the room with Kitty): “It just seems like there’s light coming in from under the door.”

Michael: “What’s your great news?”

Gob: “I f***ed Kitty.”

Michael: “No! Gob, I just wanted you to get the information.”

Gob: “I got the information”

Michael: “You did huh? About the international accounts?”

Gobe: “Oh I see where you’re getting at, no I didn’t get any information.”

Michael: “That’s great, good good good Gob, well you just lost the touch lamp… I’m gonna use the touch lamp to set the mood in the conjugal trailer where   dad’s nailing mom.”

Gob (totally disgusted by what he just heard): “… Michael; you are filthy!”

Episode Rating: 5/5

Viewed at 8 A.M. at home

Wow, this episode was definitely interesting.  The word charity gets tossed around in this episode but the people using it are the least charitable which I found funny.  So poor Michael has to ride a bike to work in a heat wave and finds out he lied to his investors (his dad forgot to file the permits for the buildings).  When presented the alternative to use his father’s car, he gets a memory from the past that tells him he won’t.  Fortunately for him, the rest of the family has been using it and after what they did to it, riding the car seemed more justifiable for Michael (Buster left bones in the back, Gob set the seats on fire and Lindsay spills blood-colored nail polish on the dashboard).

One top of that, Lindsay tries to prove that she cares about nature by going on a Bachelorette auction to raise funds for the wetlands.  She tries so hard to pass off as caring but it just doesn’t seem genuine.  In fact to prove just how genuine she is she goes to a wetland to clean up garbage (her first victim is the death of a frog by a poker).  Meanwhile Gob is embarrassed in front of his nephew by Michael when Michael refuses to give him the frozen banana for free (this travels to everyone who gives Michael a hard time about it).  Lucille Bluth goes on too if only for the satisfaction of outbidding Lucille Austero (such charitable work).    She plans to have Buster bid $10,000 on her to win.

Michael, feeling charitable himself, picks up a Spanish lady who he thinks is his mom’s substitute for Lupe (her normal cleaning lady).  He later gets arrested for kidnapping her; so much for being charitable on his behalf.  At least he showed his sister that he really did care about the family by bidding $1,000 on her (she came back from the wetlands looking like she got raped by a bear).

Gob yet again failed to help his family.  He was asked to infiltrate the office to sneak the permits in (as per his father’s request).  Unfortunately his incident with a candy apple cracks a tooth and provides him with a whistle every time he produces the /s/ sound.  He tries to get in as the new delivery man but gets his picture taken and identity compromised. Now here is where it gets interesting.  Michael told his son to give Gob respect and listen to whatever he tells him.  Gob then gets George Michael to go.  Now normally George Michael wouldn’t do it, but… Maeby thinks it’ll be fun and he, thinking with his other head decides to go for it.  What a creepy kid, seriously how can you have such feelings for your cousin?  I guess Michael’s parental responsibilities have made him an offshoot of Buster (I think Buster is Alpha and George Michael is Beta).  Obviously they get caught but George Michael takes the blame allowing Maeby to get away.  Boy does love make you do crazy things.  Towards the end of the episode, Michael and his son both meet in the same cop car with handcuffs on.

The funniest part though hands down, was Buster’s scene at the end.  He’s been avoiding Lucille Austero all this time because she keeps calling him.  When he runs inside the auction room he hears Lucille’s name and bids $10,000 on her.  I think it’s easy to guess which Lucille he bid on, as he passes out afterwards.  It felt almost like one of those MasterCard commercials where they list the price of stuff and then the last one is priceless.

Just for the scene at the end of Buster bidding on the wrong Lucille, this episode gets a good score (of course the episode itself was very solid and funny).

Funny Quotes:

Lindsay (to the taxi driver on the way to the wetlands): “I don’t know if that’s you, or your car, or something you ate, or you are about to eat, but my god you’re in a service business!”

Lindsay (later on the way back to the taxi driver): “Oh lord, you smell worse than before; Oh My God it’s me!”

Michael (about to bid on his sister to make her feel better about her scratches): “1,000”

Auctioneer: “seriously?  Sold to the man who truly knows what charity is.” (I just thought it was a good way to rub into Lindsay’s face that Michael really does care about the family, even though they don’t see it that way).

Buster (running into the Auction room late): “$10,000!” (Then the priceless look on his face when he realizes who he really bid on).

Episode Rating: 5/5

Viewed 12:30 P.M. at home

I guess there must come a time when everything turns from good to bad and I guess this episode was it.  There was just something about this episode that didn’t quit get me as the previous ones did.  It seems like the family is finally picking up speed as Michael is getting ready to build his housing project.  The only thing stopping him is some nature freak who doesn’t want them to cut down the trees.  He then asks his sister Lindsay to go talk to him since she is a nature lover too.  The funny thing about that is as she was telling Michael how much she loves nature and is for that guy, he points out that her boots were made from Ostriches.  You just gotta love a hypocrite like her.  She ends up going and convincing him to come down by leading him on which is typical of her.

Meanwhile we are introduced to Gob’s wife Marta Estrella who happens to be an actress in a Spanish soap opera.  This is yet another of Gob’s failures as he keeps coming back to her and going away.  Towards the beginning of the episode he sits with her and her children while a Spanish TV show interviews her about her recent nomination.  His attempt to get away from her was telling the camera that he plans to go in the prison his dad is in and escape on the night of her ceremony.  First off, I just have to say that she is a gorgeous woman and if an idiot like Gob doesn’t want to be with her then he really is a failure.  The show almost had a love triangle because as a favor, Michael took her to the awards only to find her to be the woman he has been waiting for.  Unfortunately for Michael, She and Gob get back together at the end.  Wow, so much for happy endings.  I felt bad for Michael because he really deserved her.

His prison sentence turns out to be not so bad because he gets to bond with his father.  In a typical move by a show it is revealed that George Bluth Sr. always called Gob a failure and hence why his life is so messed up.  They end up playing catch only for Gob to get stabbed by the worlds dumbest white supremacist (refer to this episodes funny quote to see why he is retarded).  Well at least Gob got out of prison even though it was on a stretcher.

Buster on the other hand has been progressing in his independence from his mother.  He ends up going to the Spanish acting awards with his mother but without his glasses.  That part was so funny because he was like Ray Charles at a piñata party, talking to a table with food in a giant sombrero.  He ends up getting noticed by Lucille’s rival Lucille Austero.  The reason why this was funny was because later when in the hospital Buster encounters her (with glasses on this time) and realizes she’s the one who gave him the note.  Once he takes his glasses off and realizes who she was at the party he has a panic attack and falls.  Lucille trying to hold him up suffers from her vertigo problems and falls down as well.  These two look like a match made in heaven if you ask me.

So after coming to the end of this episodes blog, I kind of warmed up to the episode.  I guess it’s not as bad as I initially thought after watching it the first time.  With that said, it still didn’t impress me as much as the others.  I guess it was because it was in a way a happy ending, or at least happier than the previous.  I think this episode was meant to be the way it is though, because it looks like things are about to heat up.  With Busters rebellion, coming into shape, maybe Tobias admitting that he’s gay and Lindsay getting a job will be on the horizon (I’m not holding my breath for the last one).

Funny Quotes:

Lucille Bluth: “Can I get a vodka tonic please? A sea of waiters and no one will take a drink order.”  (She was at the Spanish awards show).

“White Power” Bill: (after stabbing Gob) “WHITE POWER!!”

Gob: “I am white.”

Gob: (upon waking up in the hospital) “Am I still in prison?”

Lucille Bluth: “You’re in the hospital.”

Gob: “Tada”

Episode Rating: 3.5/5

Viewed around 10 A.M. in the library cafe

I find it so true when kids say parents just don’t understand us.  I too said that line or some variation of it when I was younger, and this episode does a pretty good job of bringing that point up.  Worst case scenario; Buster and the best are a tie between George Michael and Maeby.  It becomes apparent that George Michael has a crush on his cousin Maeby and this is shown in his decision to join the school play that she signs up for.  This goes against the plans of his father, who made it a tradition to make cornballs in their family Corn Baller machine and going to bike.

Tobias, at the same time thinks Maeby is doing this to reach out to her “actor father” (which is definitely not his strong side).  It’s kind of interesting how the actor David Cross is acting in the show and does a very good job, while his character is a really bad actor (he can’t even take a hint).  He will later try to connect with her by taking over the play which as usual will go very wrong (it’s practically a trademark of the family and apparently Tobias has inherited it by marrying Lindsay).  We also see Tobias exhibit more of his homosexual side (which he has been denying for now).  He misinterprets the fact that Michael was wrong about his son not spending time with him because of a girl for the other way around.  With that, he tries to play cupid by making George Michael the male and Steve Holt the female of the play.  As my high school journalism teacher Mr. Dun once said “you can’t fix stupid.”  Fortunately George Michael drops out and Maeby comes back in ( she plays the male while Steve plays the female).

The interesting part however is Lucille.  Lucille has been portrayed as the female counterpart of her husband George Bluth Sr.  By this I mean that she is selfish and manipulative.  The reason why I mentioned that Buster is the worst case is that she pretty much treated him like a little child and kept him under her stranglehold his whole life.  Even though in age he’s within the same range as his brothers Michael and Gob, mentally he isn’t and depends on his mother.  Now normally Buster would be away on his studies around this time, but since the family account is frozen, there is no money to send him away and hence he stays with his mother.  This presents itself as a problem for her as she realizes finally that she needs to let him go.  In her traditional fashion, she calls Michael and makes him take his brother to work with him to get Buster off her back.

The time Buster spends with Michael is well worth it as by the end, he starts to rebel a little against his mother (he says he will sit in the front as opposed to Lucille’s request for him to sit in the back of the car).  It seems that her plan to get Buster out of her life has backfired after hearing that others are influencing him to say bad things about her (we all know there was no influence, he really meant it).  It also becomes apparent that Lindsay has a big mouth on her as her selfish intentions have triggered both Buster leaving his mother and her taking him back.  (she told Lucille in an act of aggression what Buster thought of her).

A theme of interest in this episode was the tug-a-war that Michael was in the middle of.  On the one hand were Lindsay, Tobias and Bluth Sr. who told him to let his son go and stop being so controlling.  On the other hand was his mother who tells him at the end “… you better hope that little bird decides to fly back to your house, because they usually don’t.”  now I personally hate her and think she’s a drunk, rich and senile fool but in this episode she actually made sense.  In any case Michael now has to walk the fine line between the two choices and we will have to see by the end of the season which he chooses.

I give this episode a full grade, not because everybody kept getting burned by the Corn Baller or that Tobias has returned to cry in the shower after reading bad reviews of his play.  I give it a full grade because I was really able to relate to this episode.  I myself struggle with the way my parents brought me up and their ideologies while trying to rebel.  I did it more as a youth but now I realize that as hard as it is to accept, sometimes they are right.  For this I feel for Michael in his struggle to walk the fine line between the two forces (his mom and dad).  I guess one could say that this episode was both food for thought and desert for laughter (patent pending on this quote).

Funny Quotes:

Lucille to Michael: “… everyone is going on bike rides and making corn holes, everyone’s riding and laughing and corn holing except for Buster…”

Steve Holt: “STEVE HOLT!!” (I only find this funny because he reminds me of Mongo the village idiot when he does that)

The two times that Buster curses excessively during this episode (I laugh when I hear those blips because I think they are hilarious, especially in this case).

Episode Rating:  5/5

Well what can be said about the second episode?  To me it feels like The Biggest Loser or some offshoot from it where its day two and none of the contestants are taking their predicament seriously.  Same thing in the case of what is going on in this episode.  To start things off, the news channel reports that the famous Bluth frozen banana stand has been burned down.  Going back a week before this happens, Michael visits his dad in jail to find out where he put his flight records so he can get money to help the family.

His father tells him “there’s always money in the banana stand… click click.”  The clicks are the sounds he makes to signal that it is code for literally money in the banana stand.  Unfortunately Michael does not realize this, in fact he doesn’t get the hint the second time either (his hatred for his father blinds him to the cues is my guess). He finally understands towards the end, when his father hears the banana stand was burned and tells him the money was in the walls.  He ends up going to his mother for the location only to find that she is hiding their whereabouts from him.  I find the relationship shown here between Michael and his father to be that of an adult who hated his parents and is trying to raise his son better.  This is seen in the part where Michael gets a memory of when he was a child and worked miserably in that stand.  He then tells his father that he has made his son, George Michael the manager.

Meanwhile Tobias tries to find a gig for his new acting career which he fails in only to have it taken by his wife Lindsay.  She unfortunately gets plastered the night before and wakes up late for the shooting of a commercial.  The ironic part about this is that her excuse for lying around in the beginning, was that her job was to support her husband and she was clearly not doing that (he cried for most of the episode in a shower).

Her daughter Maeby is hired to work with George Michael now at the banana stand along with T-Bone, an ex-inmate who shared a cell with George Bluth Sr.  She too fails at her job when she starts embezzling money by throwing out a banana for every dollar she spends.  Later they both realize they are screwed up and Georg Michael thinking what his grandpa would do, decides to burn the stand down.

Gob is yet another failure which seems to be the trademark of this family.  I find Gob to be the epitome of leech though because; he can’t survive by himself clearly.  His plans always fail, he always complains to his younger brother Michael and their mother and he can never do even the simplest task right.  Case and point is when Michael finally decides to pity this fool (cue the Mr. T intro) and asks him to mail a very important envelope which contains insurance payments.  Gob instead goes to the beach and in an act of defiance throws the mail into the ocean (after having failed the first few attempts and forced to go into the water).  He will also nag how nobody asks him for help and when they do he always leaves saying he has other agenda’s.

I really liked this episode and thought it had some sense of wit about it.  My favorite scene was when George Bluth Sr. was telling his son how much he loves it in prison and how it’s a vacation.  Then T-Bone comes in and is said to be released that day and Michael says something about vacations having to end.  To this George Bluth Sr. responds that Michael has made a fool out of himself in front of T-Bone.  I also thought that the ending where Gob, Michael and George Michael watch the fire burn was hilarious, because Gob approached them with his Segway and as soon as Michael asked him if he mailed the check, Gob retreated only to be chased by his brother. The entertainment of this family was worth the watch and hopefully is an indicator of what’s to come.

Funny Quotes:

George Bluth Sr.: “… this is my vacation… T’s checkin out today.”

Michael: “well, guess every vacation has to come to an end.”

GBS: (after a moment of silence and T-Bone’s departure) “You just made a fool out of yourself in front of T-Bone.”

T-Bone: “I think you should do that math again.”

George Michael: “Wh-why, is it wrong?”

Maeby: “It’s fine; he’s an arsonist not an embezzler.”

Lucille: Aftera dish with flaming bananas is put on their table) “You might wanna let that fire go out before you stick your face in it.”

Lindsay: “Ah that’s funny because I was gonna say you might wanna lean away from that fire since your soaked in alcohol.”

Lucille: “Mine was better.”

Episode Rating: 5/5

When I first heard of this show or more specifically, the name of it the first thing that came to my mind was a story about someone or a group of people who are stifled from living their normal lives.  Turns out I was almost right about it.  The show pretty much shows the life of a family who is living the high life until the head of the company (George Bluth Sr.) is arrested during his retirement ceremony.  Apparently he was using the company money for his personal gains.  After this the company’s funds are frozen and the family is forced to change the way they live their lives.  Bluth Sr. nominates his wife who then nominates her son Buster to be the CEO of the company (his only real experience with business was 18th century agrarian business).  After that plan fails, they stage an intervention to get Michael to take the lead.  Michael at the same time is offered a job from a rival company but turns it down for the sake of his son growing up with a family (Michael is unfortunately a widow).

Some interesting aspects of this show were that for one the camera wobbles a lot which suggests that it’s being carried and not on a tripod.  I thought this was clever in that it almost satirizes the reality shows we see today.  The show itself almost played out like a reality series to be honest, except it had a comedic aspect to it.  It also has a documentary feel to it, especially with the narrator always describing the back-story of the current moment.  Another thing that was good about the show was how well each character was developed.

Each one was so unique and in a way portrayed the typical high earning family and its stereotypes.  You have Buster who is the momma’s boy, Lindsay who is the beautiful woman who cons her way and spends more than she earns and the mother (Lucille), who is the female version of her husband.  The one thing they all had in common for the most part was that they refused to want to work and relied on the funds coming from the Bluth Company for their personal gains.  I think none of them showed this more than Gob (pronounced jobe as in the guy from the bible), who has failed in his magic acts and either needed money or a job and even favors from the family.  Michael Bluth of course was probably the sanest one and pretty much served as the rational, smart anchor to keep the family in one piece.

I also thought that it was hilarious how David Cross played the role of Tobias Fünke.  To me he came across as a satyr of the popular Dr. Phil because that man too is a failure at his supposed psychological practices (or at least I think so).  In my mind, they both don’t know what they are doing with their professions and often make dumb decisions (hence he lost his license).  I don’t know if this was intentional, but it added a certain feeling of rebelliousness against the popular shows and events that occur in our lives.  I also find the actor Michael Cera to be a little weird.  I think this was his first appearance in the media and ever since then, all of his roles were of a shy emo and emotionally confused child ( just like his role in this show).  I get the feeling that he is like that in real life as he is just so good at it (for better or for worse).

The episode for an opener to the show, was actually done pretty well.  The plot and development of the characters isn’t shoved right down your throat but is elaborately explained throughout the story.  It’s established through the dialogue and the narrations which smooth out really nicely.    I liked the scene where Michael and George Michael are eating breakfast and George Michael thinks this is a real house.  Then Michael responds that it isn’t and picks up the prop turkey to take cereal out from the bottom.

I also like Gob, because his life is pretty much the definition of failure.  He like his sister Lindsay, are schemers that will try to make a quick buck off of anything they can.  Unfortunately it looks so much more entertaining when he fails, because often times its pure irony.  For example, in the first episode he forms this alliance of magicians to protest any who reveal their secrets, and yet towards the middle of the episode his father is found by police dogs in his “Aztec Tomb” and its trick is revealed.  This essentially gets him on their blacklist (later we see a father saying he would be more comfortable with an alliance certified magician).  Overall the episode was really good and did what an opener should do; establish the story and point of the show in a brief and concise manner while being entertaining and laying the groundwork for future episodes.

Funny quotes:

Michael: “So, this is the magic trick huh?”

Gob: “Illusion Michael, a trick is something a whore does for money… or candy.”

George Michael: “looks like a foot.”

Maeby: “It tasted like a foot, which I didn’t really mind but I’m pretty sure I said no nuts.”

Rival Housing Estate Contractor: “Well set you up in Arizona in one of our finest estates.”

Michael: “Attic or main house?”

RHEC: “hahahaha!”

Episode Rating: 5/5

The lizards in the hotel lounge that Raoul Duke sees are symbolic of the quote in the beginning of the movie.  The quote is by Dr. Johnson and goes as follows:  “He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.”  What I interpreted this quote to mean is that beasts are dumb and have very little to worry about as opposed to human beings.  This is the typical idea that human society shares.  With that said the lizards in the lounge were just that.  They were seen as dumb beasts with little worries and indulging in their pleasures.  This ties in with drugs, because at the time drugs were viewed as uncivilized and for those who are counterproductive in our society.  So basically anyone who did drugs and drank would be viewed as a misfit or degenerate to society.  Based on accounts of people who took some forms of drugs, it is suggested that when one is hallucinating or even dreaming, they see things they wouldn’t normally see ( in this case humanoid lizards).  These are usually symbolic of something, in this case being that Duke’s hallucination shows him the beasts that are no longer man and indulge in simple pleasures.  Therefore, Duke thinks that people who do these types of recreational activities are not in the brightest of spotlights within our society.

1. Should a newspaper be this partisan? Are they being partisan or reporting the truth here? Should a newspaper/reporter have as much influence against a person, organization?

I believe that newspapers should not be partisan.  The goal of the news is to report the whole story in my mind.  With that said, if they are only reporting one side, then in reality I am only getting part of the news and that doesn’t seem fair.  In this case, the paper was reporting a biased partisan story.  The journalist just played on the current hate trend of post 9/11 and for the sake of a good selling story, ruined a woman’s career.  What he failed to do was to ask her whether she was even part of this organization that they said she was a part of (she wasn’t even affiliated with that organization).  Instead, they focused on the negative meaning of the word based on today’s understanding and tied it to her.  I think that the reporter should have that much influence over an organization.  We have only to look at the Watergate scandal to see that it can be used for good.  Unfortunately what it boils down to is the responsibility of the reporter in terms of knowing what to publish and what not to.  They should also be prepared for the chain of events such an action would potentially set off.

2. Similar to Churchill last week, yet different, is it possible to ever give a nuanced answer to 9/11? Can you ever say anything negative about the US when it comes to it?

Unfortunately in today’s world, it is almost impossible to give a nuanced answer or opinion; especially to a topic such as 9/11.  The reason for this is that people are just so focused on one aspect, that for them any alternative or opposing idea is blasphemy.  It’s almost like the scenario where, if you were to prove that god doesn’t exist.  In that case, people would go crazy and do crazy things, because they would realize that their life and intentions now hold no meaning.  The same thing applies here, because most people who lost someone dear to them need someone to blame and vent their frustrations on.  if their ideals were to be proven wrong, then all their actions and their intentions would be tarnished and their memory of the loved one would be viewed in a negative manner as well.

3. Should someone who is a few degrees away from any organization that is negative or has a negative image be fired?

No, or at least not unless there is solid proof that the person in question has ties to the organization or extremist ideals.  In the case of Debbie Almontaser, there was no sufficient proof that she was tied to ideals of hate or the organization that was in question.  Similar to Ward Churchill, people just didn’t like her views or the school she would potentially be a part of, and in response, beat around the bush to accuse her of something remote of what they really hated her for.  I think its ignorance and paranoia for the most part that constitutes such actions and sadly today, this happens to be the biggest reason for some of these actions.

4. Who do you believe in this story? The Post or Almonstaser?

I have lost for the most part, faith in the media and press.  I think they no longer have the backbone to go after the real stories and do what they are supposed to do.  I’ve always asked why they report the same mundane and unimportant info when they should be focusing on the real stories.  With that said, i would side with Almontaser, because I believe that her intentions were pure and for the good of people.  After all, what was so bad about her heading a school that promotes cultural diffusion and helps those coming into this country to adapt to it.  Is New York not known for its vast variety of cultures and how they all live together and share one anther’s culture?  for me, the reporter lost all credibility when he twisted her words against her and did not print what she said, the way she meant it.  I think character assassination like that is the worse crime of all.  Napoleon was right when he said “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”  At least the bayonets will end your suffering, while the newspapers will forever immortalize your name with something either good or bad (bad in this case).

1.  Should U of Colorado have launched an investigation?

No they shouldn’t have launched their investigation.  If the professor does not force his opinions on his/her students, then there should not had been no reason for the University to stick their noses in the professor’s life.  On top of that, I think it is perfectly fine to use controversial topics in class for the purpose of getting people to talk about it and voicing their opinions.  This only serves to stimulate and increase the students knowledge and strengthen their beliefs and ideas.

2.  Should a professor, a public intellectual, who knows history and does research be allowed to speak on a subject like this? Is dissent like this protected?

In this case it would be plausible to let Mr. Churchill, speak on a subject like this based on his status in society (a college professor).  The reason for this is because, he is not pulling something out of his proverbial butt and instead has research, years of study and teaching experience to back up his notions and beliefs.  He unlike most, can show correlations between his thesis and events that have happened in the past.  To compare his work to something we see everyday, scientists and psychologists come up with correlations that mightn’t been thought to have been similar yesterday.  In terms of his “dissent” I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion.  Many times, an opinion that isn’t endorsed by the most been shunned or have been the victim of scapegoating for no rightful reason.  Just because the majority doesn’t believe in his opinion doesn’t mean he is wrong.

3.  Would you have fired Ward Churchill?

In The case of Ward Churchill, I would not have fired him, because I believe he has done nothing wrong.  His only crime was showing an opposing view, which often times is not seen in our society.  Nobody ever bothers to look at both sides and too easily begins to slide towards the belief of the majority just to escape being hated or looked down upon.  Also, I believe that Mr. Churchill’s opinion was not forced on his students within his lectures.  His words were simply put into an essay that anyone can read should they choose to and not mandatory for his students to absorb.  With that said, he did nothing wrong that would cause such actions from the University of Colorado to follow with the actions they did.

4.  Should conservative students have their values protected as David Horowitz wants? In essence, should a professor have to teach BOTH sides of an issue? Or should it be their prerogative to teach what they believe is “true” or “most accurate”?

Students, no matter what their political, ethnic, or religious background is, should have the right to know both sides of the story.  It doesn’t matter how much it hurts to come to a realization, because knowing one side has always and will always, lead to arrogance and arrogance in my opinion does more harm.  If we are to raise a society full of people who can think for themselves and be able to decide what they want, they need to understand that there are always two sides to a coin.  Otherwise we will have a civilization of sheep that follow anything someone tells them to do.  Also conservative or not, everybody can always learn something new and it doesn’t hurt to know the other side of the story.  If anything, it can lead to strengthening your position on a given subject.