Community: The Psychology of Letting Go

“Life is only worth a damn because it's short. It's designed to be used, consumed, spent, lived, felt. We're supposed to fill it with every mistake and miracle we can manage. And then, we're supposed to let go.”

Season two has been cruising on autopilot so far. Which I have to say is something of a crushing disappointment. After the success of the first season, I had come to expect so much more from this show.

Even though this episode made use of practically the entire ensemble (and rather brilliantly in the case of Abed), it was still distinctly Jeff-centric. That's three Jeff episodes in a row now. Seriously, this is just getting ridiculous. I know he's meant to be the main character an' all, but come on, three episodes of Jeff learning painfully obvious life lessons is just too much. This show has one of the best ensemble casts working today. Surely it is about time that someone other than Jeff got to stand in the spotlight this season.

In fact, this would've actually been a great opportunity for an episode about Pierce. He remains the least likeable, underdeveloped and two dimensional of the study group. We gets moments where it is hinted that there is more to him than clumsiness and casual bigotry, but they don't tend to last long. Surely it is about time something was done about that. Dealing with his mother's death would've been a great way to give Pierce so much needed depth.

Following her death, Pierce has fully embraced the teachings of his cult/Buddhist Church, believing that death is simply a temporary inconvenience. As long as you can afford a seriously overpriced lava lamp, you'll be okay. It is easy to believe that, knowing Pierce as we do, he has been completely brainwashed by this sham of a cult. But I don't think that is the case. Pierce is not as stupid as everyone thinks he is. Even though he threw away the CD, it was clear that Mama Hawthorne's words had just as much of an effect on him as they did on Jeff. He just doesn't want to face the fact that his mother is gone forever. If given the choice he'd rather accept the outrageous, yet comforting, lie than face the cold hard truth.

It is a shame that Pierce's storyline was ultimately there only to help Jeff learn yet another life lesson that he will more than likely forget by next week's episode. I can't be the only one who is tired of this two steps forward, three steps back approach to Jeff's character arc.

The highlight of the episode (other than Britta and Annie oil wrestling, obviously) ended up being the one storyline that a lot of people (yours truly included) probably didn't even realise was happening when they first sat down to watch this episode. All throughout we see Abed interacting with a young couple, which eventually leads him delivering their baby in the Greendale car park. The twist is that all of this is all taking place in the background of other character's scenes. Giving one of your principle characters a storyline that only takes place entirely in the background is exactly the sort of brilliant idea I expect from this show.

Josie Says...

Ditto to everything Mark said. That's really all I got, aside from these three unrelated observations:

1. Annie: "I get up an hour early to ever-so-slightly curl my hair." I'd forgotten where this quote came from, but I think of it quite often as I attempt to wrench my super-straight hair into sexy, tussled bedhead every morning.

2. Dr. Ian Duncan vs. He Who Must Not Be Named was funny. Mostly because I wish the entire show had a 25-foot restraining order against... that guy.

3. Oil wrestling!

Notes and Quotes

-- Betty White explaining Inception to African tribesmen. Brilliant.

-- With Betty away blessing the rains down in Africa, Professor Duncan has stepped in to teach her class, despite knowing nothing about Anthropology. That's so Greendale.

Jeff: Wow. You guys are real downers. I can't believe I made out with both of you.

Shirley: Yeah, you're both so different. Skinny bitches.

Britta: Guys go home and make socks with your name on it.
Annie: If a guy wants to make a puppet of me, that's hardly your concern.

Pierce: You gain levels, and at a certain point you actually CAN eat a ghost.

Two out of four Energon Pods.
---
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.

4 comments:

Juliette said...

There was a moment last year, where I was preparing for an Archaeology class (which is not my subject, but I use it sometimes in my work, so I can teach it OK. Ish) and I had to teach ethnoarchaeology, which is basically anthropology. For a horrible moment I thought I'd actually turned into a character from Community. Then the e-mail about how everyone should wear green for environmental awareness day came round and I started seriously looking for a fake goatee and a magic trampoline.

Josie Kafka said...

Oil wrestling!

celticmarc said...

Ahhhh, the one with the lava lamp...

2 girls fighting in oil, or jello, or whatever, well, that turns me OFF, even with those 2. What can I say Josie, we can't agree on everything ! LMAO

Ahhhh, previous paragraph, probably another craze for ratings....

Ahhhh, yes, yes, yes, the bit with Inception. Beautiful.

ChrisB said...

Wow! I had missed the whole Abed story entirely the first time through, so I watched the episode again. Having that whole story take place in the background was a very interesting choice as I’m not sure I would have picked up on it the second time through without the heads up.

Shirley and her feeling left out of the duo was a story that I thought never quite off the ground. Were Britta and Annie so wrapped up in their fight that they missed the less than subtle digs? I felt that there was no acknowledgment of, let alone resolution to, this entire story line.