How Transparent is Like a Darker Always Sunny in Philadelphia

When people reference shows starring (purposely written) horrible people, they inevitably bring up the Always Sunny in Philadelphia gang. The Reynolds family (along with Mac and Charlie), are self-centred, egotistical, and emotionally immature nuisances who often star in episodes where they take their unpleasantness into the outside world, damage the lives of the people they interact with, then get rejected and forced to find comfort in the awful safe-space that is the bar that they own. On Transparent, much of the same thing happens with the Pfeffermans, a family very much like the Reynolds, but with the only difference being that their awful actions have lasting negative repercussions on the people around them and themselves. While Almost Sunny operates on a cartoon logic of everything more or less reverting to how things were before by the start of the next episode, Transparent forces its narcissistic characters to sit with their bad decisions for the remainder of their sad and empty lives. The comedic fallout of their actions are so dark at times that it almost veers into dramatic territory, but the heightened nature of everything reminds the audience to laugh at what has transpired. It’s shocking how little punches this show pulls, even with its transgender star Maura Pfefferman, who also happens to be a mostly awful person. Much like Frank Reynolds on Always Sunny, much of her role seems to be as the one financing the bizarre behaviour her kids seem to get into, and the fact that the show can make us feel be both sympathetic and angry towards her is a grand feat. Once again like Frank, she has a kid that is an honest to God sociopath, but less in the popcultural serial killer sense and more in the toxic presence that routinely hurts those close to her. Ali, along with her two siblings Josh and Sarah, are really who are at the centre of the show despite it being ostensibly about Maura coming out as transgender. Those three siblings are the beating rotten heart of this show.

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Ted Cruz is Good for Literally One Thing: Campaign Ads

Say what you will about Senator Ted Cruz… and before I get to the “but” part of that sentence I’ll be saying what I will about him myself! He’s a hypocrite about the constitution, completely lacks any self-awareness, and where most presidential hopefuls would like to shine under America’s spotlight, he glistens, like a reptile-man (similar to the Mortal Kombat character, Reptile). BUT, even with all that said, Cruz is very, very good at doing one thing: Making ads for his campaign. They’re well produced and they do the job of building Ted up, while his attack ads pull no punches in criticizing its targets. It’s clear that Ted puts a lot of effort into them, but he’s unique in that his ads also tend to have a bit of self-awareness in them. They’re basically the only ads out there that know how dumb these things tend to be, and he goes all out with making them. Take his best one for example titled “War Room”.

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Batman: Arkham Knight and the Real Threat to Gaming Journalism

The final installment of the Rocksteady Arkham trilogy has finally arrived, and its impact is exactly what you would expect from any hotly anticipated game these days. Most people have already decided that they love this game, and unfortunately, anyone that disagrees with this “well-founded” opinion is met with scorn and outrage. This happens every time with games that fall under the public’s favour and its kind of pathetic. Gamespot’s “divisive” 8/10 review of The Last of Us is an extreme example of this. According to many, this was the “final nail in the coffin” for Gamespot, as this paltry 8/10 review shows that they hate gaming and don’t understand anything about criticism… that is until Gamespot turns around and gives a game they know they’ll like a score they agree with, because in that case, Gamespot knows exactly what they’re doing and whoever else disagrees with them is crazy. We’ve seen this time and time again, and it has happened once again with Arkham Knight, for which Gamespot once again finds itself at the centre of its controversy. Giving the game a 7/10 score over criticisms that mostly centred around the use of the Batmobile (which is a legitimate problem), the review was met with a ton of backlash. Just outright hatred for a singular reviewer for having the audacity to not agree with them on one particular thing. Even more saddening is the fact that the type of people getting bent out of shape over reviews tend to fanatically cling to others who agree with them, even after naming those parties as trash over occasions where they weren’t in agreement. They go on long rants, comparing different review scores from games they didn’t like to the games they do to “prove” that they’re right about the reviewer’s inadequacy; as if to say that every review made for a website is from one person and that people can’t possibly enjoy things more than you did. You have to question their level of self-esteem and the value they hold in for their own thoughts and self-worth. I don’t understand why people need this type of validation when it comes to liking video games.

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Retro Review: Batman #1 (1940) – “The Joker” / “The Joker Returns”

Oh wow, I never realized how fully realized the Joker was from his first appearance. This was a really interesting read, thanks!

Modern Mythologies

Retro Review takes a look at influential issues of DC Comics and measures their artistic integrity against their cultural and symbolic importance to the DC Universe and comic books in general.

Batman 1

While last year marked the 75th anniversary of the Batman, this year mark’s the 75th anniversary of the debut of the Dark Knight’s self-titled solo series. Batman was one of the longest running continuous comic book series of all time, but more importantly, it was the series that introduced two of the most important and iconic characters in the Batman mythos.

One of these was Catwoman, the master thief and long-time paramour of the Caped Crusader. We will be covering her debut later on this year as part of her own 75th birthday celebration. But for today, we focus on the debut of Batman’s most iconic villain: his unrivaled archenemy, the Joker – otherwise known as the Clown Prince…

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Manga review: Persona 1


I am thou, thou art I…from the sea of thy soul, I come…

Every story has its beginning. Every successful gaming series has its origin. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona (originally a spinoff of the Megami Tensei series) was the game that started the Persona series. Though its gameplay was average at best, Persona 1 was praised for its use of Jungian psychology, compelling characters, and modern setting (aspects that are still prominent in modern Persona games). It sold relatively well in Japan and even managed get localized and released overseas (which was rare at the time it was released). It was eventually followed up by Persona 2, Persona 3 and Persona 4, and in truth, despite kickstarting Persona series, Persona 1 isn’t exactly well recognized by most Persona fans. In fact, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably significantly more familiar with Persona 3 and Persona 4, which is fine; Persona 1…

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