Sunday, April 29, 2012

Deandra "Sweet Dee" Reynolds

Deandra "Sweet Dee" Reynolds is a fictional character on the FX television series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, portrayed by actress Kaitlin Olson. Dee was the only major character in the show to be conceived without an actor in mind. Although she was originally written to be a female voice of reason to contrast with the other ridiculous characters, Dee's character quickly became an equal participant in The Gang's illicit and morally questionable activities once Olson (later to become McElhenney's real-life wife) was cast.

Dee is Dennis' twin sister and is the main bartender at Paddy's. Sweet Dee was unpopular in high school due to her severe scoliosis, for which she wore a corrective back brace that earned her the nickname "The Aluminum Monster". Additionally, she is often ridiculed for her resemblance to a bird by the rest of The Gang, especially Mac and Dennis. She identifies herself as a liberal, and also claims to be compassionate. Despite her personal self-assessment, she is characterized as being selfish, greedy, and prejudiced. Sweet Dee battles The Gang's view that "females are inferior" and feels that she must prove that she's as able as her male friends. In "The Gang Gets Invincible", Dee poses as male alter ego "Cole" to try out for the Philadelphia Eagles with Mac and Dennis; she does a superb job and impresses the Eagle coaches until she stuns everyone by revealing she's a woman right before her punting tryout, after which she kicks the ball and severely injures her foot. Her father Frank is the only one who considers Dee a true member of The Gang. Whenever there is a decision or a vote among members of The Gang, the three other guys habitually exclude her.

Dee is usually ignored or ridiculed whenever she presents an idea to The Gang; however, if someone repeats her exact suggestion, it is immediately accepted. In her mother's will, Dee is told that she has been a disappointment and a mistake despite the fact that she is one of twins. She has considerable animosity towards her mother. She wants to show her up and "shove it in her face".

In the season 2 episode Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare she and Dennis develop an addiction to Crack cocaine which is brought up a few times in later episodes.

After failing out of the University of Pennsylvania, where she had intended to major in psychology, Deandra decided to become an actress. However, she has put little effort into realizing her ambition and has never had any significant acting work; as a result, The Gang frequently taunts her as lacking in any talent.

Sweet Dee's acting-career aspirations have inspired her to create several characters, all of which are based on ethnic stereotypes. Many of these are seen in the episode "America's Next Top Paddy's Billboard Model Contest", in which she attempts to be discovered by talent agencies by posting videos of her acting on YouTube. However, her presence in the videos is overshadowed by Charlie's idiotic performances as Green Man. Although Deandra shows no on-camera stage fright, she consistently faces severe glossophobia when performing in front of an audience. When she performs a stand-up comedy routine at a local comedy club, she repeatedly gags and dry-heaves on stage due to her anxiety.

Since high school, Dee has had a long string of failed relationships and one-night stands throughout the series including: a high-school boy who used her for alcohol and to make his girlfriend jealous; a thief who robbed the bar; a middle-aged toothless Korean busboy; a soldier who ultimately found her to be "a mean person" and Lil Kev, a rapper The Gang was convinced was mentally retarded. Like the other members of The Gang, Deandra drinks very heavily, often to calm herself when meeting an attractive man. Relative to the rest of The Gang, Dee seems to drink more and be drunk more often. She harbors a phobia of the elderly. Despite her many insecurities, Dee is aggressively outspoken and is prone to violence when angered. At one point, she assaults a bum she finds masturbating in the alley behind Paddy's. Like Charlie, her anger is greatly amplified by use of steroids in "Hundred Dollar Baby". In "The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation", she is, along with Frank and Mac, on an American Idol-like panel where she portrays a drunken spoof of Paula Abdul, slurring her words and judging hopefuls in a talent contest. She drinks heavily from a cup full of "Rum and Cokes" and uses the event as an excuse to criticize and demean the contestants.

Dee was pregnant and aware of the biological father; however, his identity was unknown to The Gang and the audience. The father is revealed to be Carmen the Transsexual. Dee carried Carmen's child as a surrogate mother having been impregnated through Carmen's sperm and an egg from a donor. She gave birth to a boy in the episode "Dee Gives Birth". The episode was dedicated to Axel Lee McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney's real life son.


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