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Community – Geography of Global Conflict

Community
provided more than a few laughs this week with a quirky, clever
little episode which managed to entertain and amuse without needing a
great plot or dramatic theatrics.

At the start of last
week’s episode, the cast of Community told us, by way of song,
that this year would be just as awesome, but a little less weird. I
couldn’t help but feel concerned by that declaration. As much as last
year’s theme episodes went a bit over the top with their frequency,
season 2 of Community was no less funny than season one. So, to
be told that the show would be getting a bit “less weird”
indicated that the writers might be pandering to the demands of the
critics (the fans were certainly not complaining about the paintball
episodes). But we can put those worries to bed. This episode helped
remind viewers that Community doesn’t need a clay animation
set-up for it to still be funny (and weird)
in all the right places.

Following on from last
week’s episode about change, it’s good to see that some things
haven’t changed. Pierce is still as racist and sexist as always, with
his “sneak attack. That is just like them! Not women …
Asians.” It’s okay to laugh at those moments, because the other
characters all show their distaste at his archaic observations. At
least, that’s my excuse for laughing at them.

Weird? Not we! 

Britta and Annie
continued to provide laughs as strong, realistic and somewhat
likeable female leads, which is rare for a television show to pull
off. In an episode which mostly focused on these two characters, we
saw very contrasting personalities from the women, in two almost
entirely unrelated situations, and both managed to provide
entertaining stories in two very different ways.

Britta’s scenes this
week with Chang were hilarious. The slow motion acts of semi-legal
vandalism, such as kicking a trash can which wobbled ever so
slightly, and Britta’s Barbie-covered protest dance, were genius. All
the while, Lionel Ritchie’s Hello played
in the background, like the scene was from some romantic drama,
as Chang tasers Britta and carries her off, and the two share
yearning looks (followed by Britta spitting in Chang’s face). This is
what makes Britta such a humorous (yet oddly realistic) character. She’s full of all of this misplaced liberalist angst, and yet in
reality she’s a law-abiding white girl who fell in with an anarchist
clique at high-school, and yearns for the days where she would
get tear-gassed for doing something (slightly) illegal.

The
episode also showcased the perpetually cute Annie, who never fails to
amuse and bewitch. Although Jeff-Annie “shippers” might have been
disappointed by the conclusion of this episode in regard to their
relationship (myself included!), it was still Annie at her finest.
While the show continues to give us those irrelevant,
Scrubs-like moments, it’s good to see that the writers can
still play games with satire and social statement. The two United
Nations facing off was quite witty, and it was sort of amazing to see the
United States candidate throw a true hissy-fit when she couldn’t get
her way. It’s hard to dislike Annie, and when her
over-achieving, spoiled, school-kid nature pushes her in directions
which have results similar to these (as pictured), Community
continues to be a rare show which gives us not one, but two very
funny female protagonists.

The  

Despite the U.N. story
being quite clever, it wasn’t supremely interesting. During the
debates, it did seem to meander a little, to the point where we were
left wondering ‘where are they going with this?’ Britta’s
story remained the more captivating of the two, despite it being
the less covered plot line. Still, the clash of the two Earths
managed to set up plenty of gags. My only concern is that, with the
writers easing off of the ‘theme episodes’ pedal, their episodic
plots could scrape the figurative barrel at times. It probably wont
happen any time soon, but to avoid those kind of issues, it would be
nice to see more serialized plots introduced into the season. It
would give viewers something to keep coming back for each week
(besides the wonderful laugh-a-minute gags and beautiful cast).

In true Community
style, the episode ended with another irrelevantly humorous Abed-Troy
scene, in which they attempted to play Operation on a sleeping Pierce
(while wearing … pink scrubs?), but failed to get his spare ribs. On
how many different levels is that funny? Probably not the highest of
levels, but even still, Community seldom fails to at least be
funny on a very silly level, and we’ve missed it for that
reason.

Rating
8.5

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