Community "Paranormal Parentage" Review: The Haunting

Community S04E02: "Paranormal Parentage

Because reviewing any early Season 4 episode of Community requires one to spend at least a few sentences describing their feelings on the show post-Harmon, let me just get this out there: Yes, it’s a real, big bummer that Community creator Dan Harmon is no longer employed as the showrunner of the NBC sitcom. And yes, the show is going to miss him and might not ever remotely reach the insane, yet moving heights we saw in Seasons 2 and 3 (but mostly Season 2; no shots fired, but Season 3 was kind of a mess). But you know what? I love these characters and I love these actors and I can imagine a world where they make a good version of the show happen, so I’m just going to let this play out. It might all suck (though it’s hard to imagine anything being worse than Troy and Britta in the fountain again because oh my spirits was that dreadful), but it might not.

And this week’s episode, scripted by fan favorite and Team Harmon holdover/survivor Megan Ganz (who did just leave the show but only after Season 4 was complete), suggests exactly that. Community still has some life left, especially when it concentrates on the characters’ fundamental fears and hang-ups instead of shouting and half-baked meta-baiting. “Paranormal Parentage” wasn’t as innovative as the show's last two Halloween episodes, but it was mostly on a par with the Season 1’s “Introduction to Statistics.” Though it was fairly simple, it was effective, and led the way for the show moving forward. Meaning, the new showrunners don’t have any business trying to match Harmon’s creativity, but something they can do is go easy on the gimmicks and tell warm, maybe slightly softened stories about who these characters are as they approach graduation. And even though this is all happening by accident, moving back toward a Season 1 vibe feels like the perfect way to wrap up their time at Greendale. It sort of mirrors college in that way: You start slow, go HAM for a couple of years, and then (hopefully) realize it’s time grow up.

“Paranormal Parentage” moved a few characters toward big realizations, even if some of the beats were slightly repetitive. The haunted Hawthorne mansion setup provided a few random gags that worked (the sex room; the scene that's appeared in several show promos with Abed making reference to how Community "used to be about a community college”), but it mostly served to tell a nice little story about Jeff and Pierce’s respective daddy issues. While at the end of last season, Pierce kinda-sorta moved past his problems and Jeff mustered up the courage to Google his con-man father (and apparently Jeff referring to him as a terrible con-man was accurate, if he was easy to find on Google), those momentous events only temporarily solved their problems.

Without his father—or Troy, for that matter—hanging around, Pierce’s mansion has gone to hell and he kind of has, too. He set up the haunted house gambit solely to bring the study group to his home, and even when Jeff called him on it before the performance even began, the group got suckered in. It was kind of like the sadder, kinder version of the bequeathing Pierce performed in “Introduction to Documentary Filmmmaking,” and I think it served this version of the character better. The group has moved past its real hatred for Pierce; now they just feel bad for him. It’s not vitriolic pity, they’re just sad.

But it turns out Pierce isn’t the only sad-sack in his family. As the end of the episode revealed, Giancarlo Esposito’s Gilbert, Pierce’s half-brother, has been even more aimless since learning that he'd been left in charge of the Hawthorne estate when Daddy Cornelius died. He has no one to serve, nothing to really worry about—except himself, and that’s what makes him sad. He and Pierce have nothing in common other than that they’re alone, but for one middle-aged dweeb and one racist senior citizen, that’s probably enough to start a real bond. I know Pierce is easy to hate (and Chevy Chase is really easy to hate, but it’s nice to have the show ask us to feel something other than disgust or pure pity for the character. All Pierce ever wanted is a friend. Maybe Gilbert can be that friend. Chevy’s pretty good at making the character just sympathetic enough, and that was on display in this episode.

The strongest part of "Paranormal Parentage," however, involved Jeff and his daddy issues. Yet again, Britta’s terrible armchair psychology worked its backwards magic, pushing Jeff to talk about how all he ever wanted to do was move on from his dad and getting him to acknowledge that he'd found his father’s phone number online and had been carrying it around, even in his Halloween costume. Joel McHale nicely mixed Jeff’s resistance to Britta’s unprofessional and unsolicited advice with his vulnerability once he realized (for like the hundredth time) that he didn’t want to end up like Pierce, angry and alone.

Though we didn't get a big pronouncement about it, this was a major development for Jeff. He’s been outwardly in denial about his father for years, but acknowledging his search to someone else—and if you want to read something important into the fact that Britta knows first, go ahead—signals that New Jeff is actually a real thing. He’s still a selfish prick, but he knows he doesn’t always have to keep the guard up with the study group. He still didn’t tell everyone about having his father’s number, nor did he say anything about the boxing gloves belonging to his father, but this is still Jeff Winger, after all.

And now he’s made that phone call. Choosing Greendale in last season’s finale helped Jeff accept himself and his circumstances; reconnecting with his father, in any fashion, will only help him further. The journey toward Not Pierce is on.

“Paranormal Parentage” didn't light the world on fire, but it was a stabilizing, promising episode for this new season of Community. Though I’ve heard some questionable things about next week’s Inspector Spacetime-centric episode (pro tip: Don’t workshop ideas at Comic-Con, writers), I think this one served up a good model for the show from here on out. These are likable characters who we all have rooting interest in. Getting them to graduation, ready for the world, is a worthwhile story to tell, and one that doesn’t need all the pop-culture riffs or yelling. More like this, please.


STUDY NOTES


– To further the “Season 1 redux” point, it’s worth noting that this episode focused almost entirely on Jeff, Pierce, and Britta. Oh, and Troy is just not in a good place right now. The writers are struggling to: 1.) Find traction between him and Britta, and 2.) Remember that he’s not a full-blown imbecile. We're getting girly sneeze Troy. Don’t do that anymore, show. Donald Glover’s still doin’ work though; his line delivery in the moment Troy broke the remote was great.

– Shirley’s judgment of Britta seemed somewhat out of place, but also not. She acted that way in “Remedial Chaos Theory” as well, and I understand her desire to protect Troy.

– No Chang and very little Dean this week, which makes sense, but was a little disappointing. The show has the tendency to introduce these big Chang stories early on and then just completely lose the thread. I'm hoping that doesn’t happen again.

– Whose costume was your favorite?

– Annie and Jeff are certainly in a different place now, aren’t they? They’re texting about matching Halloween costumes? Shipper hearts be a-flutterin’ this Valentine’s Day.


Comments (82)
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Can't believe this show went from being my favourite to something I waist my time on again. Sad :(
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The irony of me finding this page is that I found it earlier when I went looking for Abed's costume (since I didn't get it. Troy looked like Tony the Tiger and Abed did not resemble a Cereal Mascot) I'm glad the review reflects my sentiments on the episode as well.
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i'm a big Calvin and Hobbes fan, so I'm happy i recognized them right away!
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I think my biggest problem with the show now is just how drastically the humour has changed. It's not smart anymore. It's really dumbed down. That sex swing thing was funny but also felt like something you'd expect from a show like Two and a Half Men not Community. I know that watching Community 2.0, you have to prepare yourself for a change. It's never going to be as good and that's okay but I just wish it was an smarter show.
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I totally agree with you. Crazy drastic change in humour.
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Judging by the promo pictures, I thought Troy would be Tigger and Abed would be Warhol. This makes much more sense for them, but I think Abed as Warhol would've been a fitting costume for the character.
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I think that Shirley felt the need to protect Troy because he's so innocent and in way, naive of the adult ways of the world. And since Troy is so child-like in a lot of ways, she has a maternal instinct to take care of him.
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I didn't care for this episode that much, it was very gimmicky and barely had a personality. These characters didn't feel true to who they were, they felt like a shallow reflection. Even the choices of costumes didn't resonate well (although Jeff's at least had a reason by the end). There was a lot of beats put in like a checklist of Community requirements, but very little of them served the heart of the episode. Pierce's house also felt completely wrong, it just stank of bad set ideas rather than something cohesive considering his background. And that Cougar Town reference was a huge miss, that was outright clumsy.

All that said, this wasn't the faceplant that was the season premiere, there wasn't a huge groan-inducing moment between any of the characters, the Dean reeled it back some, and it didn't swing for the fences - instead happy to play with a Scooby Doo idea. Some was funny on its own, some wasn't, and some just felt forced... Gilbert.

Jeez is the dean in great shape though, it's almost distracting at this point.

Good point on Troy being way off mark, all are apt, his figuring out the significance of the panic room being built the day "Do the Right Thing" came out and his disappointment in that was good work.

Shirley is stuck in the "Velma" role, nobody really to talk to, nothing to do, and it shows badly.

No Chang is fine, they overplayed that hand last year, I liked it better when he was a weird Spanish teacher (and actually knew Spanish).

Every costume sucked IMO, but Shirley's was accurate and recognizable.
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i am still confused why we had a halloweed episode in february.. ?
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Because they were supposed to start airing in October. By the time NBC had pushed them to February, that episode had already been made.
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ah, this of course makes perfect sense, thanks :)
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<-------- My little avatar to the left here should tell people what my favorite costume was. Calvin and Hobbes is ALWAYS welcome, even in a less-than-stellar episode like this. Annie's ring girl was pretty great too.

While this episode was better than last week's premiere, it still wasn't great. Remember when Community's holiday episodes were amazing? Like, must see TV. Like, possibly the best episodes in the shows existence type of good? Creativity falling out of its butt? While this episode wasn't particularly bad, it also wasn't particularly good. Also, I still don't like seeing Britta/Troy as a couple... it feels awkward and pretty poorly written.

After watching these two episodes, I think the writers and showrunners would be better off writing with a more early-season-1 type of approach -- before the big concept episodes took off. While I don't consider Harmon the end-all-be-all, I figure he AND Chris McKenna, the Russo Brothers, Goldman & Donovan, and Dino (Star-Burns) had a huge influence on the creativity and magic of the concept episodes in particular, things that I'm just not seeing with the Hunger-Games-premiere and now this Halloween episode. They're kind of close, but no cigar. So uh, yeah, I think they might be better off with simpler aspirations and concepts.
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I totally agree with you. I guess it would be better for them to do more season 1 type episodes because this group of writers are essentially working from ground up and should probrably establish their writing styles before doing concept episodes.
And I do agree that although this episode was a bit better than last weeks episode is didnt have the magic of early holiday episodes (and season 2s halloween episode is by far the best).
I have also noticed something that kind of bugs me is that between these two episodes the characters keep making alot of references to past episodes (like more than usual ). or maybe its just me. idk the writting has been kind of off
but i will say that it did move more towards the direction of what community episodes should be
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Yeah, but would you really want the new guys trying to pull off the zombie episode? I say give them time to get their bearings. Loved Calvin & Hobbes too once I knew that's what they were. I thought Troy was Tigger. And Britta and Troy does NOT make sense to me, but I sense this is a way to get Jeff jealous. I hope so.
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No, I wouldn't want the new guys trying to pull off the zombie episode, which is basically what I said in my comment. They should have started off with simpler early-season-1-like episodes filled with heart and humor, then moved on to the concept episodes after they found a groove of some sort. This episode, while not done extravagantly, was still a concept episode.

As for Calvin and Hobbes, yes, despite my love for C&H, it took me a while, as well, to realize what Troy and Abed were dressed as. Abed didn't look like Calvin much at all, and Troy's costume was certainly more Tigger than Hobbes.

I think it might have been better off if Troy was Calvin and Abed was Hobbes, not only because of similarities in physical size, but also because Troy's more kid-like and Abed is more out-of-touch with other human beings.
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I mean this wasn't really a big concept episode, was it? Pretty straightforward.
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I consider it a concept episode because the focus was still seemingly their take on the haunted house horror genre -- like Horror Fiction (scary stories) and Epidemiology (zombies) being concept episodes -- but you're right that it wasn't a BIG concept episode. Admittedly, the haunted house scenes didn't particularly last very long and there was certainly a pointed focus on both Jeff's daddy issues and Britta and Troy's relationship.

But I think that kinda leads to what I'm alluding to: essentially, the haunted house and Hunger Games concepts were wasted. Neither of them did enough with the concepts to make the episodes seem like big concept episodes. So if you're to consider it a non-concept episode, Community has typically had the story directly impact the growth or change in one or some members of the gang (usually Jeff, but others too).

I don't really see how the haunted house here directly influenced or impacted the change or growth in character. Pierce being nice to Gilbert wasn't any different than when we last saw those two together (end of Digital Estate Planning). I don't see how the story itself effected the relationship between Troy and Britta -- it just so happened Britta acted differently than what Shirley expected... Troy was barely involved. I know the writers tried to have it directly impact Jeff's daddy issues, but I'll quote Jeff: "Using ghosts to trick me into opening up. Too bad it didn't work." Jeff decided to call his dad not because of anything involving the A plot, but rather the out-of-nowhere C or D plot at the end with Gilbert showing up and stating how important his dad's absence is to him. Any growth in character or lesson/moral taught didn't come from the haunted house concept, it came from dialogue that could have been used in almost any situation, like the simple plots we saw in early season 1. So if the episode isn't focused on the concept and the concept doesn't impact the characters, why waste the concept? The showrunners may as well save these concepts until later in the season when they've found some sort of groove and comfort, and like I said in my first post, should have gone with simpler aspirations to start the season.
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Abed was right... Remember when this show used to be about a community college? I mean in the good old times, even when things were completely crazy and unrelated to studies, they managed to find some connection with Greendale. Like the unforgettable Professor Professorson an his hilarious conspiracy theories. I also remember I usually had to watch the show at least once more to catch the subtext or hidden jokes. This time I I watched, interrupted, watched the rest, and then was fine with deleting the show from my memory (computer and otherwise).

By the way, wouldn't it be so cool if they showed Once Upon a Time, Breaking Bad, Community, Revolution and Criminal Minds on different channels at the same time and you'd stumble on Giancarlo Esposito every time? That guy is amazing! Besides doing excellent work, he's everywhere!
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"If you want to read anything into the fact that Britta knew first" Read what into it? It's the usual dynamic between the two- snarky and competitive. Absolutely nothing to read there. It's not like Jeff cared about Britta and told her, he told her as a way to try to one-up her in an argument.

If you want to read into things, how about Jeff and Annie's attempt at a couples costume, which was even called as much, or Annie standing up to Jeff on far more equal terms, or Jeff getting a ride with her in her car, or the ending where Annie is flirty and trying to tempt Jeff to still go to the party with her, and Jeff is apologetic (by Jeff's standards). Those two are a couple who just haven't admitted it or started sleeping together yet.
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No, I agree with the Jeff and Annie stuff. But he'd never, ever have that conversation with her. It's a different bond and that will matter to certain sectors of the fandom.
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Yeah, Annie wants Jeff, but there's tension between Jeff & Britta.
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Jeff wants Annie too. Those two care about one another and can easily reach the point of love in the future, but they are sort of tiptoeing towards that conclusion.
Jeff and Britta may have slept together, but they bicker, joke, and argue more like a brother and sister than anything else. There was some romantic chemistry between them in season 1, but it burned out at the end of that season, just as Jeff and Annie started to pick up.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I bust up laughing when Abed pulled that book and said it was the best thing that ever happened to him. I love Jeff and Britta's chemistry - they unintentionally make the other one better. I am still so weirded out with the Jeff/Annie and Troy/Britta relationships. Maybe it is just me but I just don't feel the chemistry. There is no fire. They don't bring anything to the table to help the other grow. Also, Annie and Troy just come off as so innocent, naive and young. It just feels creepy pairing them with Jeff and Britta who are obviously experienced and parental.
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The tone of this episode felt the same as the last one, it was less busy and less fountain but also less creative and really pretty bland. If there's a pattern this season then it seems to be that episodes have a broad, tepid scenario but then consist of a fruit salad of rapid-fire pairings of the cast to have brief although reasonably satisfying discussions. This will get tired soon. Community doesn't need every episode to be a high-concept homage but it at least needs episodes with plots and subplots to succeed.

I disagree with a lot of the things Cory said about this episode. It was a solid episode of tv but it was weak as an episode of Community. Make no mistake this episode was nothing like Season 1, it falls well short of that standard. Season 1 had a smaller scope than seasons 2 & 3 but each episode was well plotted, had excellent character development and used the community college setting to make each episode unique and stylised. I will not be happy if Community drifts towards a plotless hangout fest like so many mediocre comedies on tv today.
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Good points! Maybe if they stop trying so hard and focus on characters and dynamics between characters, the interesting storylines will take care of themselves. Remember the Dungeons & Dragons episode? Or any of a number of episodes that took place mostly in the library? As Abed would call them, "bottle episodes." I hope they'll go back to those and just allow the show instead of forcing it.
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I felt like this one had some nice, earned character moments.
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The only parts I remember enjoying are the principle in his cheerleader outfit, and I actually felt moved towards the end of Giancarlo's sniveling. Shirley's handling of the swing room to protect Troy's innocence was slightly amusing. The rest seemed a little forced to me.
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Troy and Abed as Calvin and Hobbes was fantastic.
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my main complains so far is the underutilizing of Abed, and making Troy too dumb
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I think that will change in next weeks episode, cuz its at the inspector space time convention. And that really seems like it would be an Abed/Troy episode
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complaints***
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It was a good concept that could of been done a lot better, Community is King of homages and this was the perfect opportunity for horror movie homage entangled in the "daddy issues" theme but it wasn't used to it's full potential. I just feel like all the characters have nothing going on, Jeff called his dad (in the last second) but they don't seem to really be doing anything. The majority of this episode the group just walked around Pierce's mansion. I won't give up on this show but 2 episodes in it's becoming clear things are different and not in a good way.
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I'm glad they didn't go that route. They're best off moving away from the homages all together. Only going to drum up more unfair comparisons.
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I guess so. If they can find something for all the characters to do it wouldn't be so infuriating. It just feels like nothings happening, hopefully they'll find their stride in the coming episodes.
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i guess Shirley learned her lesson this time...because she finally wore a costume that everyone knew who it was. I really hope they begin to develop the Troy/Britta relationship and why wouldn't Troy know about Britta's sexual exploits and her dating. It's like he has completely regressed or maybe he is just pretending to be oblivious
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It just feels a lil off maybe Harmon(It is) maybe not just doesnt feel the same. Biggest proof of that Tim Surette pawned it off like he did Supernatural after bad season 6. JS
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come on that was a great episode and better than alot of episodes in the first 3 seasons and the thing that made me laugh the most is pierce's (indoor swing) LOL
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A good, solid episode, and a little bit better than last week. That felt more like a season finale than a premiere. But this was good old Community back on track. I'm not happy about Troy/Britta or Jeff/Annie (is that a thing? 'cause it sure feels like it). Right amount of Dean this week. Btw, I just loved the cliffhanger last week when he moved into the same house as Jeff! Can't wait to see where that is going. I wonder what happened to Chang, but he'll probably be back soon. Best costume: Annie, she was the only scary one. Is it typical american to dress up as something not scary at Halloween? But I also liked Britta's costume, because ... well, she always takes Halloween as an opportunity to be political. ;)
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Yes, yes it is typical. Halloween here in the States is basically an opportunity for women to dress slutty. Generalization, but pretty true. Also, I lived in a college town so it was doubly true then.
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Will have to wait and see, but wishing the next episode wasn't the Inspector Spacetime convention - I was hoping for the last season that they'd wind down on the "leaving the school" episodes and do more actually based in the school and as a study group. After all, thats where all the real charm and "community" bonding began.
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Had a real Ringu/Ring flashback when they close upped on Pierce on the safe room monitor
freaked me out more than when Annie did her Sadako impression. (Still she can be my Ring girl when ever she wants to)
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Just don't come crawling out of my TV, that's freaky.
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This one was a little better than the premiere. It still feels off, though. Like all the jokes are kinda easy, and dumb. Still, I enjoyed it. I hope it gets better. I also hope they don't turn Troy into a complete idiot. It's like they took all the progress the character has made and threw it away.
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Ratings aren't looking very good, I'm afraid. But considering how NBC is doing overall and the whole Nielsen Twitter Ratings thing... does it even matter anymore? Also, welcome Cory! Glad to see you are a fan of the show.
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True, but I'm optimist, still we won't know until next week.
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Valentines, if its this bad next week, we or fans can be concerned, prime time as a whole was down 6%.
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But Community was down over 40%. I don't think this can be chalked up to Valentines.
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Last week's episode was all over the place, but this one was a bit better. The hunted house concept worked for halloween, specially because of Pierce creepy egocentric almost "American Psycho" decor.
But, the problem for me easy and fast resolution of the other person in the house. It was like "there's someone else here.... Oh, it's just Gilbert". I think it would have been better if Pierce practical joke was something kind of lame and most likely offensive and the the weirder thing happening were because of Gilbert.
Also, i'm still not cool with Britta and Troy. The jump to them being in a relationship is too much, i was hoping for some ease into it during the season.
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I dunno, the writing's not great for Troy and Britta at the moment but remember how last season they were telegraphed as being the power couple early on and then just gave each other the occasional googly eyes for the rest of the season. I do not want more of that.
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I thought it was good. It wasn't Abed as Batman but what ever will be Abed as Batman. It had some good laughs given to us by Annie and Troy, which is often the case. So it is still fantastic. And we had some Giancarlo Esposito. All in all good episode
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MUCH better than the premiere! thank god... now let's hope it stays that way
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Boxing costume for Jeff Winger? Barney Stintson did it better on How I Met Your Mother.
Episode Fate Rating: 3/10
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Are we going to compare every episode to Dan Harmon? Really? I don't see a noticeable shift. Community is still Community. I love both episodes so far. I'll admit the first one was very busy and had too much going on, but it was Community being weird and I enjoyed it. And I really liked this Halloween episode. Dan Harmon is gone. Get over it. This is still Community and it is still enjoyable. And I don't really notice a huge difference, other than the fact Pierce is getting less and less screen time...which is to be expected.
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You're right, we should move on. I thought it was useful to talk about it with this episode, being my first review; I like to let people know where I stand on shows before I actually review them. And your point is the same one I made. It IS time to move on, and I think this episode suggests that the show can.
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I didn't realize this was your first review with Community! I'm so used to Tim reviewing them haha. Nah, I can see your point. I'm glad we can move on. Last night was less busy and more focused than the first episode. I think I agree with you though that the relationship between Britta and Troy is not really working.
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Whats your obsession with the fountain scene? Wasn't even bad :S
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I'm sorry, but that was the worst scene in Community history. The ONLY thing worthwhile was Troy's wars line... seeing him and Britta wrestling in the fountain was painful to watch.
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It was the opposite of Batman of Community scenes.
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I thought it was pretty good. Certainly much better than last week's episode and many season 3 episodes.

@Whedonrules: Troy has always been very childish. He sleeps in a pajamas and likes blanket forts. I don't think we can draw any conclusions from the fact that he didn't know about kinky sex in this episode. I would guess that the writers just liked the idea for that scene, and that it's not part of a plan to change him.

@nexpose: I think almost everyone knows about The Ring. It's probably the most well known horror movie from the past 15 years, except maybe for The Blair witch project. I totally agree about Chang though. He was great when he was a teacher, and not so great when he was student with serious mental health issues. Although, he was pretty great that time when he followed Annie's boobs into the air ducts.

@Gilda: I didn't notice a change in Annie, and I like her a bit whacky. My absolute favorite scene with her is the one where she "blew everything off" in the conspiracy theory episode.
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I just wish the art department had toned down the props. It made the joke so obvious that Troy would have to be a total idiot to not get what the room was for, even if he is inexperienced. The dog collar line would have been so much better if there hadn't been a mannequin head on a shelf behind Troy. Just let the joke land on its own, you know?
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@WhedonRules Have you forgotten all te character shifts that have occurred throughout the series, he may have originally been a ladies man in season 1, but they abandoned that Troy by Season 2, and he more became Abeds other half. Valentines Day ratings of a Halloween episode doesn't say much, if the ratings are this low next week then you could be right. I don't think you can say any of the character current match their season 1 counter parts except maybe Pierce and Shirley, this Troy is the same from last season.
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This show is becoming repetative sophomoric garbage whether you want to accept that fact or not. Keep the faith though:) (Troy was originally a high school football star who was a favorite of the ladies in high school, Annie being one of them. By making him a completely virginal moron they have resorted to broad comedy which this show has become which is funny if you are still in grade school.) I think the 42% drop in morning numbers from last week's premiere episode is at least a sign that people are leaving this Harmonless ship. Its usually a bad sign when your network decides on a new mantra for its comedies and then your creator, who had created something special, is let go to better serve this new mission statement from the geniuses in charge. Wonder when NBC is going to find the "Two and a Half Men" it is looking for?

"Archer" had more jokes in its teaser this week than "Community" did in its entire half hour, yet "Archer" (best written comedy on television) doesn't even get a review column.
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" I think almost everyone knows about The Ring"

Not really. In the olden days, people who don't watch horror movies learned about them because the ads were on TV all the time.
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OK so this episode which just followed the NBC mandate of being as broad as possible was a good episode? Methinks not. Now they are writing Troy like a 10 year because who doesn't laugh at an adult that acts like a dopey teenager? That's pretty broad. Nothing really funny or really original. Sounds like this review is begging people to like this episode which is weird as well. At least now it won't feel so bad to leave it because this episode made it clear (not as clear as the fact that it was written for an October airing and aired in February) this show died when Harmon was let go. It may as well be on CBS now. RIP Community.
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Hehe, I'd agree with you that the show has gotten a lot less clever and creative. I guess "as broad as possible" is basically "as simple as possible."
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whoa shots fired. Step off the ledge.

But yeah, Troy's in a dark place right now.
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That's a little harsh, but I am scared....won't lie.

I liked the season premiere, but I didn't find this episode funny at all (sorry Corey)..I love the characters, but w/out Harmon just feels like this show is a fish outta water.....
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I don't know if there can be a pact made but somehow can this be the last week people talk about Dan Harmon? Hmm, I thought this was pretty innovative and in the manner Community has been lately. Just haven't seen this dramatic shift like everyone is talking about. And with the very little the Dean was in it, man, isn't he the funniest? haha. These little "dean-ettes" as I guess I call them just floor me every time. :D

Maybe I'm just not into horror but I'm surprised in the review there was nothing about the "ring girl" thing. I had to google that and just seems like a B horror reference for a lot to get. That's one thing with Community, you have to be on your toes with pop culture reference but I wish they chose a more popular horror. Makes sense with Jeff's character but I had no clue at first.

Inspector Spacetime ep. sounds great or at least a great idea with all the past talk about the show from Abed and the others.

I'm glad Abed used the line about remembering when this was about a Community college, haha. Since Season 1 they've gone on wild tangents but I just wish they'd incorporate class room stuff a lot more nowadays. Just saying lines can be very funny without full blown out scenarios. And I really feel Chang was at his best in Season 1. No idea why he has to change every season but nothing beats Professor Chang in my opinion. But I'll let Chang-nesia play out. :P
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I'd agree with a lot of what you said, but uh, The Ring was pretty huge.
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Annie was based on "The Ring" that was the American remake of the Japanese "Ring". It was pretty much as high profile as a horror film can get.

Totally agree with you on more classroom stuff and Season 1 Chang.
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Great review! I think I agree with everything you said. I was hoping for a bit of a reference to To Kill a Mockingbird, with Britta's costume. She could have fallen over and had trouble getting up while "Pierce's Dad" was haunting the house, or something.

I liked the Calvin & Hobbs team costume. Of course Troy would have a costume with his best friend instead of his girlfriend. That relationship is a big question mark. Wasn't Troy a bit of a ladies man in high school? He seems to have forgotten everything. Hmmm.
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wow I totally didn't notice the To Kill a Mocking Bird thing
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Weird that they didn't make the TKaM reference for sure. I think Ganz said on Twitter that she had it in mind.
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Just found her Twitter post. She said it was a clearance nightmare.
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This episode was alot better than last weeks. I loved all the shirley/troy scenes (hey first time they've been paired together!). while watching it just reminded me of that scene (can't remember which episode) where troy tell's shirley that "she's not his mother" cuz man throughout their time in peirce's house she really was acting like one (trying to sheild him and all). Best part was troy swinging on peirce's sex-swing.
Has anyone else noticed that Annie has been acting weird for the last two episodes. Somethings changed in how they've written the character, shes more wacky.
Over all I found it a good episode (although the ending was kind of predictable) and it is more noticable now that Pierce/chevy chase has been givin minimal time with the other characters (last week he was just sitting there by himself (although abed was beside him) and this time he spent most of the episode "locked up" in his security buncker).
Also I think it's time to get over the whole Harmon leaving thing cuz really there are multiple factors that make a show great not just the show-runner. Can't we just have some faith that the show will still be good? Cuz judging from this episode the show hasn't totally tanked yet. (plus im really sick and tired of reading about how hes gone, get over it people)
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I also felt that Annie has been a bit off from previous seasons. Both she and Troy, in particular, seem like they're being written differently.
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also shirley's costume was easy to guess this year and wasn't ambiguous, darn i thought that was a thing :(
no chang and little dean didn't bug me, I always liked them in small doses
best costume was troy and abed's as calvin and hobbes
and it really feels like jeff and annie's relationship skipped a step somewhere
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Yeah, it seems like Jeff and Annie are a couple in all but admitting it out loud and sleeping together. The dynamic between them has also changed to a more balanced one- Jeff is opening up a little more and doing more with Annie of his own volition, and Annie is more willing to stand up to Jeff when she disagrees with him.

If we were told that they are in a relationship now, I would fully believe it, and hope this feel stays strong through the rest of the season. No more of that "they are good together, oh, wait, lets rewrite Annie to be an immature child after the summer, or they get along well and care about each other, ooh, lets have Jeff drunkenly fake marry Britta!" And especially no Annie/Jeff/Britta/Troy triangle/quadrangle crap.

There are awkward moments, and a number of times where the writers/creators blatantly changed the characters to try to backpedel, but overall, Jeff and Annie have chemestry and make each other better people and characters. Troy and Britta are more awkward, but when they do sync up, you can easily see the potential there.
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Jeff and Annie don't have a relationship, do they? I would however say that Troy and Britta's relationship has skipped several steps. I still have a hard time believing that they really went there, and kind of hope they'll just drop it before I get used to the idea.
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Well Jeff and Annie have pretty much had a "relationship" since season ones Debate 109, which became more pronounced in season 2 and then died off a bit last season. But if your thinking of them being boyfriend and girlfriend and going on dates then no they dont have a relationship (unless there is stuff happening off screen).
I dont really mind troy and britta being together and I do agree that over the summer their relationship progressed alot. But has anyone else noticed that Britta's like a cougar? cuz isn't she supposed to be closer to Jeff's age cept slightly younger. I always thought that her character was at least 8 years older than troy&annie

And I agree with you Cory the execution of their story has been alittle sloppy
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I don't think the age gap is enough to qualify Britta as a cougar. She may be older, but she treats him pretty much as an equal, rather than being the dominant partner. Same with Jeff and Annie. Early on, Jeff took a dominant position, and Annie played on her youth, but now they treat each other as more or less equals.

Jeff and Annie were maybe less demonstrative in season 3 compared to earlier, they both took more mature looks at their feelings, even if they did not discuss them. But now they are reaching that point of opening up to one another, acting like a stable couple while denying still that they actually are one.
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The show is definitely interested in making Jeff and Annie a real pairing this year. They've said as much. And Troy and Britta are already happening. The execution of the story isn't great right now though.
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