Friday, April 15, 2011

Community-"Competitive Wine Tasting"

Abed teaches a class on "Community"
Credit: NBC

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

As much as I like it when Community does an episode that is completely outside the box (like the last episode to air, the amazing My Dinner with Abed epsiode), I appreciate seeing that the show is still capeable of making a normal, character driven episode. What this episode was able to do really well was it told a fairly grounded and normal story while telling interesting character stories as well. The episode took a look at two very important questions: Who's the boss? and even more important, Can Pierce be redeemed? It looked at those questions in an interesting way and it made for a funny episode.

The episode looked at the question Can Pierce be redeemed, but I don't exactly know if it answered it. For the past sever episodes the show has had a major problem on its hands with this character where he had gone too far in terms of exactly how mean the character can be and exactly how far he can go with how he treats other people. It has almost ruined a few episodes, like the Dungeons and Dragons episode from earlier in the season. When I watched this episode, I saw it as an attempt to begin the process of redeeming the character and actually making him seem as a part of the ensemble. And it honestly worked, this was the first episode in awhile where Pierce actually did seem like a part of the cast of the show, and not like he's in some other world in which these characters aren't living.

His plotline was one that was a lot of fun and one that I enjoyed. I really did love that we got to see everyman Jeff completely shut down by an attractive woman. Wu Mai's line "Please take weird haricut, stupid grin and go sniff another dog’s ass" was one of the best in the episode. (*) The show is really good at payoffs and the payoff to this plotline was one of the stronger payoffs in the show's run, but not because it was laugh out loud funny. I liked the twist with them being outed as only using each other. It also had Jeff walking the line between selfishness and wanting to help Pierce. This isn't the form of Jeff I like best, but we're not going to get the selfless Jeff every week, so I'm OK with this form every once in awhile.

(*) My other favorite line was delivered by Annie, who didn't get much to do in this episode. The line was "I dropped it after the class on setups. That professor was SO old"

I really liked the Troy and Britta plot, with them going to acting class. It was a lot of fun to watch and it had a lot of Donald Glover crying. I love Donald Glover and that he got a lot of great material in this episode, anything involving him in this episode was absolutely hysterical. And where did that attraction between Britta and Troy come from? They've never done anything with it in the show before. That's why I'm reluctant to ship them to be together, I just don't know if there's a relationship there or if this was an instance of Community playing with our heads. Also, how funny is Kevin Corrigan as the same professor from the conspiracy series episode? He was absolutely hysterical in the conspiracy episode and in this one as well. And I don't know if I'm fully behind that tag from last night. The first time I was slightly offended (as a fan of Fiddler...) but it grew on me with a second viewing. 

Probably the strongest plotline in the episode was the plotline involving Abed and his professor of a "Who's the Boss" class. Stephen Tobolowsky was absolutely fantastic as the professor of the class. He was fantastic on the show and that was an achievement in itself (read this article that he wrote for exactly why I'm so happy that he was on the show and was as fantastic as he was). He preformed the professor's breakdown after his entire life became meaningless (after Abed revealed that Angela was the boss) was absolutely fantastic and well performed. I really did love this plotline and it was my favorite of the episode.

Overall, it was a fun, average episode of Community.

What did everyone else think?

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