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Community: Introduction to Statistics

“I know I’m not Batman. You could try not being a jerk.”

Shirley’s marital problems. Annie’s unpopularity issues. Pierce’s age. Abed’s dark, bat-ridden past. Britta’s giant nut. With the possible exception of Troy, the study group is filled with people who are filled with discontent and can only find happiness and community with each other. But Jeff Winger’s selfish tendencies just might ruin everything.

Jeff claimed, “I enrolled here as a selfish loner, but you and the group have given me a crash course in friendship.” Minutes later, he told Professor Slim Calves that he had no friends at all. Jeff’s sex-starved pragmatism is remarkable: he was willing to lose all of his cool points and use Chang’s strategy of pathetic desperation (“I’m so lonely.”) just to get laid. He’s successful, too: he had that one in the bag.

Until Jeff realizes that these freaks, these classmates, are his friends. He sacrifices sex to care for his friends, especially the tripping sad-sack Pierce. And Abed emerges as the unlikely hero, rescuing Jeff and Pierce from the perilous desk fort just before a total collapse that could have resulted in contusions and possible even a tiny, tiny bit of blood.

Jeff learns about friendship, Abed gets to become the superhero he wants to be, Shirley comes to some sort of peace with her ex-husband’s jerkishness, Annie gets the party she wanted (complete with crazy anecdotes for later!), Britta gets petty revenge, and Pierce gets to feel like part of a group. Even Troy, in the last little bit, discovers that life is better with someone “who thinks about this stuff, too.”

Mark Says...

I've always remembered this as the episode where I stopped simply liking Community and started loving it instead. I can even recall the exact moment that happened. It was when Abed first appeared as Batman and spoke with that perfect Christian Bale growl. The best part was how he stayed in character for the majority of the party, only breaking once to put Jeff in his place. When Abed plays a character he commits to it with almost Daniel Day Lewis levels of method madness.

The rest of the episode was quite good but nothing to really write home about it. I wasn't too fond of Pierce's attempts to be cool, first by wearing a costume that wasn't cool even when The Beastmaster first came out (whenever that was), and later by taking drugs. Remember kids, drugs are bad, m'kay. It was also refreshing to see the writers breaking pattern and not have Jeff spend the entire episode trying to hopelessly seduce Britta. Instead he tried to hopelessly seduce Professor Slim Calves. Oh well, at least you tried.

Cool Cool Cool:

• Annie: “Some of you responded to my e-vite, but some of you remain e-vasive.”

• Jeff: “This won’t work. The last time you tried this, I saved a vial of your tears and have been slowly building up an immunity.”

• Pierce: “I never saw Beastmaster. I just wanted to be cool.”

• Jeff: “If life is just a series of ridiculous attempts to feel alive, you’re a hero. To everyone.”

• Abed: “I don’t sleep, I don’t blink. Am I a bird? No. I am a bat. I am Batman. Or am I? Yes, I am Batman.”

• Britta has an adorable nose.

This episode is good, but after having seen three seasons of Community, I’m a little burned out on the touchy-feely friendship stuff. Granted, this is one of the first episodes to hammer that point home, but it sets a dangerous precedent of valuing friendship over hilarity. For that reason:

Two out of four pantsless grandpas, with an addition half point for Abed-as-Batman.

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

3 comments:

  1. Aw, I think this one's worth a three at least, if only for the Batman costume and the troy/Abed conversation about how other people think about this stuff.

    Though I absolutely *hate* the way Michelle introduces herself as 'PhD'. I've never heard anyone introduce themselves that way. OK, maybe the odd e-mail signature (including mine, but only 'cause the students didn't realise I wasn't a postgrad) but what kind of douche introduces themselves that way in person?! She deserved to have her little statue broken.

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  2. Loved Abed as Batman. I think it was this episode that made me totally love him. I don't remember much about the rest of the episode, so I guess that pretty much gets the points for me.

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  3. Abed as Batman? The most fun I have had with this show yet. Absolutely brilliant, especially the shot of him on the roof looking down on the world he is protecting. Loved it.

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