Friday, April 22, 2011

Community-"Paradigms of Human Memory"

The Cast of "Community"
Credit: NBC

My review of last night's fake clip show is after the jump.

Episodes of Community usually fall into two types, there's the traditional episodes and there's the episodes that take a risk and do something very different from other sitcoms. I usually have two very different reactions to the two types of episodes. For the normal episode I tend to laugh a lot and I'm generally left with the thought "that was funny" and occasionally something else (if the episode has good character material. For the different episodes, I don't necessarily tend to laugh at them, because usually they do something completely different, and the intentions of the episodes aren't necessarily to be funny, but to tell story in a different way.

The difference with those other experiments and this week's rather experimental episode was that I laughed at this almost as much as I laughed at "Modern Warfare" last season. It was a genuinely funny episode that took a huge risk, but it was a risk that paid off completely. Creating a fake clip show using completely new footage must have been a huge undertaking for the cast and crew of this show, yet they pulled it off wonderfully.

I guess I'll begin discussing the clip show with discussing all the relationship stuff in the episode. The episode used the idea of memories to reveal that Jeff and Britta were secretly hooking up (surprisingly not shocking, shocking plot twist). This wasn't the best part of the episode (although the scene with Abed and the Leprechauns was hysterical). What really worked for me was the discussion that this caused within the group and how these two being at the center of the discussion lead to some very funny moments. The clip flashback with the crew being backstabbed by Jeff and Britta in some way was very funny. As was the ending, they don't really want to date if everyone says it's OK. Even better, the stuff with Annie in the episode. The show was clearly responding to the shippers when they had Annie freak out about all the tension between her and Jeff. That montage was very cute as well, but they seemed to dismiss this, which I'm not sure I'm that into. I like Jeff and Annie (but don't worry Britta fans, I still love Jeff and Britta).

The show also used the structure to become very meta. (Doesn't it do this every week?) This week the show addressed the fact that Jeff tends to give big speeches with a clip package of big speeches. It was very funny, but it dealt with the issue. Now Community doesn't have the resources to do a big, cliche Jeff speech. But it was funny to see them make mockery of it before moving on from the cliche.

Some other thoughts (and some funny moments):

  • Poor Chang. He largely got relegated to the sidelines this week, although the moments that he had were very funny.
  • Yay for a different point of view from the Christmas episode! It was great to see that little bit of real life during the episode, as well as the brief claymation moment.
  • I loved the Glee club flashback. That song has really good lyrics, doesn't it.
  • Loved the flashbacks to the wild west and the haunted house as well. Even though there must be a reason why they didn't make the episodes based off of them, I would want to see those episodes.
  • I loved the Dean's flashbacks. Those costumes were hysterical.
  • The tag didn't do much fore me, I thought it was somewhat funny but it wasn't great.
  • Loved the return of Annie's boobs and its storage center in the vents.
  • Awww, apparently Pierce and Abed, as well as Chang and Annie's boobs have something together. Those montages were very funny.
Overall, I loved this episode. It was a great way to do a fake clip show. This was one of the strongest episodes of Community of all time, it really was. It had the perfect mix of meta and funny to create this episode.

I don't think I could possible hit on everything, and I know that I must have left some stuff out, so I'm going to leave it to you guys to tell me what I missed.

What did everyone else think?

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