Friday, February 18, 2011

Community-"Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking"

Pierce messes with Annie's head on "Community"
Credit: NBC

My review of last night's mockumentary episode of Community is after the jump.

It's weird when a show switches styles of cinematography at any point in the run. It was a bit jarring to see Community film in a mockumentary format. It was a memorable break in format which told a memorable story.

This episode was very funny but the premise was not. Pierce manipulating everyone as a form of revenge as a premise is not funny and from a character standpoint is not funny. The episode took his behavior way too far. Earlier this season, I could not have imagined him doing anything like this but after the Dungeons and Dragons episode it does seem like it's in his character. The problem I have is his behavior was taken to a point where it passed funny and it became mean. And also, would Pierce really go to that length to keep Jeff's gift going? I though his character was utterly ridiculous but it allowed the others to shine.

Shirley was tortured by the thought of her gift. She is so worried about people talking to her behind her back that when she received the CD she didn't know what to do. I thought Yvette Nicole Brown did a great job portraying Shirley's anguish. While it was not the funniest part of the show it did provide some good moments. My favorite Shirley moment was her moment with the camera. "Do you want me to be the only one without a talking head?

Jeff was probably the most tortured by his "bequeathing". Quite a bit of over the top humor came from this plotline as well as some real human moments from Jeff. Watching his preparation, I saw him continually go from Jeff to someone more vulnerable and scared. It was very interesting to watch and was the material for quite a bit of the documentary humor. The scene with Jeff getting very angry at Abed for filming him was very funny. The payoff to the plotline wasn't as much funny as it was over the top. To see Jeff give Pierce what he deserved wasn't quite funny but it was a good payoff.

Britta got her own form of torture that came from not being able to keep the check for herself. This was absolutely hysterical and very fun to watch. All the humor that came from this, whether intended or not, was very good. She also got some great character moments like her reaction to being called "Sour Face".

Troy got the best plotline of them all. He got to be starstruck when the amazing LeVar Burton walked onto the screen (*). Donald Glover nailed Troy's reaction to having his hero walk in and start talking to him. I thought this was fantastic and very, very funny. The scene with Troy on the bathroom floor singing the Reading Rainbow theme song had me on the floor laughing. LeVar Burton was great as the celebrity dealing with a starstruck fan. He nailed the tag of the episode with the salmon. 

(*) This brought back good memories of my watching Reading Rainbow. This may have helped with my enjoyment of the episode by helping me enjoy it more.

Annie didn't get much to do in this episode but what she got she nailed. The whole thing with the tiara and her being Pierce's favorite was very good and very funny.

Overall, a fantastic episode of Community, that took a memorable format break, and that I enjoyed very much, even if the premise took Pierce's  behavior way too far.

What did everyone else think?

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