Community Strikes a Critical Hit

Community wielded the longsword of comedy +3 with masterful proficiency last night, rollin' 20s over and over and making saving throws like it was Drizzt Do'Urden incarnate. "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons" was easily the best episode so far of solid second season, and another showcase for creator Dan Harmon's creativity—not to mention his ability to make his vision happen without the benefit of a budget full of gold pieces and booty.

I was in tears four or five times during the episode (that's a record), and the show particularly wrung out my eyeballs during the lovely love scene (.gif below) in which adorable Annie graphically described the seduction between her character, Hector the Well-Endowed, and the beautiful elf maiden guarding a flock of Pegasi.

Community wasn't just on fire last night, it pierced my flame-resistant Plate Armor of Snobbery and incinerated my soul 'til I was a pile of ash. And it did so with the simplest of means, making it all the more impressive. The MVPs of the episode were the editors, who spun a tale of epic adventure with the characters hardly leaving the study room (bottle episode!). The corny fantasy flutes, the whizz of arrows, and cheesy maps may not have had the panache of "Modern Warfare"'s action sequences, but "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons" proved that less is more in creating what could very well be Community's best episode to date.

I really can't say enough about this episode. Abed was picture-perfect as the rule-abiding dungeon master, Britta played the game exactly how we'd have expected her to, and Pierce became a live-action Eric Cartman—a despicable outsider on the fringe of the core group who's prone to drunken bouts of power and nasty behavior just because he feels left out. Community's characters have become so well-developed that the series is able to throw them into ridiculous situations in a ridiculous world... and it works.

Best Moments
... Britta defending the goblins' rights; Annie and Shirley's reaction.
... Chang turning in his character sheet after he's beheaded by Pierce (video below).
... Troy saying "Bing Bong the Archer."
... Pierce making every roll, allowing him to be Pierce the Dickish.
... Abed speaking Gnome, and Britta trying to boost his Gnome confidence.
... Annie's love scene. Hubba hubba. "I gently cup her right breast... I pull out my huge member..." Lip-reading pays off in this scene.
... Also, nice shout out to Chinese New Year in the closing bumper.



Community is the most escapist comedy on network television at the moment, preferring the divinely silly over any real connection to our world—all while winking at hipsters, nerds, and pop-culture aficionados alike. In that sense, its Breakfast Club-ish band of outsiders theme has actually been turned on its head, and the show has become an inclusive comedy that welcomes any and all viewers—unlike, say, 30 Rock which caters to the self-professed highbrow, or Two and a Half Men, which is a favorite of the flyover states. Community's strength lies in its eschewing of sitcom tropes and fearlessness of trying new things. Well that, and being brutally funny.

Episode grade: A++++++++++++infinity


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

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isnt it sad some of the top exec producers wanted to cut this episode down because they thought that d&d wasn't popular enough for the targeted demographic of the show?
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When Chang died and that emotional music started playing, well I haven't laughed that hard in a while. This episode was absolutely perfect. It may even be better than Modern Warfare.
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It was this season's "Modern Warfare". Community has become one of those shows that you have to tell everyone you know to watch. Amazing.
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It was a funny episode, not the funniest, but I think it was still the best episode of Community's short stint, and in fact, possibly the best comedic episode since one of those crazy Scrub's moment (ie. 'It's Guy Love'). I laughed to be sure, and many parts were hilarious - an Asian Black Elf is a must now in any show - but first and foremost what came to mind was 'special.' I found this episode to be special. It dealt with the serious issue of suicide in a non-preachy, almost non-existent way, really, and it worked like no after school special could. It was a funny bottle episode, and it's magic will never be uncorked. Haha. Lulz.
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True that, I realize this episodes genius the more I think about it after I've watched it. I know throwing comparisons out is lame and never justified but Community is the funniest show since Seinfeld (my all-time fav) for me. Why? It's doing things that no other show has ever done and with every episode you never know what you are going to get. It's the epitome of the "Remember the one where..." shows that can spawn a 5 hour conversation on it's greatest moments. The Office had that going for a couple seasons (mainly just 2 and 3) before it fell off.
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Seriously, it's ridiculous of just how good this show is, I keep counting the minutes every thursday till the show start, and even with very high expectations I'm usually never disappointed.
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Amazing show and a truly fantastic episode. IT just keeps getting better and better.
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One of the best and most creative comedies out right now. Love this show.
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Thank you for existing
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Honestly, I had been meaning to get around to watching this show, and my friends made me sit down and watch this episode last night (we're all big DnD gamers), and I could not stop laughing. The seduction scene had me literally rolling on the floor. Definitely a classic episode, on any series.
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This is a great episode that's dedicated to the classic table-top RPG, Dungeons and Dragons. They even used the Advanced D&D (a.k.a., D&D 2.0) games/modules.
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Season 2 has been AMAZING, they have strive to push everything that little bit further, I only hope the show can stay on the air.
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EPIC Episode!!! Community's at it's best!!!! this is my 2nd favorite episode so far! right behind "Modern Warfare" which is still my favorite.
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This episode is my new favourite! I rewatched it 7 times already, and it's still as funny as when I watched it for the first time!
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Incredible episode, and I loved the Drizzt Do'Urden reference Tim.
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Holy chizbot this episode was even funnier than I could've imagined.... such outside the box writing, and this cast is excellent together. Excellent chemistry. and Pierce totally reminded me of Cartman too!
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this was one of my all time favorite episodes, it was just great
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The best episode ever!! Very Breakfast Club-ish indeed. Abed was HILARIOUS. Plus points to Britta for the Gnome scene! :)
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Wow.. I actually thought it was one of the weaker episodes of community, or at least the weaker of the "Special" episodes.. Im not much of a DND fan so maybe that's the reason, but the episode just wasnt as funny as I expected it to be.. it was still excellent compared to other TV shows, but not up to par with the average community episode (if there is such a thing)..
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i loved this episode!!! :)
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Community is an absurd and ridiculous show, and I love it! No matter what hijinx ensue, the show also know how to keep it very real. The recent Halloween episode with the zombie outbreak lead to a story line that will be very interesting to see develop. The second season started out with Chang looking like a villain for the study group, but I think he is slowly but awkwardly making his presence accepted by the group. Pierce on the other hand, I think he is going to be trouble later on, becoming the main antagonist for the study group. Each week he gets more despicable and brings down the group. What happened in the recent episode is going to carry over, which I love about this show. Upon second viewing, I noticed Jeff and Britta wait for Neil in the background, and I trust the writers of the show will have that brought up. Community is my FAVORITE comedy on right now, and I really hope it doesn't go the way of Arrested Development. One last note: Can Danny Pudi PLEASE get a Best Supporting Actor nod now please?
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I loved this episode, but I wouldn't say it's my favourite one. For example the one about chicken fingers was great and the one about the rocket, and about the missing pen. Anyway this show is getting better and better.
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This was yet another brilliant episode, and definetly one of my top 3 favourite episodes of the show. With so many good and several brilliant episodes this season, to me, Community is a huge step above any other comedy TV shows atm.
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Amazing episode - even though I hardly knew what D&D was..
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Awesome episode! Favorite quote: "...the balance between good and Pierce"
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that's it, after the bottle episode, Halloween zombie disaster and who can ever forget modern warfare, community became my favorite TV show of all times

last episode i had tears in my eyes the whole time. and the Ani describing the sex scene, funnyyyyyy
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the love scene was hilarious!!!!
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"No madam. As a human, female-warrior you are 5 species classes above me."- Abed

I LOLed so hard at this... because, come on, we all knew how Britta was going to react XD
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Community never fails to amaze me, it makes me wonder why on earth the Overrated Laugh-Track Big Bang Theory draws Higher Viewers. Yeah Pierce thought was a total dick toward "Fat Neil", especially in light of the recent Arizona tragedy and the bullying epidemic, I bet everyone who saw this episode probably wanted to punch Pierce.
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tim, completely agree.
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imagination at its best....
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I agree. This episode was freakin' hilarious! This and the Halloween episode are my favorite of this season, let's hope this show keeps heading in the direction it's going, although I'm not really sure it has one.
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WOW. I honestly don't know what to say about this episode! Watched it twice already and laughed just as hard if not harder the second time. Seriously, this was a perfect episode. They actually topped Modern Warfare. Comedy gods at work here! Watching the Office and Parks & Rec afterwards, I realized just how little I laughed out loud during those shows. Community almost ALWAYS hits the right notes but this one was just an instant classic, flawless writing.
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Pierce is such a Dick that it seems like they'll have to write Chevy Chase off of the show. Why would these people ever hang out with him? The other time he was kicked out of the group, they decided they needed him to have someone to make fun of, but at this point it doesn't seem worth it.
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This episode was Legen....wait for it...DARY!!! - Legendary!!!
I absolutely LOVED it!!!
Makes me want to find some hot chicks to play "Dungeons and Dragons" wishing i had played it growing up like my cousin did...
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better than modern warfare
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This was a great episode, but I don't know if it's my favorite of the season -- certainly top 3 at least. Aside from Annie's great scene which you generously GIFed, I also really liked the introductions of each of their characters; Shirley's reaction to Abed saying he had Troy in mind when creating Hector the Well Endowed was quite funny. Although it worked this episode, the fact that Pierce has become this insane, douchy, evil jackass during the entire second season is getting a bit annoying though.
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Hilarious episode. I need to watch it again to get everything.
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One of my favourite Community episodes!
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I don't care if it would be unrealistic for these people to spend 8 years at Greendale
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This was such a great episode. The seduction scen was hilarious XDD And Chang in blackface was so expected of him and random at the same time.
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All I can say is last nights episode was EPIC so funny words can't even describe!
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ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE, BRILLIANT, AND HILARIOUS! This was truly comedy at it's best and most unique. This episode deserves recognition! Beautifully shot, aw well! On every level this show and episode deserves praise.
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Annie seducing the elf maiden was awesome, especially for people who can read lips well.
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agreed, this episode was both awesome and hilarious!
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I was laughing pretty hard to begin with during the seduction scene, but when Troy took his paper and started taking notes, I swear I almost peed myself!!
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Gillian Jacobs said it best in her interview on Attack of the Show when she called Community a live action Simpsons where there created this world of endless possibilities and they make it work without stepping over the line in to ridiculousness. Great episode.
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Best episode of the season. I never played dungeons and dragons before, honestly xD, but this was hilarious!! Lol on the Cartman comparison, he was exactly like that come to think of it. Chang was hilarious!! Everything was great about this episode. Chevy Chase was brilliant. It was one of those laugh out loud (literally) episodes.
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amazing how u can communicate so much without actually hearing anything lol
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community is my second favorite show on tv right now (supernatural #1) but las night's episode was AMAZING!!! and by far, my favorite scene was the one with annie describing the seduction. brilliant!
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