Season 2 Episode 22

Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts

Aired Tuesday 12:00 AM Apr 28, 2011 on Yahoo

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts...

    Community wrapped up one of its longest running side plots this week when Shirley's baby is finally born in "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts". The episode centers entirely around the group helping to deliver the baby when they are unable to leave Anthropology class due to a race riot started by Dean Pelton.

    The episode begins with another fantastic guest appearance by John Oliver as drunkard Professor Ian Duncan, as he and the class take their own special version of finals. With everyone aside from Shirley getting drunk, the class has to quickly sober up when the Dean drops by with a reporter writing an article about him. When the reporter decides to stay to see how the unorthodox testing takes place, Professor Duncan heads off to get the fake tests. While waiting for his return Britta tries to impose some of her personal opinions upon Shirley with regards to childbirth, whilst Pierce pays Troy and Abed for the rights to their special handshake.

    When Shirley begins to feel uneasy, Chang – still adamant that his is the unborn child's father – begins to tell the tales of "Chang Babies" and their notoriety for being born prematurely. When the discomfort turns into Shirley's water breaking, the study group jumps into action whilst the Dean tries to maintain the facade that he is good at his job in front of the reporter. With the group unable to leave the classroom due to the aforementioned race riot over a world food day at Greendale, Abed recalls the time that he delivered a baby in the background of an episode last year, suggesting that he is the man for the job.

    Uncomfortable with Abed seeing her "nethers", Shirley insists on one of the girls performing the delivery and Britta steps in to help. Initially unable to cope with the disgusting nature of the process, Britta ultimately redeems herself and the baby is successfully born. When the baby is revealed to be Andre's and not Chang's, Shirley decides to name her child after the non-father, making the newborn Ben Bennett.

    When looking back on "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts", I can't help but feel satisfied. Whilst the episode didn't really deliver too much in the way of laughs, it kept a good enough level of humor to keep you engaged whilst it drew out 20 minutes on a singular plot point. Making the birth of Shirley's child an afterthought in an episode would have been a big mistake, so there really was no other way that the subject could have been approached, however, the potential to use a cliched cliffhanger was overlooked here I think. Given how much humor and intrigue that the writers have managed to draw out of the story line, adding the frustration of us not knowing for one more week would have been so perfectly imperfect. You'd have hated the writers so much for doing it, but I guarantee that any fan would have been glued to the screen for the beginning of next week's episode.
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