by Mark Greig
In my review of 'History 101' I said that it would be difficult to judge this season from just one episode. Well, now we've had six and I am officially worried. As many of you have mentioned in the comments for the previous reviews, this season is just not working out. Sometimes it feels like they are trying too hard to recapture that old black magic. Other times it feels like they aren’t even trying at all. It has not been terrible. There are flashes of genius, some great banter, and some touching character beats, but that vital spark which made Community stand out from all other sitcoms is just not there any more.
There were two main problems with this episode. The first was that it offered us nothing we haven't seen twice before. This is the third episode in what is now a trilogy of documentary parodies that also includes 'Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking' and 'Documentary Filmmaking: Redux' (I don't count 'Pillows and Blankets' because Abed didn't make that one). You don't have to be Abed to know that the third part of any trilogy is usually the weakest and this episode was no exception. There was no real purpose to the documentary format here. It contributed nothing to the episode and was never anything more than a gimmick. It felt like, rather than create their own voice for the show, David Guarascio and Moses Port were trying to recreate the show's previous one by recycling past glories.
The second problem was the abundance of 'Kevin'. 'Kevin’ has long outstayed his welcome. This whole plotline is just a way to keep him around. But he doesn’t need to be kept around now. Why can’t the show quit him? My great fear is that, should Community be renewed for a fifth season by some miracle (more than likely a final season of 16 episodes so they can get to the magic 100 episodes and rake in the syndication money), ‘Kevin’ will take Pierce’s place as the study group member everyone hates. That might not exactly be the darkest timeline, but it is pretty damn close.
Notes and Quotes
--The captions beneath everyone's names weren't that funny. 'Partner', 'Businesswoman', 'Sceptic', is that really the best they could come up with?
Troy: "In an investigation one dude always has to go opposite the other dude. That's how they get things done."
Abed: "It goes on like this for another 12 hours. I couldn't get though it all and I sat through Tree of Life."
Troy: "Growing up I had a cart named Troy, a bird named Troy and a hamster named Troy. They're all older than me... Oh my god!"
Please forgive the shortness of this review. I just didn't really have much to say about this episode. Two out of four somethings. I couldn't really be bothered to think of anything. That is how uninspired I was by this episode.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.