Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Community: Introduction to Film

“You have no intention of seizing the day.”

Community starts to find its footing with this third episode, and a lot of that success comes from an increased willingness to trust Abed, Annie, Shirley, Troy, and even Pierce to have the skill and character to make us laugh at them (and with them) and root for their successes despite their flaws.

While Jeff struggles with planning how to pretend to seize the day without actually doing so, the rest of the study group is falling into comfortable teasing roles with touches of real humanity. Britta may be a saccharine do-gooder with a racist image of Muslims, but her willingness to give Abed $70 to pursue his dreams was genuinely sweet. And, more importantly, Abed’s struggle with parental expectations and his own desire to be both loved and fulfilled is something almost anyone can relate to.

Danny Pudi’s wacky delivery and Abed’s quirks make the journey less cliché and more pleasant than usual. Abed feels like his father doesn’t like him. But Abed’s dad, played by the awesome Iqbal Theba (Principal Figgins on Glee), loves his son, and he wants what is best for him just as much—and just as misguidedly—as Britta.

As a narrative trickster, Abed has a remarkable ability to force Jeff and Britta into the same roles that his parents played for so many years. While Abed’s film was clumsy and almost embarrassingly revelatory, it did what needed to be done. His dad said, “My son is hard to understand. If making movies helps him be understood, then I’ll pay for the class.” That’s all Abed really needed: for his father to understand that he might not be understandable, but is still worthy of love.

Abed may have manipulated Jeff and Britta into being players in his life-drama, but Britta seized the day by giving him money, and got the pay-off of feeling like she had made a difference in someone’s life. Jeff opened himself up to seizing the day—and Britta—after the emotional weightiness of Abed’s scene with his father. (And then there was the krumping, for which I have no words.) The group, as a whole and as individuals, is starting to influence one another’s lives in positive ways. Even Troy got some fatherly advice from Pierce.

It’s stating the obvious to point out the theme of family, but I will do it anyway. Shirley revealed, quickly and painfully, just how unhappy her marriage has been. Troy clearly has a father-shaped hole in his heart; luckily, Pierce has issues with his own childlessness (as we saw in the previous episode). Britta mentioned her own daddy issues, and seems comfortable in a mothering role. Jeff pointedly did not talk about his father, but he’s got paterfamilias potential, especially now that he’s started carpeing the diem. Each member of this group is damaged, but each character’s damages can be repaired by another member of the group or the entire group together. That’s wonderfully sweet.

Mark Says…

This is the episode where Community really started to win me over. I laughed more in the first five minutes of this episode than I did during the previous two. It is also the first episode to make me cry. At the centre of it all was a very touching story about a son trying to communicate with his father the only way he knows how - with low budget student films. Abed's film is a real Field of Dreams moment. It gets me every single time.

This is also the first episode where we really got a real sense of what a truly bizarre school Greendale really is. An accounting class that features no actually accounting, where the only way to pass is to carpe the hell out of that diem? Only at Greendale. I have no love for Dead Poets Society, but it did help inspire this episode so at least it has finally done some good.

And hey there, Badger. So nice to see you. Now I do hope that you're not planning on dealing meth at Greendale. That's Starburns' territory and I hear he doesn't like competition.

Cool Cool Cool:

• Abed: “9/11 was pretty much the 9/11 of the falafel business.”

• Prof. Whitman: “Here’s a quiz for you: why did the pretty girl die, alone, surrounded by sweater-wearing cats who are trained to use human toilets?”

• Britta: “Raising him means letting him follow his dreams.”
Abed’s Dad: “Dreams are for sleeping.”
Britta: “You don’t know that!”
Abed’s Dad: “It’s clinically proven!”
Britta: “So is polio!”

• Abed mentioned Christmas in connection with fatherhood again.

• Chevy Chase may have a bad personal reputation, but he’s a fun comic with a great repertoire of sneezes.

Three out of four ultimate blow-off classes.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

2 comments:

ChrisB said...

Although I am a fan of Dead Poets Society, I usually roll my eyes when someone tries an homage. But, how can I not love a show that had me laughing out loud at the sneezing, wiping away a tear or two at Abed's film and then howling at the final coda with all the krumping.

I love the Jeff and Britta interactions, brought to the fore with the film. But, her allowing him to kiss her so that he could get his A was a fantastic character beat.

celticmarc said...

Seize the day Chris, go climb a tree ! Or go watch another episode !

Oops, 1:45 am in GB