Community Gets Wasted

If you're anything like me, you never really, truly, undeniably get to know someone—and by that I mean get a sense of someone's true self—until you've caught a buzz with them over a few brews, several shots of Irish whiskey, and some weird frozen slush with an umbrella in it that's named after a sex position. Alcohol does funny things to people, and last night we saw the cast of Community get hammered and let their social guard down in "Mixology Certification."

Community's brilliance comes not only from its "stunt" episodes—which often parody classic movies and/or take a specific concept to the outer limits of comedy—but also from the simple ideas that explore the characters themselves. If that sounds like a mouthful, try this: We love this gang, and they don't need no wacky ideas to be funny and easy to relate to.

In "Mixology Certification," Troy turned 21 and Jeff rightfully changed the gang's plans from eating non-birthday cake in the study room to going out and getting plastered. It was a rare opportunity to observe the group hanging out off-campus and relating to the outside world. Annie, still 19, assumed the identity of her fake ID because she's still trying to figure out who she is. Jeff's jerky side was out in full force, because he felt the need to show off his coolness and show Troy the ropes. Britta's contrarian holier-than-thouness was at an all-time high as she played hipster elite with knowledge of the coolest nightspots in town and the correct way to order a drink. Abed, well, he's Abed, so his total disconnect with the world was magnified. Shirley's religious facade was chipped when the group discovered she used to get her drink on. And on and on and on. Pierce, usually hyper-sensitive to his age and still wheelchair-bound from the trampoline accident, showed his vulnerable side after getting stuck in the doorway. And Troy, held back his entire life by Jehovah's Witness rules, his mom's sheltering, and truly blissful ignorance, grew up before our eyes and became the true hero of the episode. The wisdom/criticism he dispensed to every character (except Pierce) was something they all needed to hear.

There was no goal in this episode of Community. There was no finding out who stole a pen, no chicken finger market to dominate, no debate to win. It was just the gang hanging out with the gang, and we got to be the fly on the wall. I could go on and on about the funny moments (and there were many)—but in the end, we not only got to know each and every character better, they got to know each other better, too. This was an episode that was just as important for the series as it was for us.

Annie's Notes:
... Have Jeff and Britta ever been more hilarious together? Arguing over which of their preferred bars is cooler, finding out they're fighting over the same bar, and then sloppily making out?

... Troy's post-bar convo with Annie when he dropped her off at her apartment: Wow. Sitcoms aren't supposed to do this kind of thing. Heartwarming and brilliant.

... Excellent drop-in by Paul F. Tompkins as the gay nerd who hit on Abed. "Stargate is better!" might be the best see-ya line ever.

... This might not be everyone's favorite episode, but as far as I'm concerned, it was mine. Zombies are great fun, but I'll take character development any day.


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

Comments (24)
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Did not care for this episode. It was mostly down and depressing. My favorite episode this season is a tie between Halloween and the conspiracy theory episodes.
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I've been a fan since the beginning (partly due to my fondness of The Soup), here's hoping this show has a long future
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Farscape > Stargate.
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I'm sorry, Stargate is better? Did I hear that, right, or did I just stroke out? Farscape is awesome sauce. Farscape FTW.
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I was really worried when this season started. Let's be honest, the first couple of episodes were kinda... you know........ "not bad"? With an episode like "Mixology Certification" things are finally looking up again. This is what makes Community unique, a true moment out of nowhere. Hilarious, yet touching. This article pretty much nails it. ;)
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I must admit, I like the over-the-top episodes better, but this was fun too. Not really sure what to expect from next weeks episode, seeing as I dislike stop-motion.
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Community is in a league of its own, I loved this ep it was a little different than usual but I really can't hate a single thing about this show
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Community is way funnier than anything else out there! It's the only comedy that I watch on NBC. I hope that this show stays around for awhile.
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I think season 2 has been excellent and really consistant so far. the conspiracy-theory episode made my top 3 of this show easily.

This week's episode was ok.. it was alot less funny than the average community episode (if there is such a thing), but character development episodes are always welcome.



How is this show getting such low ratings??? I love the big bang theory, but community is so much better, and way funnier. especially compared to this season of big bang, which has been pretty disapointing..
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Best comedy out there right now!
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My sentiments exactly.
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I agree jelly_au, I've been really disappointed with this season. I loved the premiere, but it hasn't been that great from then on. I did love the Rocket Ship one and the scene with the chloroform though. I'm not sure about this episode, I think it deserves a rewatch. Not really happy about Britta/Jeff being revived, I thought they realized last season and that Jeff and Annie were far more adorable, no matter her age (And I really can't buy Allison Brie as 19 anyway, she and Britta look the same age)
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I liked this episode - i was starting to think that Community had lost it this season... some of the episodes have been pretty pathetic, but this weeks was as good as last seasons! Heres hoping they keep up this same level in coming episodes...
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I think season 2 so far has been subpar compared to season 1, but last night's episode, and a few others, have been great. reminds me why this is probably my 2nd or 3rd favorite show on tv right now. if only Sony had been smart enough to release it on Blu-ray, i'd totally buy the crap out of season 1. but now that I have a Blu-ray player, i don't buy DVDs anymore
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I really liked the episode, it was touching in it's own sort of way.I like how of the whole group, Troy is the one who becomes the designated driver and takes the group back home instead of getting liquored up on his 21st birthday. Kind of funny and sad though how boozed up Jeff and Britta act.
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Every episode of Community this season is a standout, it has just been amazing so far.
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I agree, this one was my favorite of the season. I like the "surreal" episodes as much as anyone, but sometimes it's nice to just be normal and hilarious.
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A lotta laughs from this episode, this show doesn't need stunt casting, it has an awesome cast.
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awesome episode, cant wait for next week's!
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i want to bathe in manhood hahahahhaha great and I AGREE tim great episode. caught me off guard. Now super stoked for the Christmas episode next week!
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It was really a great episode and i also loved the character development, but i'm still waiting some episode to top last season's paintball episode
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not meta at all but it was sweet and heartwarming!
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I recorded it but haven't watched it yet, but it must be freaking fantastic to be this season's best. And I agree a good break from the giant theme and/or spoof episodes, is great every once in a while, I can't wait to watch it.
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I can't say it's my favorite, but it was a really good episode. People who complain about Community being all about the "big" episodes have only to look at this one and Creative Calligraphy to see the other side of the coin. I loved seeing Troy become a grownup before our eyes. I felt bad for Shirley. I'm interested to see how that plays out.
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