When talking about Community, it’s a struggle to balance the discussion between what Dan Harmon and company are doing with television as an artistic medium and how they’re just bringing the funny. Last night’s episode had a lot of both. Plus, the return of Annie’s Boobs! The monkey, not, you know, Alison Brie’s actual boo… nevermind.
I really enjoyed the brief glimpses of all the adventures the gang has had that we as viewers weren’t privy to. The time they filled in for the glee club. The time they built (and wrecked) a Habitat for Humanity house. The St. Patrick’s Day boating adventure (which got several call-backs). I’ve always enjoyed the kind of humor that arises from something happening off screen (a couple seasons ago The Office did a bit that indicated Dwight has shown up on Earth Day dressed as a homicidal robot. For years.) and last night’s episode was full of those types of jokes.
One of my favorite recurring gags last night were the references to NBC’s The Cape (the short-lived and much-maligned costumed hero drama from this past television season). Of course Abed would have been obsessed with that godawful show (down to trying to grab Jeff’s lunch, Cape-style), but having the other characters offer opinions on it was fun inside-tv-humor.
The parody of a CW show (complete with slow motion and a cheesy chick-rock song) during the Jeff/Britta/Annie argument was fantastic. Having watched a few of those (against my will)(ok… not against my will) I definitely giggled at the send-up of that type of scene.
Much has been made recently of the continuing marginalization of Pierce as a character, with some speculating that it’s due to Chevy Chase being upset with the writers, or vice versa. They must have squashed their beef in writing last night’s episode, however, because it was the first time in awhile that Pierce has felt like an integrated part of the group, and he got some of the night’s funniest scenes: stealing flu shots from the day-care center (“I’ll be a LIVING GOD!!!”) and doing the worst bird impression ever (“caw! caw!”) to steal fries from Abed.
Jeff’s speech was Community at its finest. While parodying shows that have big climactic speeches like that, it was also hilarious, and fit within the context of what was currently happening to these characters. To shoot it as it cut from scene to scene of all the off-screen adventures added the perfect amount of surreality to the whole thing.
Last but not least, cramming in a year’s worth of Dean Pelton costumes (each one creepier and more unnerving than the last) was totally worth it. As was the extended cartoon tag of the Dean acting out his homicidal fantasies towards the group. Because lets be honest… who hasn’t fantasized about getting vengeance on your enemies with your cyborg arm rainbow cannon. Exactly. We all have.