Saturday, March 19, 2011

Community-"Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy"

Enver Gjokaj befriends Britta on "Community"
Credit: NBC

My review of this week's episode of Community is after the jump.

This was a great episode of the show. It was a fun little episode that hit all the pleasure points that I want an episode of Community to hit. It was a genuinely funny episode with great character moments and it was very light on Pierce. It's pretty much evenly split between two plotlines: Chang wanting to be a daddy and Enver Gjokaj guest starring as a love interest from Britta. I found that I enjoyed aspects both of the plotlines and they made a very sharp and very normal episode of the show. 

Chang is a very tough character to make work. He is very much out there and he's very cartoonish. At the beginning of the shows run I didn't like his character because of this. The character is very crazy and it became clear over time that his character was best served with little moments in each episode. In the first season, we would see him for two minutes while we would be in his class and that would be it. This episode featured the character prominently, to somewhat detrimental affects.

I don't want to take the character of Chang seriously and that's exactly what the Andre/Chang plotline asked us to do. Chang is a large child and to see him taken seriously didn't quite work in my mind. The show went to huge extremes with his character and wanted us to take him seriously at the same time. It's hard to take a character seriously that kidnaps children and runs around a prison. (*) The character is very over the top and like I said, too much of him is not a good thing, and this episode had a little too much of him.

(*) I did like that prison scene though. It was pretty damn funny, even if it was ridiculous.

Even if Chang was over the top, this is the type of Community plotline that I want to like. I like it when comedies have heavier plotlines that actually have repercussions for the characters, and this is a plotline that should continue to play out over the course of the season. And even if the Chang scenes didn't completely click with me, the scenes between Shirley and Jeff were great. I liked their talk in the hall and their scene in the jail. I also have grown to like Malcom Jamal Warner's Andre character. He's created a nice little character right there.

I throughly enjoyed the Britta, Abed, and Troy plotline, and not only because Enver Gjokaj showed how awesome he is. It was a cute plotline that allowed Donald Glover and Danny Pudi to have a lot of fun together and it explored the dynamic between them Britta while exploring Britta's character. It's not an unknown fact that the study group thinks of Britta as a buzzkill who always ruins everything and that episode played off of that. Apparently Britta ruins every guy that she has ever dated so that Troy and Abed could never hang out with them again. So she had to try to inform them that Luka (**) was a killer without feeling for his killings. This was a fun plotline and I thought it was very funny. Gillian Jacobs did a great job with the material she was given in the episode.

(**) How awesome is Enver Gjokaj? I was really looking forward to seeing him in the episode becasue of how awesome he is. He didn't get to show off much of his range in this, but he did get to do an accent. (or was he doing an accent on Dollhouse?)

Some other thoughts:

  • Pierce and Annie were relegated to the background in the episode, but the show can't feature every character in its ensemble every week.
  • Thanks for ruining Catfish for me Community.
  • "You mean Jeff 'Nipple Play' Winger? No! As you can see, we're still hanging out with him. Hi, how's it going, Jeff?"
  • "Our school motto is 'Lower Your Standards.'"
  • "You. You. Officer Baby."
  • "Parental rights? You're adopting me?!"
  • "We like him a lot, so you're not allowed to bone him."
  • "And there's a very nice letter from the manufacturer promising to expand their selection."

Overall, I really did like this episode, even if had way too much Chang. It was a lot of fun to watch and it was a fun way to celebrate Community's third season renewal (!).

What did everyone else think?

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