This week’s episode didn’t seem all that funny. At first I just thought it was because I was secretly hoping Abed would continue his Batman voice from last week’s high-larious episode (it was the only think I could bear to listen to during my Halloween hangover Sunday morning), but then I realized the writers of Community were making a pretty weak attempt to create a more serious, emotional episode.
The fatal flaw: they re-introduced why Jeff, who was a successful lawyer in another life until it became known his degree is fake, is even attending community college. Perhaps the writers thought the audience forgot how stupid (and not in a good way) the context of the show’s larger plot is. Trust me, it didn’t.
Jeff is the guy who has his shit together. He’s supposed to be apathetic and cynical simply because he can. But seeing him vulnerable after losing his apartment and specially crafted sink faucets was uncomfortable to watch. It wasn’t fun to realize his bedhead on this week’s episode was naturally unkempt, and not purposely styled with mousse to look disheveled (this was a good joke, but generally overused throughout the episode).
He actually reminded me of Annie, who is annoyingly pathetic, although it’s pretty clear that’s how viewers are supposed to feel about her. Each week I seem to lose a bit of sympathy for her. But Troy’s inability to think is still amusing, and is the only glue holding that story line together.
The Pierce/Vaughn rivalry provided most of the episode’s humor. I wasn’t expecting Britta’s ex to make another appearance, but I’m glad he did. Although his reemergence does beg the question, why will Britta date a clueless douche like Vaughn and not a savvy douche like Jeff? The guy didn’t know what Pierce meant by “Are you trying to Garfunkel me?”
Then again, in a sitcom comedy like Community, logic is not really a priority. But that doesn’t mean its entire plot is pointless. This week’s episode, although bland compared to the Halloween masterpiece and a few other golden episodes, had one of the most satisfying endings (second only to Britta and Jeff’s kiss a few show’s back): it really showed the diverse characters of the show coming together as a family. I dare say the closeness and even cuteness of their group dynamic rivals the cast of The Office, a show that has had six seasons to hone its relationships.
Next week, I’d like to see more of Shirley and Señor Chang. Also, Abed and Troy’s interaction needs to be reinstated for the closing credits disappointing; this week’s 30-second spot wasn’t worth waiting through the commercials. Overall, let’s hope the community of Community continues to develop; it’s what makes the show unique.