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Community: Physical Education

“Transform him from zero to hero, geek to chic.”

This episode is delightful. From the white/black pop culture translation to Britta’s pronunciation of the word “bagel,” individual moments are awesomely hilarious. The group’s attempt to hook Abed up with Jenny Adams, and Jeff’s attempts to amp up his cool factor with a pool class are just the cherry on top of a delightful sundae. Or is that soondae?

What makes this episode great is the simplicity of its premise: emphasize a specific element of a character (Jeff’s coolness, Abed’s geekiness, Britta’s tendency to britta everything), add a conflict, and shake well.

After discovering (or so they think) that the previous owner of Troy’s Spanish book had a crush on Abed, the group (sans Jeff) decide to help Abed hit on the lovely, literate Jenny Adams. Should Abed become someone else, someone more likable? Why not? His ability to break individual personalities into their TV-character percentages is fascinating, and a skill worth exploring.

Turns out, though, that Abed has self-esteem coming out of his butt. (For the record, I absolutely hate that phrase.) He’s willing to change, not because he feels flawed, but because his friends asked him to. Once again, Abed pulled the trump card in the great poker game of misguided friendship.

Jeff, on the other hand, doesn’t suffer from a lack of coolness. He has coolness coming out of his butt, and we know that because his PE shorts were extremely short. Thanks to Abed’s explanation of how coolness works, Jeff learns that there’s more to pool than looking cool in clothes. There’s something to be said for looking cool by winning, too. And Warren Zevon makes everyone 23% cooler; they’ve done studies.

Britta, on the other hand, doesn’t have baggles coming out of her butt. (Thank goodness!) But she’s comfortable with brittaing everything. And, luckily, she’s found a group of people who love her despite her flaws—maybe even because of them.

Mark Says...

There were so many things to love about this episode.

There was Jeff's legen - wait for it - dary game of strip pool with Coach Bogner. It was an epic clash of naked, sweaty titans, one that will be spoken of for years to come. Especially by Annie and Dean Pelton. Yeah, we all saw you two sneaking a look (and photo) while everyone else recoiled in horror.

Okay, everyone else bar Abed. Man, I would not want to play poker with that guy.

There was the way that Britta pronounces Bagels. She's the worst, but we don't love her any less because of it.

There was groups' attempt to Can't Buy Me Love Love Don't Cost a Thing Abed, resulting in the finest Don Drapper impression I have ever seen. And I've seen at least two. But why does Abed have cigarette case? Does Brown Joey carry around random props in case he ever needs to jump into a character at the drop of a hat? That man truly is a god.

And finally, there was that wonderful credit skit with Troy and Abed as Bert and Ernie (how you interpret this scene is entirely up to you).

Cool Cool Cool:

• So many great quotes, but none of them sound as funny without the delivery.

• The Zoolander-esque de-underpants made me grimace, and I don’t have boy parts.

• Shut up, Leonard.

Three and a half out of four Baggles.

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


  1. I'm not so keen on the everyone-trying-to-get-Abed-laid storyline, but 'baggle' was hilarious (I do that sort of thing) and then... Jeff got naked. Yum. (This is now what I picture when I see a pool table. I'm OK with that).

  2. Oh yes, the one with the short shorts......

    To quote Juliette's cousin : "bloody hilarious".

    The upcoming 7th ep that you shall review is, upon my humble opinion, not only the penultimate (actually first, but you get my point) (such a cool word) episode of not only Community's first season, but its entire run as well.

    Now that Mister Harmon has left, "they" have HUGE shoes to fill.....(OMG ! A Gilmore Girls parallel story ! SOB)

  3. "But why does Abed have cigarette case?"

    Candy cigarette.

  4. My favorite moment you have captured in this review -- Annie peeking through her fingers. Just too funny.

    I thought Warren Zevon amped everything up to 27%. My mistake...

  5. First of three episodes re watch tonight. Splendid. Classic AND epic. And we're in the first season.

  6. Troy rescuing Jenny from being approached by vampire Abed is one of the funniest things I've seen yet. It's also the 3rd most popular "abed as..." searches on google. The first being "abed as don draper."

    The fact that this gif exists is why I love the Internet:


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