Friday, February 4, 2011

Community-"Advanced Dungeons and Dragons"

The Study Group plays a game of Dungeons and Dragons    Credit: NBC
My brief review of last night's Community is after the jump.

This episode of Community definitely qualifies as one of the meta episodes of the show. It was an awesome episode filled with funny moments and great character work (just like an average episode of Community). Another plus is you can tell the entire cast was having a lot of fun shooting this episode.

This episode can definitely be counted as one of the more surreal episodes of Community (although nothing can beat the zombie episode). It played like a fantasy type episode, or as fantasy as an episode set in the study room can get. They really didn't use visuals for the effect though (with the exception of the opening). Most of the effect came from sound effects and the sounds were used wisely to create aspects of the game while it was being played.

The game itself was a very fun basis for an episode. It's basis was interesting and fun. It gave each character their own moments to shine and gave a great opportunity to have a character who had never really been touched upon before a chance to have a role in the episode. The motive behind it was both kind and heartfelt.

Abed got the most to do. As the dungeon master he got to run the game and provided many, many laughs and many ridiculous situations. (It is dungeons and dragons after all.) I could tell Danny Pudi was having fun with each moment he was onscreen (even with Pierce).

Pierce got some of the better character stuff in the episode. He went on a complete rampage on the game only because he was left out by the study group from the game. He got some very funny moments to play and his role of the villain of the episode was very funny. Again, I could tell that Chevy Chase was having fun ruining other people's fun at the game of D&D. It gave him a chance to play mean Pierce, who can be very unfunny sometimes, proved to be funny in context.

Jeff's motives in the episode were clear. He had to make Neil happy after creating the nickname that ruined his time at Greendale. Joel McHale did a fantastic job playing Jeff in this episode. He played the motivated and determined Jeff really well. You can tell he cared when he tried to get the sword back for Neil.

The rest of the cast each got their moments to shine even if they were very brief. Daniel Glover got to make jokes about the "well endowed" and got to call Britta the AT&T of people (nice ad-lib). Yvette Nicole Brown didn't get much to do but what she did get to do is act very shocked based on what was happening. Her reaction to Annie's story was brilliant. Alison Brie got to tell a very dirty story (most of which was blocked out, probably for good reason). Gillian Jacobs didn't get much to do but she did get to mourn the loss of a gnome and tell Jeff the one thing he isn't good at ("sex"). As far as Ken Jeong, a little of him goes a long way and the episode had the right amount of painted Chaing.

From the surreal opening, to the brassy opening credits (*), to the game, to the ending this was one of my favorite episodes of the season. It was 21 minutes of pure fun and surrealism that I enjoyed immensely.

(*) I might be slightly biased towards the changed opening credits. The brass sound's effect worked really well in the context of the episode.

What did everyone else think?

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