Community: Economics of Marine Biology

"Do we go to the same Greendale?"

Reviewing Community used to be fun. Even when I was handed difficult (in a good way) episodes like 'Remedial Chaos Theory' I was still able to enjoy myself. But this season reviewing the show has become a chore. Even the episodes that I liked (of which there have been precious few) were no fun to write about. It has gotten to the point where I am actually starting to dread new episodes. Especially when they turn out as badly as this one.

The Good

You know an episode is bad when the c-plot is the best thing about it. To the best of my knowledge this is the first time that Troy and Shirley have had a storyline all to themselves. In typical Greendale fashion, they sign themselves up to PEE class, a class that teaches you to teach PE. It wasn’t great, but it was a lot funnier than everything else that was going on in this episode. Even the unwelcome addition of ‘Kevin’ didn’t spoil this.

The Bad

To keep Pierce away from Greendale, Jeff went with the aging to a fancy barber shop, the kind of place where you can get a brandy with your shave. Besides keeping the actors busy, I'm not sure what the point of this trip to the barber shop was about. Where they trying to make Pierce sympathetic and likeable by having him bond with Jeff? Guys, I know you're new here, but that ship has sailed. And sunk. And there were no survivors. Pierce, like the actor playing him, is a lost cause. The Pierce here is the same old racist Pierce we all know and loathe. I can understand why Jeff would want to hang out in this barber shop. But I don’t understand why he would want to spend more time with Piece. This bonding session didn’t convince and, crucially, wasn’t the least bit funny.

And the Ugly

Oh dear. This was bad. Really, really bad. I’m tempted to say it was 'The Art of Discourse' scale bad. I felt sorry for Jim Rash and Alison Brie. Gillian Jacobs was lucky enough to escape from it early, while Danny Pudi quickly split off into his own storyline, but they were in this train wreck until the very bitter end. Poor dears, they deserved so much better than to be trapped in a horrendous storyline like this.

Notes and Quotes

--The credit tags continue to get worse and worse.

--We saw Jeff texting on his phone twice in this episode. Once was to Annie and earlier to someone unknown. I hope it was to one of his friends. I’ll be very disappointed if Jeff is still non-texting.

--I’ve seen more training montage parodies than I can count but I still chucked at this episode’s attempt.

--Abed founded a frat in this episode, the Delta Cubes, but in such a crowded episode, this plot thread went nowhere.

Shirley: "No one deserves to be mocked for being mocked-locked in a mock locker."

Britta: "If I wanted to wait on a rich man hand and foot, I would have gone to Dubai with that sheik I met at Trader Joe's."

I feel confident in now saying that this season is bad. Sure, there are another six episodes to go, but I don’t see the season getting any better. Two out of four training montage parodies.

10 comments:

sunbunny said...

I liked Troy and Shirley's PEE class and I didn't find the Annie/Dean part as horrendous as you did, Mark.

Pierce and Jeff's attempt at bonding just screamed 'filler' to me. I'd much rather we'd have seen Abed trying to start his frat. And what was the point of that? Why was there was no payoff? Sloppy, sloppy.

ChrisB said...

My problem with this episode is that the "moral" was too obvious from the beginning and then we were hit over the head with it. The final scene with the dean in the cafeteria was painful to watch.

Agree that Abed's fraternity was odd. Maybe it was a set-up that will continue into next week? Otherwise, what was the point?

celticmarc said...

Paste and glue :

The magic is gone.
The magic is gone.
The magic is gone.
The magic is gone.

I did enjoy the C plot, but the A ? Trying too much. The only positive thing I can say about the B? Character growth !!! For Jeff, of course. (Him again)

Mark ! Typo at "The Bad" paragraph ! Pierce has become Piece. Or was this intentional ? (like, I don't know, piece of crap ?) (just a thought)

Billie Doux said...

Originally, Community was a show that told a variety of strange and unusual stories -- satire, fantasy, science fiction, anything and everything -- while pretending to be a wacky sitcom about a group of students attending community college. Now, it appears to be turning into a wacky sitcom about a group of students attending community college.

My sympathies, Mark.

celticmarc said...

The magic is gone.

Paulo Brabo said...

I can't count the reasons I should stay
One by one they all just fade away

Juliette said...

Because I work in one, I usually really like it when Community does stuff that's actually about attending a community college, and this should have been right up my street (since it's also about lack of funding, another area close to my heart). But I was so bored I started reading random articles online during the episode.

Agreed that Troy and Shirley's story, though not amazing, was the best bit - I especially liked the mock-up of a locker room even though they have locker rooms. That felt very Greendale.

celticmarc said...

Juliette

Quoting you : "lack of funding, another area close to my heart". Sending you my best vibes so that may change.

I find it horrendous that academicians and researchers have to "beg" for money. Eyes rolling.

Heather1 said...

I am really confused... what happened to André?

Paulo Brabo said...

If I may stoop so low, this season of Community suffers from a severe case of "Dan-mnesia": it absolutely forgot how it was when it existed (and flowed from) Dan Harmon's mind.