We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

Community: Abed's Doppelgang-bang

Community S03E12: "Contemporary Impressionists"

There are times when I think Community relies too heavily on pop-culture jokes. Last night was not one of those times. "Contemporary Impressionists" shoved so much pop culture down my pie-hole that I've been burping up bits of Abed's Jamie Lee Curtis all afternoon. But, like a tasty nacho cheese dip or grilled Po' Boy or grilled Po' Boy dipped in nacho cheese dip, it's a welcome feeling.

"Contemporary Impressionists" was so ridiculous, so silly, that any resistance to laughing was futile. The episode may not rank up there with the series most top-tier installments, but it's firmly planted on the next level. And that's because of the show's "we don't care if you think it's funny because we think it's fricking hilarious" attitude, which was on full display for all to see last night.

Given the opening, this was the episode that was supposed to air right after winter break, but instead [I've scrubbed what happened from my brain to erase the pain]. While I spent my winter break writing death threats to the Chief of Scheduling at NBC, Abed was booking celebrity impersonators to help him recreate famous movie scenes. And even though he was getting them at a discount, Abed racked up quite a debt to a French Stewart impersonator (played by French Stewart) who ran the celebrity impersonator business.

In a deal to let Abed off the hook, fake-but-real French Stewart employed the gang to play celebrities at a Hollywood-themed Bar Mitzvah. Meanwhile, Jeff was battling with keeping his ego contained after popping some newly prescribed anti-anxiety pills, and Senor Chang was amassing an army to rise up against Dean Pelton make Greendale a safer place (?). I think. Like I said, the episode was silly. Even 1999-era Carrot Top would think it was silly. That's how silly it was.

But man oh man, was it funny. Pelton having a near-seizure from seeing Jeff in Aviators, Troy and Britta as before-and-after Michael Jackson, Jeff hulking out after not winning the Most Handsome Young Man award... the highlights go on and on. Whereas last week's big return episode was as sitcommy as the show has ever been, "Contemporary Impressionists" was as ridiculous as the show has ever been and more appropriate for a niche cable network than for a broadcast network that your grandma could be watching.

Bizarre, goofy, and completely indifferent to what everyone else thinks, "Contemporary Impressionists" was the season's second-best episode so far.



Study Notes

– I'm still cracking up over Shirley's Oprah impression when she announced the award for Most Handsome Young Man.

– I'm absolutely LOVING the weirdo graphics the show is using. Chang's thought bubble, Jeff's ego apple of his eye, Jeff's heart from last week—they fit perfectly with Community's style of humor. Are we going to see what's inside any other parts of Jeff's body?

– Who had the best costume? Britta as new MJ wins for me. Britta always has the best costumes.

– Why do I hear people hating on Chang so much? He actually gave the episode's best impression when he did Renee Zellweger! And I'm looking forward to him rising up.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (48)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I think this episode marked the return of evil-Abed. The way I see it one of two things could happen.

1 The alternate timelines are something that Abed made up. But he believes it so in his mind its true. He meets evil-Abed in his imagination. Evil-Abed takes over Abed's body and leaves Prime Abed stranded in his imagination.

2 The alternate timelines are real and Abed is the only one who has some sense of it allowing him to meet real evil-abed in their collective imagination. Evil-Abed takes over Abed's body and leaves Prime Abed stranded in his imagination.



I'm just wondering "What of evil-Troy?". Though a mute character may not work.



Also what if this whole Chevy Chase think is just a publicity stunt to boost ratings. They for sure need something like that. Also I think Chevy is to smart and funny not to "get" the show, like he claims. I'm thinking they might have Pierce try and fake his own death and suprise the fans as much as the other charachters.

I do have a suggestion. If you do have to can Chevy, don't kill off Pierce. Replace the actor. Have him claim to be Pierce with loads of plastic surgery, and have none of the other charachters believe it. It would be a great play off of thoes shows and movies that replace a main char, and not call attention to it like nobody is going to notice. ie Maggie gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight.
More+
Reply
Flag
Abed was a dick throughout most of the episode. and ESPECIALLY at the end. TOTAL DICK. I love this show. love love love. but the writers gotta get Abed back on the road to reality. i was so glad to see Troy speak up for once and not defend Abed's childish antics.



funniest moment of the series to date was Dean Pelton falling to the floor upon seeing Jeff in the aviators. was he orgasming?? "Look at his shadow!! LOOK AT HIS SHADOW!!!"



HUH-LARIOUS!



#abedsadick #teamtroy
Reply
Flag
Abed's conversation with the darkest timeline Abed was genius



"This is crazy and inaccessible and maybe too dark"

" Maybe to them, but not to us"

"cool....cool, cool, cool"

"Hot....hot, hot, hot"



Other than that, Troy's celebratory MJ dance and Britta's grave danger warning were highlights amongst many good moments, all in all a great episode.
Reply
Flag
Good to see community back
Reply
Flag
What were those people shouting from their cars at Jeff? Whatever it was it made me laugh!
Reply
Flag
The last couple of episodes have done nothing for me, and I think I know why. The cartoon graphics. They first made their appearance in the first ep back, and we're even more prominent in the last one. I know this is Alex cooley's first episode that he's written, but it's obvious that he stole a tactic used by a Disney channel writer. It's too juvenile for NBC. So come on, kid, grow some balls, write some real comedy and if you're gonna steal technique, at least steal from 30 rock.
Reply
Flag
Was it just me, or was this a terrible episode of Community? I hate their cartoon graphics, especially the weak dreamatorium sequence with evil Abed. Every joke goes on for 5 seconds too long and Abed being inconsiderate was already covered in the 3rd episode of first season. I am a huge fan of Community, but to say this episode was the second best, or even comparable to other episodes this season is nonsense. Everything before "Regional Holiday Music" was way better than this episode, if merely the fact that they made me laugh which the latest episode did not do.
Reply
Flag
I loved that Not Moby from HIMYM was playing Fake Moby at the party
Reply
Flag
I could watch Britta do "Jeff is in grave danger, ahee hee!" 1000000x times in a row.
Reply
Flag
Chang's thought bubbles made me laugh for 5 minutes idk why, it was funny but not that funny i <3 Community
Reply
Flag
Chang! Chang! Chang! Chang!
Reply
Flag
It was pretty mediocre, and I'm not sure why. I loved Britta's MJ though.
Reply
Flag
Who had the theory a while back that each season has them taking turns as the 'bad' guy? With Pierce, then Jeff, is this season Abed's turn?
Reply
Flag
I love love love all of the Secrest jokes and if you don't then I fear you are streets behind. Pelton's reaction to Jeff was amazing and I loved Britta as MJ
Reply
Flag
It was awesome - so happy Community is back!!!!
Reply
Flag
Chang is over the top now, there's no scenario where he'd exist. He went from a hilarious oddity to a ridiculous psychopath that somehow hasn't been arrested and thrown in a nut house. His humor has no filter, it's just the craziest things they can throw at the screen, and I find it distracting, especially how Ken Jeong actually has some real comedic talent when he's got reined in material (his speech at the end of Frankenhole last week was a good example of that - he was EVERYBODY on the show and it was awful and ridiculous, but then he goes for a serious note and it's funny). Jeong reminds me of Will Ferrell in that there's a lot of talent but it gets lost in unchecked mania and ludicrous antics. Perhaps more importantly, Senior Chang no longer has a reason to be on this show thanks to the writers, so they just put him on the screen doing whatever.



Anyway, I liked this episode for the most part, I didn't really see what Chang had going on, but the rest worked quite well (although I feel like Pierce was wasted with so much potential), and the Darkest Timeline Abed seems to have broken through the dimensional barrier which was wild. If this had been the comeback episode, I would have enjoyed both this episode and last week's episode even more. When Jeff hulked out, I was loving it, I couldn't believe my eyes, and then they went to the TV show theme when he was walking down the highway, that was priceless! Oh, and Britta had growth, Troy had growth, Jeff may have had growth, I like it when they do something with characters. Once again, Annie gets left out though -- I think this show needs a few new writers just to remind the producers and existing writers that there are all these elements that should be juggled properly rather than leaving a few on the floor.
More+
Reply
Flag
I would say you are analysing Chang far too much, yes his character is ridiculous but he's been that ridiculous for a while now, and personally as they moved away from evil teacher Chang to just crazy Chang i enjoy his character more and more. Some elements need close analysis, Chang for me does not.

The film noire spoof episodes where he was a detective (or was he?...) was hilarious.
Reply
Flag
Chang's RZ impression was indeed great.



I found the last few minutes a little disturbing, however, most likely setting up some future events. And we WILL get those future episodes, right, NBC?

Reply
Flag
Dean Pelton's seizure, Shirley as Oprah, Abed as Jamie Lee Curtis, Britta as new Michael Jackson : all highlights of last night episode!!!!! Boy did I miss Community!
Reply
Flag
I love community but this season they've strayed so so far from the classroom. Believe it or not, Biology 101 was in this season, haha. Chang has just been all over the place since being a Spanish teacher. That was his best season by far and just wish he would have stayed a teacher. Britta was awesome as "after MJ." :D
Reply
Flag
that Bono impersonator really DID look like Bono.
Reply
Flag
I lost it when Jeff "hulked" out and got shot in the ass by Chang. That look of pure crazy on his face was way too funny. I think I had milk coming out my nose, and I wasn't even drinking milk!
Reply
Flag
I love Community and it's really hard for me to say something negative about it, but this episode just didn't feel right. Yes, you are allowed to have such a silly episode, and yes, an episode like that is certainly better than a show trying to play it safe all of the time... But somehow this didn't feel like Community. Such a whacky plot only works if all the episodes around it are stellar... and as hard as it is to admit, Community season 3 hasn't had that much of those yet ...
Reply
Flag
"writing death threat" LOL! That was classic.. And yes, this was indeed a hilarious episode!
Reply
Flag
You're right about one thing, this episode was ridiculous. But to me, it wasn't the good kind of ridiculous, I didn't even crack a smile! Community tends to work best when paying closer attention to the group dynamics, which was fringed into the Troy-Abed storyline that took like 3 minutes (cut up between Troy's speech to the group and their dialog at the end)! Everything else was a waste of screen time. I know it's just the second episode since its return, but Community is in its most dangerous place right now, and frankly it's not giving NBC much to push for renewal.
Reply
Flag
Troy and Abed at the end of the episode made my wrinkled my brain, which then starting crying...the whole of it, you guys. My ENTIRE BRAIN became that famous waterfall somehwere.

Jeff Seacrest hulking out was priceless.

Britta Jackson FTW.

Troy Jackson FTW.

Abed Lee Curtis WAS A LITTLE AWKWARD BUT IT'S DANNY PUDI SO ALL IS GOOD.

Shirley Winfrey WAS SOSOSO ACCURATE. I thought they'd hired Oprah for a second, Yvette was freaking insane, in the best way possible.

Pierce Hawthorne. Doesn't even get caps lock. I just feel bad for the guy. I was waiting for someone to go 'He looks like Chevy Chase!', but I guess I should have more faith in Harmon and co.

I want to see Chang Zelleger more often, that s**t is gold. Merchandise that s**t, NBC!

But seriously, Troy and Abed not doing their awesome handshake? It felt like somone tore out my beating heart. It'll make for some awesome televison, but still.
Reply
Flag
and i hope we see more of EVIL Abed
Reply
Flag
"While I spent my winter break writing death threats to the Chief of Scheduling at NBC"



^LOL tim <3
Reply
Flag
What the H, man? No mention of Troy and Abed's friendship?? Abed is definitely heading down a dark story line I think. Ok, dim. Dean Pelton's reaction to Jeff in Aviators was the best Dean moment to me. "Oh look, even his shadow!"
Reply
Flag
Seacrest Hulk!



And my vote for best costume is Abed's Jamie Lee Curtis. I love how they went there.
Reply
Flag
I agree, Britta has the best costumes!!!

But hey, where's Annie, I see less and less from her in the past couple of chapters, I hope to see her more.
Reply
Flag
Normal Abed: "This is really crazy, and inaccessible, and maybe too dark."

Evil Abed: "Maybe to them, but not to us."



Well, I agree with the crazy part. But I happen to love where the show is going with Evil Abed. It's so Community to comment on the "maybe too dark" path they are taking, but not shying away from it. And I was surprised to see Evil Abed have real facial hair. I guess he got tired of the felt.



- Community is at its best when it embraces its insanity. So I say bring on the crazy!



- Dean Pelton convulsing on the floor was hilarious! "Oh my god, look at his shadow. LOOK AT HIS SHADOW!"



- The sad Hulk music was a nice touch to Jeff's post-meltdown walk of shame.



- Britta really does share a freaky resemblance with white MJ.



- Final thought: Was that Moby impersonator the same guy from HIMYM's New Years episode?
Reply
Flag
This ep was so weird, Britta seemed normal.
Reply
Flag
"Are we going to see what's inside any other parts of Jeff's body?"



Lol.
Reply
Flag
-i looove chang's pouty face and shirley's oprah impersonation was priceless!

- Uh oh.. Evil Abed is back. I remembered back in episode 4, evil abed told the study group that they should return and destroy the prime timeline. haha this oddly reminds me of Fringe
Reply
Flag
this is the second review for this episode i have read, and still no mention of evil Abed! did people not like that part at all or something?! is it not worth noting?! it made this episode that much better!
Reply
Flag
hail chang!!!!
Reply
Flag
Chang was very welcome in this episode. Sometimes he doesn't do it for me. I want to see if the evil Abed thing goes anywhere. It was very simple, but when Evil Abed says "hot hot hot" in response to Abed's "cool cool cool" I cracked up!
Reply
Flag
Second best? I don't see it. Remedial Chaos Theory then Regional Holiday Music.
Reply
Flag
I liked the episode but am i the only that feel like Britta/Jeff scenes are kinda boring/uninteresting? when jeff hulked out i really lol'd but in that scene there was no britta so maybe i just dont like her as much as the others in the group.
Reply
Flag
Agree with mkrati, you forgot to mention Troy and Abed's heart-to-heart at their apartment. Setting aside all the ridiculicious bar mitzvah craziness (though I could have used more Annie as Dorothy), their conversation was one-part bitter, three-parts sweet; touching and disconcerting. It's especially nice they stepped up Troy as the mature one, who is aware their weirdness has consequences, and letting down Abed, who revels in magical weirdness. Still, I wish these partners-in-awesome all the best.
Reply
Flag
Can't wait to see some more Evil Abed. This show is great at callbacks. Also, Britta as Michael Jackson was perfect! "Jeff is in terrible danger HEE HEE!"
Reply
Flag
Hot. Hothothot.
Reply
Flag
This episode was golden! But I think there is one impotant point that you missed, and that is the tiny disagreement between Troy and Abed. I reckon that by the end of the series it's going to get a whole lot bigger. Or at least that would be nice twist. I like the bad ass goatee Abed, bring it on!
Reply
Flag
I thought the episode was awesome.

Also EVIL ABED. I love how evil abed is playing a somewhat realistic part in the show (what with it being in Abed's psyche.)
Reply
Flag
How could anyone bench this for the likes of Whitney and Chelsea. HOW. This was Community at its funniest, everyone hit their parts. There was some great quotes. Before and after Michael Jackson was too funny. And it kind of made me feel bad for Gillian Jacobs because really, towards the end. MJ did kind of resemble her. Change was great and he wasn't overly change.. yet. And it was perfect. So I state again, how in the hell could you bench this for the crap that it was benched for.



#sixseasonsandamuthafingmoviedammit.
Reply
Flag
This was easily the craziest and silliest episode Community has ever done, and based on the trailer they released a while ago, the rest of the season is going to keep getting sillier and crazier.



On the one hand, it does feel a bit too cartoony -- I literally said "What the f**k?" then laughed when the Dean spasmed from seeing Jeff in his aviator sunglasses. That scene kind of epitomized the episode for me as you would've never seen that happen in the first two seasons. On the other hand, I laughed a lot.



I'll miss the Community of old (to an extent -- I still have the first two seasons on DVD), but after this episode, I'm going to watch with arms wide open at just how silly Community can go.
Reply
Flag
I agree Dean Pelton's hallway reaction was a bit much... I expected some witty dialogue as per usual.
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook