Community "Herstory of Dance" Review: Britta for the Win

Community S04E08: "Herstory of Dance"

In a season defined by behind-the-scenes production turnover and a resulting (and continuing) rediscovery of the show's characters and voice, there's been one constant on Community: really solid performances. The praise for Dan Harmon's writing has pretty regularly dominated the cultural conversation about the show, obscuring the fact that it boasts one of the strongest ensemble casts in recent TV history. The good news is that now that the writing isn't as strong (and as much as I'd love to just ignore that fact, it's impossible to do so; the writing isn't as good without Harmon's last-minute, drunken re-writes), it's much easier to notice what the actors bring to their roles. While they can't always make up for staid writing (see: Alison Brie's strained showing in "Conventions of Space and Time"), every episode this season has had at least one very nice performance. 

"Herstory of Dance" has to be one of the most innocuous episodes in the history of Community. There wasn't a whole lot that made me angry, the way other episodes this season have. It thankfully didn't involve Nazis, nor did it prominently feature Troy and Britta fight-yelling (fyelling?) in a fountain. But it also continued this season's trend of being generally "not not funny," and lacked some of the emotional punch we felt during the Thanksgiving episode. It was Community by-the-numbers, for beginners.

Yet, trapped amidst some very basic "just fine" stories that wouldn't have been too out of place in the latter half of Season 1, there was a nice, almost moving performance from Danny Pudi. Pudi enjoyed some pretty complex stories last season, and I'd argue that he made some of the lesser material better, just as he did here. "Herstory of Dance" certainly wasn't on-par with the dramatic turns he's offered in episodes like "Virtual Systems Analysis," but there's no way that a formualic story about two dates at once and the best choice hidden in plain sight should've worked as well as it did. Pudi really embodied Abed's excitement over the hijinks, and he ramped it up even more once Abed recognized that he actually liked Coat Check Rachel better. The moment with Abed awkwardly taking the microphone from Sophie B. Hawkins, even though he hates that trope, worked, as did the final little moment between him and Rachel. 

At the beginning of the season, the writers seemed interested in driving Abed further off the deep end—yet "Herstory of Dance," at least initially, made more of an effort to make him "normal." He's gone through these sorts of normalizing periods before, but I'm hoping that Coat Check Rachel actually brings him out of that. Not because I don't want to see a more complex Abed, but because I don't think the writing staff as it's constructed now knows how to write sad, complex Abed. So screw it, make him a little happier and give him a woman. Frankly, after some of the horrible things he's gone through over the last few years, he deserves it. And I felt like Pudi sold Abed's desire to truly try something new very well. 

Elsewhere, there wasn't much meat on the bones, but the episode was still mostly enjoyable. Though we know that Chevy Chase is now gone and was probably already checked out by the time these episodes were filmed, he's been kind of great this season. I enjoyed the hateful, spiteful, villainous Pierce in Season 2, though the character was pretty aimless in Season 3. But this year? Pierce has mostly been a dense old coot with more of a heart than we've seen in a very long time—and Chevy Chase knows how to hit those simple emotional beats tremendously well. 

As a result, the (obvious) revelation that Pierce helped bring Sophie B. Hawkins to Greendale to give Britta a win was not as lightweight as it probably deserved to be. The story was so sparsely developed—Britta said the wrong name, turned into the skid of the lie, and just waited for it to blow up in her face, like always—that I kept waiting for something else to happen. But that's not the show anymore, and Pierce giving Jeff a little shit about trolling Britta at all times, especially when she did truly help him with his father, was far from the worst ending the show could have provided for a story about dueling dances. The text message apology/congratulations (capology? angratulations? I'm making lots of portmanteau suggestions this week) from Jeff to Britta made me smile. 

Still, I'll say again that it's very fascinating the way so much of this season's story focuses have reverted to Season 1. This was another episode predominantly about  some combination of Jeff, Pierce, and Britta with wacky Abed hijinks. Troy, Annie, and Shirley had so very little to do that it was embarrassing. At least Troy got to wear a mustache and randomly balance a lot of cups stacked on top of one another in the background of a shot. I'm not necessarily upset with the emphasis on Jeff, Pierce, and Britta because I think Pierce and Britta could both use a few wins now and again and if that's going to happen, Jeff is forced to reconsider his acerbic remarks in their direction. I thought for a moment that the end of this episode was heading toward some sort of weird Jeff-Britta reconciliation and a truly terrible love triangle involving them and Troy, but I'm glad to be wrong. If this season continues to be amiable enough and at least forces Jeff to really respect the two people in the group he's abused the most, that's fine enough. And fine enough is okay!



STUDY NOTES

– I couldn't put my finger on who was playing Coat Check Girl Rachel, and it took me most of NBC's Thursday-night comedy lineup to figure it out. But Brie Larson! We like Brie Larson.

– Awake references are always, always appreciated. 

– Pierce trying to get his email on that one computer because the post office was about to close was one of the season's better jokes to date. 

– I had no idea who Sophie B. Hawkins was before or during this episode. Barely recognized the songs. But I appreciate how committed the show was to the silliness of the bit. 

– Here's a look at next week's puppet episode:



What'd you think of "Herstory of Dance"?

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Apr 09, 2013
I'm so happy that (season 4) community finally put together a heartfelt episode that didn't make me cringe. I'm also happy that there wasn't a story involving Annie asking Jeff to the dance, which was my only thought after the opening scene.
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Apr 08, 2013
I loved the exchanges between Abed and coat check girl. Everyone always seems to be entangled in some kind of romance except for him. He obviously would need a very special girl to be with him and I thought coat ccheck girl was ideal. I also loved the revelations between Pierce, Britta, and Jeff. I like when adults act like adults. Also, I enjoy it when they suggest feelings between Jeff and Britta. Even though they are both screwed up they are kind of perfect for eachother and way better than the akwardness that is Britta and Troy or Jeff and Annie.
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Apr 07, 2013
For a guy who, every single week, keeps saying how ready he is to move on from the Harmon years, you sure bring him up every chance you get, right Barker?

Hey, here's a challenge for you: on your review for next week's puppets episode, do not refer to ANYTHING RELATED TO DAN HARMON - hell, don't even mention his name! Just try it once, just to see if you genuinely want to see "Community" for what it is right now, as you keep saying, or if you're just plainly talking out of your ass here.

Honestly, I completely expect you to BRITTA THE CRAP OUTTA IT... but, at the very least, it would definitely prove your limitations as a writer, right?
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Apr 07, 2013
Abed was more real this episode, quite refreshing! Principal in B/W freaked the gang out (me too!)
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Apr 06, 2013
I'm starting to get a bit tired of all your community reviews focusing on the missing Dan Harmon element. I would rate this episode better than quite a few season 1 and 3 episodes (nothing can beat season 2). This episode had some decent jokes but mostly I loved the character development for Abed and Pierce. I hated Pierce last season and wanted him off the show but credit to the writing team for bringing him back to what made him funny in the first place.
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Apr 06, 2013
I really enjoyed this episode. I like that Pierce is being redeemed as a character, I never fully understood how the writers transformed him from this old politically incorrect guy looking for friends, to super villain. Although if it was real life, the way he way he was ostracized by the rest of the group would have had something to do with it.
I like that Abed has met someone that seems to be on his level, and I'm interested to see how this affects his relationship with Troy. Their bromance is one of the greatest, I'd go so far to say it's deeper than even JD and Turk, it will be interesting if the writers go there.
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Apr 06, 2013
I recognize the 2nd song by Susan from Dawson's Creek and I'm glad Abed&Rachel think its superior than the other one she sang.
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Apr 06, 2013
This was my favorite episode of season 4. I like it when the show is focused on their friendships, and Abed's little adventure was fun. I hope Rachel is on the show again someday.
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Apr 06, 2013
I'm actually positively surprised by s4 of community. Why u hate Cory?
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Apr 06, 2013
This wasn't terrible, it had some good moments, but it I feel this episode seemed more like a traditional sitcom than any other Community episode I can remember.
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Apr 06, 2013
Season 4 has been ok to good so far. But I thought this was the low point. If I had to pick a worst episode of Community, this one would probably be it. I thought Abed's story fell flat, and Britta's story seemed way too contrived. Getting the names Susan B Anthony confused with Sophie B Hawkins makes so little sense that it gave the whole episode a very "CBS" feel to it.
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Apr 06, 2013
Alison Brie Larson, please.
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Apr 06, 2013
Favorite comment of 2013.
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Apr 07, 2013
*bows*
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Apr 06, 2013
I thought it was definitely the best Season 4 has put out so far. I laughed quite a few times and like others have said, a lot of character moments. I don't hate Community Season 4, but I do find myself wishing it had more...depth. Especially if this is turns out to be the final season.
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Apr 06, 2013
i only have one real issue and that was the overall emotion of brittas character, she is a bit stronger than that i think. it was very hard to watch. she looked like she was constantly on the verge of a meltdown, of the pornstar variety...and if there is one thing the internet has taught me its that nothing is sadder then a pornstar meltdown. which made watching this episode hard. also...i too did not recognize Brie Lawson...MIND BLOWN!!!!
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Apr 06, 2013
This was a very good episode. It wasn't very funny, but it had lots of character moments. That's a good trade off.
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Apr 06, 2013
Indeed not very funny. My biggest smile came from Abed's Cool, cool cool cool.. Which says everything..
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Apr 06, 2013
I feel old because i got all the Sophie B Hawkins references. maybe i miss the 90's i dunno but i did like the episode and i just waited for the the scene when i figured she'd show up. I really liked Dean Pelton's costume this episode too. There wasn't much troy this episode though need a little more troy
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Apr 06, 2013
I liked how out of place Troy was. He was unable to help Britta or to have fun with Abed.
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Apr 05, 2013
I've been saying this all season! It's the actors that are still making the show, why I still come around, no matter what material, they bring it. I thought it was a nice episode, simply put. The "chang-nesia" thing is getting annoying though. Glad they're giving Abed a love interest, and a for-real one too; his 'individuality' is adorable but about time that they can give him something real. I have faith Danny Pudi can handle it well and still be Abed. I really enjoyed Pierce being kind, that was very touching him telling Jeff to knock it off, and Jeff listening. And I'm still not convinced there isn't going to be some last-minute drama between Britta, Troy, Jeff and Annie; something is still strange with all that.
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Apr 05, 2013
A few thoughts

1. Loved The Dean's pleasantville outfit.

2. Didn't know who Sophie B. Hawkins was... Did know the songs though, we're they featured in late 90's/early 00's romcoms?

3. I thought they had one the "lets get Abed a lady thing" back with white abed, and it was established that the ladies love him and he's doing just fine without help... However really liked that story line.

4. Poor Troy - life in a couple is boring... Crazy ice.

5. Are they going to have Britta and Jeff be together? I feel like its heading that way, she spends more time with him than with Troy. Which is good for Troy as he'll probably be free soon.

I probably have other things to say but I'm supposed to be getting ready not reading and responding to Internet articles about TV shows.
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Apr 05, 2013
between the screen grab up top and and the gimmick for the next episode I'm thinking I made the right decision jumping ship after this season's premier.
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Apr 05, 2013
I am not a big fan of the "it was better before" trend, but still, is it me or did all the arguments and the emotional stuff work before(S1-S2) and now they feel insincere?
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Apr 06, 2013
Meh, I've found the "emotional stuff" to be pretty good this season, but it's on such a lower scale. Harmon wanted to tell much more complex, dramatic stories. These are intimate, small, but effective.
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Apr 05, 2013
"Pierce trying to get his email on that one computer because the post office was about to close was one of the season's better jokes to date"
Yeah, that shows how low has this show sunk. Sad thing. :/
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Apr 05, 2013
This was definitely my favourite episode of the season, I didn't even mind that the stories were somewhat predictable and there wasn't heaps of humour - after all plenty of classic episodes weren't laugh-fests but were still great because of clever plotting and heart. The heart was what I liked about this episode with a good moment for Pierce. Abed's story was a little confused (a subplot that's about simultaneous dates AND a meet cute) but ended up being a great moment for Abed's development. And I've always liked Sophie B Hawkins songs so I was chortling through Britta's gaffe and ensuing hijinks. Of course being Season 4 there were still some weak elements and in this case they were Troy and yet another lame costumed Dean moment.
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Apr 05, 2013
I really enjoyed this episode. It's the best of the season. I don't feel as if any of the plots were a waste of time and I enjoyed each one. I'm glad that Pierce wasn't horribly racist or misogynistic and he was in a role that spoke the truth. I'm glad that Britta got credit as well. It was a very feel-good episode.
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Apr 05, 2013
Absolutely loved the Awake reference. And the horrible irony that Awake was canceled by NBC and Community probably will be canceled by NBC.
I also loved Abed's mentioning of tropes. Tropes are cool, cool, cool.
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Apr 05, 2013
Have to be honest and say that it was an okay episode for me. I didn't laugh once, which is not a good sign.
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Apr 05, 2013
He's like the Colin Farrell of people. Favorite line. Favorite episode of the season so far.
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Apr 06, 2013
I smirked at that, but I feel like the show does the "it's like the xxx of people" thing A LOT.
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Apr 08, 2013
It wasn't the comment as much as they flied right by it instead of giving the audience time to register what was just said.
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Apr 05, 2013
I initially came here to see who the coat check girl was, and I'm glad everyone else seems to like her as much as I did. She and Abed were cute as hell, so hopefully they have Brie come back and do some more guest spots soon.
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Apr 05, 2013
You know those shows where, whether it's funny or not, the network seems to feel the need to have the sound of people laughing over the scenes (whether it's canned laughter, or a live audience used for the same effect), as if they don't have enough confidence in the show to make people laugh? Well, I think NBC needs to do that with this season of Community, because I haven't really gotten that many laughs out of this season at all, and that includes this episode. If you combine all the episodes, I still don't think I've laughed as much in total as I have at one scene in any other decent comedy, including the much better episodes in past seasons. This episode was definitely a step up from last week's terrible episode (though it would be hard to sink any lower), but I still didn't care that much for either of the main stories in this episode. I'd say the best part was the ending with Jeff and Britta, but even that was cheesy as hell. "Five more episodes... Just five more..." That's what I have to keep telling myself in order to get the strength to keep watching this now, but if NBC does the unexpected by renewing the show, I'll be dropping the show and won't look back.
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Apr 05, 2013
As for the Abed story, I'm not really sure how thrilled I am at the idea of Abed in a real romantic relationship with a girl, though I am at least somewhat grateful of the kind of character they had him get involved with, since she really did seem to be his type. I guess I'll see how their relationship plays out in the future (hopefully better than the other romantic relationships have been). I did kind of like the scene between them at the end, even though it was very predictable, and *almost* as cheesy as the Jeff/Britta scene.
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Apr 06, 2013
Cheesy. I never thought that word would be associated with Community. But here we are.
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Apr 05, 2013
I think this was the best of the new writers' episodes thus far. The rest have been forgettable, I only remember vaguely that one episode was centered around Inspector Spacetime and there was a Halloween episode, which is ultimately where this season lost me - veing forgettable. Harmon-era Community stuck with me, I rewatch it often and find myself thinking back on some of his more poignant moments or laughing at funny jokes when I recall them, but this season has ultimately proved to have the least memorable episodes - this one, though, might stick with me. For Abed and for that nice Pierce moment and for just generally FEELING more like the Community I know and love. For Jeff and for Annie and Shirley's 'Awwws' and for the fact that even though Troy's 'storyline' was the smallest of all, Donald Glover still made me laugh the most.
It was easy to accept, before this season even started, that we were going to get a different show, so even though I temporarily dropped out, overall I haven't been mad at it, or the showrunners, because really, they're doing the best anyone could under the circumstances - the circumstances here being that none of them are Dan Harmon. They're not as clever. there's not as much depth, they're not as funny, but they are, in the midst of 'Let's rehash this old joke that hasn't gotten tired' and 'Let's do another documentary episode', doing a couple of new things. Romance, for one, seems on the up, and while I still disagree with Troy and Britta as a couple - this episode reaffirmed my idea that Jeff and Britta are so mismatched and simultaneously perfectly matched that they would be THE better of the many teased romances the show has hinted at in the past - the Abed/Rachel romance was delightfully sweet, fun and while it could have used a couple more episodes, because really, it's not THAT believable that Abed would so soon be all 'Yeah, relationship, let's do this', I enjoy those two together.
Really, I'm still enjoying Community. The characters are still there. Some of the writers are still there. There is heart, even if it's nowhere near as big and warm as Dan Harmon's, and the cast is still game. For all it's flaws, it's still Community, just - watered down in almost all aspects.
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Apr 05, 2013
*being, not veing.
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Apr 05, 2013
A huge strength of Community has always been how they handle Abed. He's quirky, but that doesn't make him any more or less part of the group. He doesn't hang out on the edges he's an equal and treated as such. He might be different, but he's still normal. I love that. Giving him a love interest (other than his bromance with Troy) was a natural step that I'm glad the writers stepped up and took. I'm excited to see where it goes.
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Apr 05, 2013
I found it enjoyable. I like the fact that theyre making peirce more like S1 peirce (I did like him in season 2 but season three he never quite bounced back but instead b/c mean and crazy). If he was more like this last year I would have prob be more upset that this is his last season (if the show continues).
i dont really mind if some characters aren't fully involved in a compelling story b/c if troy annie and shirley where rlly invoved I think the episode would have suffered b/c that was the problem with the other jumbled episodes, too many characters had to much to do and there wasnt enough time. Im still hopeing that there will be one really strong episode tho.

I did like the dean talking about how he allowed the two dances to be in the same place b/c britta promissed a certain guest would come (Jeff)

"At least Troy got to ... randomly balance a lot of cups stacked on top of one another in the background of a shot" when was this? I totally missed it!!!

Also never heard of Sophie B Hawkins either
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Apr 05, 2013
I think it's when Annie is talking to him at some point. Annie and Shirley confronting him maybe? Honestly, it made me laugh a LOT more than it probably should have.
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Apr 05, 2013
Cool. Not bad. Pretty good compared to this season. Meh-to-average compared to other seasons.

It wasn't funny... I, again, didn't laugh once. I maybe half-smirked a few times.

I liked Coat Check Rachel -- I don't always find Brie Larson attractive, but season-1-Annie-ing her with the addition of glasses (maybe Asian-Annie-ing her is more appropriate) and giving the character enough quirkiness to be cute but not crazy like Kat made her appealing to me. I wouldn't mind seeing more of her.

Troy was wasted again.

Ending every episode with everybody giving each other smiles is starting to really bug me -- and that's not just this season, I felt the same for about half of season 3. It didn't feel so contrived and weird looking when they did it in the first two seasons.

Oh, and like you Cory, I had no idea who Sophie B. Hawkins was before or during this episode either. Maybe it'd have been funnier if I did...
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Apr 05, 2013
I've remained one of those endlessly optimistic people who love Community and have hope for it even though so much has changed behind the scenes. In the last few weeks my hopes for the show has waned and instead of making sure I watched the show every time it came on tv I began to miss it or forget when it was even on...

HOWEVER, I happened to catch this episode when it came on and for the first time in a long time I felt like it was the Community I loved again. It's not perfect, but it flowed nicely and the story seemed like a Community story. While I still wish Troy, Annie, and Shirley get better material Danny Pudi brought his A-game to this episode and it definitely gave me something I've been missing about Community since this season started.

Hopefully this progress continues and develops into a decent, if not completely solid, season.
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Apr 05, 2013
I think Harmon set up a lot for Jeff, Abed and Britta in the last season, in terms of their issues or the directions they'd take - we delved deeper into Abed's psyche, the finale teased a Winger reunion and Britta's new psychology major (if I'm using the right term) is also something they seem to be utilizing a lot this season, or, you know - reminding the audience of with slightly tiring jokes about how bad she is at it. Annie, Troy and Shirley didn't get as much, nor did Pierce, though his brother's introduction is something they've obviously already used in one episode - I'm wondering if maybe the writers are struggling to take these four characters in new dierctions without Harmon having really given them much to elaborate on.
Either way, fingers crossed that Yvette Nicole Brown gets more to do for the rest of the season than to change her voice register really fast. She's probably, throughout the entire seires, not just season 4, been the one actor I've been dying to see given some more material to work with. Shirley doesn't get a whole bunch to do in general. *Fingers crossed*
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Apr 05, 2013
Im like you... Im finding that now unlike previous seasons Community isnt a "must watch" and Im no longer counting down the days till its on air. I now watch it more b/c its right b4 P&R, if it did move to Fridays I think I would have forgotten about it by now. But I still think the show will improve in time
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Apr 05, 2013
Damn, if this episode was the reason for Chevy's departure I'd totally see it. There's no character in what they wrote for him here, he's simply the deus ex machina, using his money to solve the problems of his friends.

I didn't laugh with this episode. I did gasp in disgust and shock at the Dean's black and white Deana Reed costume. I smirked once or twice at the overly quirky girl and at Abed trying to grow. I chuckled lightly at the Awake reference. I sorta got behind Britta finally being pushed beyond her limits of stupid crap. But I didn't laugh, I didn't enjoy this episode much, it felt forced and lost in the weeds, it felt like the whole episode was Troy's storyline - trying to cram antics into moments to make something out of nothing. It wasn't the worst episode of the season, but it was weak.
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Apr 06, 2013
I disagree. Pierce used his money because he's tired of Jeff bullying Britta (and him as well). That's a small moment, but it makes sense based on Pierce's recent episodes.
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Apr 06, 2013
But that's not consistent with who he was for 3 seasons, and doesn't give him a real role, just a cliche.
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Apr 06, 2013
But how is Piece consistent in season 3 in relation to season 1 & 2? And I'm not antagonizing here. I hated what they did to Pierce in season 3, this villain character that he was turned in to, I didn't understand it at all. He started out as this older mature student stereotype, out of touch with the younger people, and they made him non pc for comedic effect, but you knew he was good underneath, like your uncle or aunt who says inappropriate things. Then he gets turned in to this horrible evil character. Why would they make one of the group into a bad guy at all for that matter?
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Apr 07, 2013
In season 1, Pierce tries to befriend everybody, he tries to help and get along, but eventually his inability to connect causes him to pants Shirley and they kick him out. Pierce bungles his apology via racism and short-sightedness of a person he claimed was a friend, and then feigns innocence, becoming bitter. Once he's back in the group, his behavior starts to become desparate, pushing him to do things like invite Troy to live with him.

Season 2 finds Troy using Pierce as an internet joke. Then his mother dies and he starts to seem far more broken than before, with insane religious beliefs. He starts hanging around Leonard and others. He starts becoming needy and demanding of attention in Annie's anti-drug play. And then he's intentionally left out of helping Fat Neil because he's deemed too insensitive, and that brings him to his role as the cruel villain in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and that really leads the character down the dark path, obviously. All before season 3 even rolls around. To me, while broad, it's been a fairly consistent character arc, a needy, selfish person who seems ok at first then turns worse and worse from his own behavior, and a big life-changing event exacerbating his character flaws.
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Apr 07, 2013
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Apr 05, 2013
You're right when you say this feels like a season 1 episode. That's it exactly. Danny Pudi is always terrific, and he had a chance to shine here. Good for him. I hope Donald Glover has a big episode coming up. He needs more to do. The Britta/Troy pairing seems to be on again/off again, doesn't it. Can't figure that one out. I guess it's one of those things where he's not Mr. Right, but Mr. Right Now.
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Apr 05, 2013
Troy was funny as hell in this one. It was a good solid episode.
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Apr 05, 2013
Really? I thought he was completely wasted (again).
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Apr 05, 2013
Yeah I was just thinking the same. His delivery of his lines are my favorite and I didn't see any in this episode, I was disappointed. But please slipknot let me know, maybe I missed something. I did like the balancing of the cups in the background, seemed a little random.
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Apr 08, 2013
Well I just like the little stuff that he did. the mustache pic and the cup scene were funny. Him trying to do Shenanigans all day even though Abed said no, yet Abed was doing it with the dates. I didn't think it was completely wasted. Do they need to still do better with his character?, yea.
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Apr 09, 2013
Actually when I think about it, it wasn't so bad they had Troy in the background just being funny. It's kind of like the few times Abed stayed in the background, although his actions were more significant, like delivering a baby. But this episode was very Abed centric, so Donald Glover did a good job (like always) of making even his minimal storyline funny.
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Apr 05, 2013
I thought it was a decent episode. I enjoyed seeing Abed's love connection with Coat Check Girl Rachel. They were cute, I can't wait to see how it develops, Abed in a relationship should be interesting.

I liked that Pierce helped Britta out, and pointed out to Jeff that he didn't need to constantly put her down. He was right, Jeff's condescending attitude and need to always be right can be draining. I like him as a character, and I like that he has had some growth, but sometimes I wonder why ANY of them are friends with him. Being a dick 90% and then pulling out some philosophical speech to reign in the troops would not work in real life. I don't need Jeff to be Mr. Nice Guy, that's not who he is, but I wish they would let his growth at least in regards to his friends, remain. The way he treats them at times, especially Britta can be daunting. But at least his apology was nice. And Pierce did a nice thing for Britta, I agree with the poster below who said that Chevy's issues with Harmon led to his character assassination in seasons 2 & 3, but the writers now are trying to give him some sort of redemption before he's gone.

I don't think the writers know what to do with Troy and Shirley, which is why they have pretty much remained in the background for most of the season.
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Apr 05, 2013
I do agree that the series has kind of reverted back to a Season 1 feel, but y'know what. I'm okay with that. Season 1 was good, I won't deny that 2 and 3 were better, but ! was good. and if this show manages to pull out a renewal (I'm still hoping, against all odds) then we might get something more Season 2, and I'm good with that.

Also, Brie Larson (took me forever to figure out it was her too) was fantastic as Rachel the Coat Check Girl. Maybe she can join the Group now that there will be an empty chair.
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Apr 05, 2013
I thought this episode was decent. More like a Harmon like story. At least Abed's before he gets together with Rachel. And now does that leave all of the study group paired up? Why? What good could come of that?

The thing that I liked about the episode was Abed's commentary on what is wrong currently with Community. "The appeal to a broader audience."

And now they unbritta'd Britta. Why do that? this isn't the freaking Big Bang Theory. It feels like they are trying to make it that way. No one is overly offensive, everyone is kind of the reduced version of their previous self, and now everyone is paired up. Maybe I didn't like this episode. They still have good ideas, the rom com bit for abed would have been better if it had been extended. The britta thing was kind of annoying and a waste, we heard a lot of consternation but didn't really see any. And again Donald Glover gets a side mission that we don't really care about and produced nothing. This show is just frustrating now.
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Apr 05, 2013
After rewatching Season 1-3 in the last two weeks and just aching over the fact that Season 4 is nowhwere near that quality of crazy, I must say that I really enjoyed this episode. It felt like Community again.
Great to see more of Abed. But pleeeeeaaase don't put him in a relationship. As much as I loved Coat Check Girl, I can't see it working. Abed just isn't the type of guy to be all romantic or whatever. Troy and Britta is hard enough to digest (even though this week they didn't seem like a couple at all).
Troy and Abed forever! Or at least for sixseasonsandamovie!
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Apr 05, 2013
It was ok episode, but I am getting really tied of Chang saying he has changnissa every other sentence.
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Apr 05, 2013
I agree, but I think that's kinda the point. It's supposed to be stupid and annoying and Chang is supposed to be over-selling it. I couldn't care less about him though.
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Apr 05, 2013
Agree about Chang. He needs to be written out, his character has been on the show for WAAAY too long.
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Apr 05, 2013
Honestly to me this was the best Community episode in years. Was it the funniest? absolutely not. But for the first time in a long time it didn't feel forced at all!
Abed's rom-com story was relatively funny, I liked Rachel as a character, and it really felt genuine (which like I said, hasn't happened in a looong while for an Abed story).
Britta, for the first time since season 1, actually felt like a real character. I understood her motives for a change, it was a bit obvious how the story would end, but for once I didn't feel like punching her in the face, and could almost even relate to her.
Which brings me to Pierce - I can't believe im saying this, but I'm so glad they decided to fire Dan Harmon from the show. I don't know why he decided to make Pierce the most disgusting, spiteful and mainly annoying character in the history of comedy in seasons 2-3, it really ruined the vibe of the show. I miss season 1 Pierce, the one who had good intentions and every once in a while did something for another character that made us as an audience love him. In the last 3 episodes I feel like Pierce is becoming that again, and I love it. It's really too bad he won't be on the show for much longer, but then again, I don't think Community will last that long at this point anyways..
As for the fact that we didn't get to see much of Annie or Troy, I'm fine with that. Not everyone need's to be involved in every story to make it work, sometimes its better to focus on just a few.
All in all this was a great episode, it made me feel a little bit nostalgic even. I really hope the writers keep this up - less Inspector spacetime episodes (how are they not tired of that?? everyone who watches the show is..) and more going back to the basics and making the characters seem real and relatable again.
More+
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Apr 05, 2013
Will you people ever stop complaining? It would be so nice to read a Community review without the critic mentioning how bad it is compared to previous seasons in every second sentence.
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Apr 05, 2013
Will YOU people ever stop complaining about other opinions?
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Apr 05, 2013
I think part of the reason Pierce is a little better this year is the writer's are correcting where he went WAY to unlikeable as the show went, and I think that was due to the animosity between Chevy and Harmon. It felt like the more they butted heads, the worse he made Pierce. I can see his current "redemption" a way of them saying thanks to someone who, while prickly at times, is still a comedy legend and letting him go out on a better note.
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Apr 05, 2013
I was happy to recognize Brie Larson immediately--she was super charming in 21 Jump Street, and we definitely need more of her. If she combined forces with Alison Brie to form Alison Brie Larson, the charm would be thermonuclear.
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Apr 05, 2013
I thought Abed's budding romance was very sweet and I'm dying to know more about Rachel. The writers are making me like Pierce, which I'm conflicted about, since he'll be gone soon. Overall, it was a solid episode, even if the Jeff-Britta bit scared me for the future. Please, don't go back there, writers!
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Apr 05, 2013
I liked this episode very much
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Apr 05, 2013
I actually thought this was one of the funniest episodes, and most like the Harmon days, of any show this season so far. For once I didn't think it felt like the writers were trying too hard, and it felt less strained than many episodes this season. And I was very glad to see a decent story line for Abed. Most of the time it's felt like the writers haven't known what to do with him, but this time it felt like we had the real Abed back.
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Apr 05, 2013
This episode had me rolling in laughter. I understand it is the job of the reviewer to analyze everything but dang... you made this episode sound pretty bad. I, on the other hand, loved it and was laughing throughout the episode and found the ending quite delightful and moving.
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