by Josie Kafka
Oh, this was such a terrible episode. Community is such a silly show that clearly lacks nuance or artistry, and obviously ruined the best holiday in the entire world. That was sarcasm. Can’t you tell? I used inflection, which is totally not overrated.
Valentine’s Day, the most miserable of holidays (and no, that’s not sarcasm) deserves a good send-up. I dislike the weird performativity of V-Day. It’s not just about showing love—in fact, I’m not sure it’s about love at all—but about proving to everyone else that love exists in a relationship. Public presents, dinner out, flowers, those annoying teddy-stripper-grams that always come to the door at five a.m. smelling like cheap liquor. V-Day isn’t about love; it’s about communicating love to everyone outside of a relationship. (Think of the post-V-Day chats: “Did you do anything special last night?” Prurient freaks.)
The Community honchos apparently feel the same way I do about February 14th, and “Communication Studies” is a great unromantic V-Day episode. Señor Chang’s honest cruelty is perfect for a terrible holiday, and he called Pierce and Troy on their fake-o-grams. Luckily, that gave Shirley and Annie a chance to quietly show their own blend of love for the study group: revenge. And then honesty, and then cross-dressing. Revenge, honesty, men in drag? All plots should follow that structure.
Meanwhile, Jeff and Abed got thoroughly wasted, which is a beautiful testament to the power of the bromance that’s been brewing between them for a while. Ever since “Home Economics,” Abed and Jeff have had a great chemistry, and Jeff seems to be willing to open up to Abed in a way he can’t open up to anyone. Maybe it’s that Abed understands people better than anyone else? Or worse than anyone else? Who knows?
Jeff’s complicated drunk-dial one-upmanship with Britta revealed something important about his relationship with Professor Hot Stuff: he’s scared of Chubby Hubby ice cream…no, that’s not it. He’s not fully invested in his relationship with the prof, because he’s too preoccupied with the weird kinda-friendship/kinda-flirtation that he and Britta “Courtney Love” Perry have going on. Jeff and Michelle might still be a couple, but he and Britta are each other’s “favorite friends.” He left a 40 minute voice mail for her, and she was willing to get all dolled up for him. There’s something there, right?
"I'm so sick of Chang."
Shirley, you took the words right out of my mouth. It is shame there are no elevator shafts at Greendale because I really wish he would fall down one. Or better yet, why not pull a Becky Conner and replace him with Mini Chang? That kid is going to be a star.
This was the first episode to be written by Chris McKenna. McKenna is one of the series' best writers, responsible for some of my favourite episodes and, thanks to "Remedial Chaos Theory", currently the show's best chance at actually winning an Emmy. He's also responsible for the only episode of Community that I absolutely hate, but I won't hold that against him.
The highlight of the episode was Jeff and Abed hanging out in Abed's dorm room, getting drunk and re-enacting Breakfast Club with a random pizza guy. It is impossible not love that sequence. You don't even need to have seen Breakfast Club to love it. I sure as hell didn't. Yeah, I have never seen The Breakfast Club, or any other John Hughes films for that matter. At least none of the ones with teenagers (love Uncle Buck). All my knowledge of the film comes from Wikipedia, various 80s nostalgia shows and that Simple Minds video.
Finally, this was first mention of Beetlejuice. Make a note of it. There will be others.
Cool Cool Cool:
• Jeff: “Oh, now it has arrows. That’s safe.”
• Britta: “Oh, good, now it has arrows. That’s safe.”
• Jeff: “I can’t feel things with you studying me like a beige praying mantis.”
• Abed: “Movie reference.”
• Abed cast Chang as a little kid. How perfect is that?
Three out of four Molly Ringworms.