by Mark Greig
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.
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.
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.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.