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Community: Basic Lupine Urology

"Greendale Community College is represented by two separate but equally important types of people: the goofballs that run around stirring up trouble, and the eggheads that make a big deal out of it. These are their stories."

Chung, Chung!

This is the second time this season that Community has done an extended parody of a specific television series. But unlike their merciless attack on all things Glee, this was a respectful and affectionate tribute to Dick Wolf's long running procedural, Law & Order. And, as is often the case when the show does an episode like this, it was bloody fantastic.

Chung, Chung!

I've never been a Law & Order fan. Much like Shirley, it's always been one of those shows I only watch if I'm bored and there is nothing else on and I'm too lazy to reach for the remote and change the channel. But I've seen enough of it to get all the references, in-jokes and surprise cameos (well hello there, Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers). As I've said before, the writers' attention to detail when it comes to parody is impeccable. Like most Community episodes, this is one you have to watch multiple times to catch everything. The entire episode had the look and feel of an episode of L&O, from the hand held camera work, to Jeff and Annie having Chinese takeaway in the study room while going over the case. The recreation of the L&O titles, complete with cheesy walk towards the camera while obviously fake laughing at the end, was my favourite part, along with the campus suddenly resembling a New York street.

Chung, Chung!

Thanks to Law & Order's unique structure (investigation followed by prosecution), the episode was able to make great use of the show's entire cast (with a couple of exceptions) and parody courtroom dramas along with cop shows. In typical L&O style, everything kicked off with a cold open where two random characters stumble on a body. The study group's A+ worthy yam, Pam, had been brutal murdered. Annie demands justice (and her A+). Detectives Nadir and Barnes, channeling Briscoe and Logan, were put on the case. Honestly, I could watch an entire episode of Troy and Abed playing detective. I could watch an entire episode of Troy and Abed throwing David Caruso-style zingers at each other.

Chung, Chung!

The second half moved events to the courtroom science room for the trial of Todd, the potential Sideshow Bob of Community (he's already got the hair). Watching Jeff and Annie play Jack McCoy and interchangeable attractive female ADA wasn't as much fun as Troy and Abed playing detective, but that felt very L&O too. The Order parts of an episode were always less fun than the Law parts. (too much preaching and moralising). Not that the second half didn't have its moments. How could it not? Omar was the judge, Dean Pelton the DA and, in a nice surprise, Michael Ironside was Todd's lawyer/army colonel/uncle, who was also sleeping on Todd’s couch for the weekend.

Chung, Chung!

Case closed, it was back to the Dean's office for booze and reflections. Things then took a more serious turn when it was revealed that Starburns, a possible “Holocaust-denying, 9/11 pedophile”, had been killed when the meth lab in his car trunk blew up. But even that sombre twist was in keeping with the style of Law & Order, where many an episode would end with someone getting a tragic phone call. Poor Starburns. He dreamt of being the Heisenberg of Greendale. But instead he ended up being the.... Starburns of Greendale. Rest in Peace, Starburns Alex.

Notes and Quotes

-- It is a scientific fact that anything is improved by the presence of Michael Ironside.

-- Because they weren't cops, instead of police badges, Troy and Abed wore Inspector Spacetime badges.

-- I want Troy's Spider-Man tie.

-- Annie's victory dance is very similar to my 'Fuck yeah, Fringe got renewed' dance.

-- Hands up who got the reference in the title? Because I didn't until someone pointed it out to me.

-- Different show, different character, but Omar's still got a code. A man's gotta have a code. And women must surely have a female equivalent, right. A codette or something.

-- Old west colour? Britta, you’re the worst. But I still love you.

-- Britta and Pierce had very little to do in this episode, which is a bit ironic since Gillian Jacobs and Chevy Chase are the only members of the main cast to have appeared on a Law & Order series. Jacobs guest starred in an episode of Criminal Intent in 2009 while Chase appeared on the main series in 2006.

-- Yvette Nicole Brown would actually make a great police captain.

Annie: “A passing grade, like a C? Why don't I just get pregnant at a Bus Station?”

Shirley: “He's right, you're not cops.”
Abed: “I’d say our hands are tied, but we basically have no hands.”

Abed: “What happened, Todd? Cut yourself on an extra sharp Oscar Wilde play?”

Jeff: “This yam isn’t boiled. Vicki?”
Vicki: “I didn’t do it I swear!”
Fat Neil: “I boiled the yams! Vicki’s yam never sprouted and I didn’t want her to fail so I threw off the grading curve so she wouldn’t have to go to summer school and we can finally have sex in my parents cabin. God forgive me, I did it for love!”

Troy: “That doesn't make sense. You don’t order ketchup, it’s a condiment.”

Jeff: "If it's any consolation, she got me here on a very misleading text message."
Annie: "Jeff, technically you are about to be screwed in the biology room because our project has been destroyed."

Abed: “You're telling me that after all this, our suspect is going to slip away on the technicality that we're not police.”

Troy: “Todd Jacobsen, you have the right to do whatever you want, nothing you say or do can be used against you by anyone, but we’d really like it if you came with us, please and thank you.”

Dean Pelton: “I'm inclined to agree with the man in uniform.”
Jeff: “Shocker.”

Lt. Col. Archwood: “Objection, she's clearly ramping up to something,”
Jeff: “Objection, that's not a real objection.”
Prof. Kane: “Objection, I hate the both of you.”

Four out of four Chung, Chungs!
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.


  1. I've never seen the Wire, but the 'codette' thing made me laugh anyway. And I've only seen one episode of Law and Order, and that was about 15 years ago, but I get the gist - enough to get a few of the jokes anyway!

    Poor Starburns :(

  2. Another excellent review Mark

    This was another brilliant, LMAO ep. Loved it immensely.

    Michael Ironside ! I screamed (of joy) when I saw him LOL

    And the live special of 30 Rock right after was also a big LMAO. NBC, you scored big last Thursday nite

  3. I loved it. And I didn't even know it was a parody of L&O, mostly because I've never seen a single episode of L&O.

  4. Loved, loved, LOVED it! I think it's one of my favorite episodes of Community. Granted, I grew up watching the original L&O. My parents liked it. So, I could easily recognize everyone. And, yes, I got the reference of the title--it's referring to L&O creator Dick Wolf.

    I laughed so hard at Troy reading Todd his "rights." That was awesome!

    You're right that the second half wasn't as much fun, and you're right that the second half of L&O generally isn't that much fun either. However, I cracked up at Annie's cross-examination of Todd.

    Finally, rest in peace, Starburns. I mean Alex. The campus won't be the same without you, your starburns, and your top hat.


  5. Don't forget his lizard, Kathy! His name was Alex, damn it. HIS NAME WAS ALEX!! "runs away crying"

  6. I just realized Lupine Urology=Dick WOlf, which is just amazing

  7. They do these parodies so well. All of the details were great, but for some reason seeing Dean Pelton doing the Hula-Hoop for two seconds is the image stuck in my head. Great review!

  8. As someone who has watched far too many episodes of every iteration of Law and Order, wow did they get this right. As the show opened, I gasped and then sat back for the ride laughing the entire time. You are right, Mark. What makes these parodies work so well is the attention to detail. I couldn’t find one off note, from the cold open (which is often two janitors or something similar in the original) through the whiskey at the end. Brilliant job.


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