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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.
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.
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.
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.