Season 2 Episode 20

Competitive Wine Tasting

Aired Tuesday 12:00 AM Apr 14, 2011 on Yahoo

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • "For homework; drink a glass of cognac in the bathtub." "Corn-holed." "It's hard to be Jewish in Russia. Yo."

    Sorry shippers, I've always been on team Jeff/Britta. Even though that doesn't seem to be the popular pairing. But this episode kind of broke it for me. I'd heard rumblings of Britta/Troy (and I thought that whole business between them on the KFC bus was just a mind freak), but this episode gave me a new favorite to root for. Sorry Jeff. The group splits off a little bit in this episode. Jeff and Pierce take a Wine class and Abed takes a class to find out who really was the boss on 'Who's the Boss?'. Pierce ends up engaged to an attractive woman and Jeff sets to uncover what she's really up to. She turns out to be from a rival moist towelette company. Pierce doesn't end up needing Jeff's Veronice Mars Intel, as he was intending to use her for the same reason. Jeff sets them back up as he realizes the two are the perfect racist couple.

    Britta and Troy take an acting class together taught by Professor Garrity (Professor Professorson). In order to fit in with the drama kids, Troy makes up a story of a painful molestation memory. Britta is attracted to men in pain and Troy's story is just the thing that makes Britta need to care. Moved by a recounting of a painful laundry room incident (my emotions!) Britta kisses Troy. When she blurts out his secret at Pierce's engagement party, Troy is caught in his lie and has to apologize to the acting class and to Britta. Can I just say Donald Glover is so adorable in this episode? Maybe as a girl and avid reader of romance novels, I'm reading too much into facial movements, but his are so interesting. Every little thing Britta says and does throughout the episode, he reacts to it even without words. You can just see so many different thoughts and emotions move across his face. Especially after Britta says their kiss was a mistake and it won't happen again. You see he goes through several different replies before settling on "Good" even though he obviously doesn't mean that. So now I am officially rooting for Britta/Troy because I have always loved Britta since the first episode and after this episode I like the chemistry between Britta/Troy.
  • Competitive Wine Tasting...

    Sitcoms really aren't known for their in depth plots or having much more than a singular story to follow whilst what passes for comedy in 2011 is draped across the Tv screen. It's because of this exact reason that I have already watched this week's Community twice. When it comes to writing about a 20 minute show it isn't usually difficult to remember the beats that made you laugh or who was doing what at any given moment that made the show worth watching. "Competitive Wine Tasting" was even a departure for Community itself in the plethora of stories told, but after seeing the end result, I can't help but hope that the writers have faith enough in themselves to try something like it again in their third season. The episode began with the regular cold open style of having the study group sitting around a table discussing what will ultimately drive the plot, in this case, classes that they have undertaken separate from the group. Troy and Britta take an acting class after being encouraged by their dance teacher, Abed, bringing the usual pop-culture element to the show takes a class on 80's Tv show Who's the Boss?, and Jeff and Pierce undertake the titular wine tasting class. Whilst going into specifics would take far too long, the cold open itself contained more genuine humor than any other show that I watch and was a perfect set up for what has to be one of the best episodes of Community to date. Roll credits and on with the show. The competitive wine tasting story line saw classmates Jeff and Pierce briefly pitted against each other in an attempt to hook up with the first attractive woman that they come across, however that was quelled almost instantaneously as Jeff is shot down at his first advance. Later Pierce walks into the study room with the same woman announcing that they are to marry. Having laid eyes on Chevy Chase and comparing the extent to which anyone would consider him attractive relative to the beautiful Chinese woman that he is standing next to, you immediately suspect that something is amiss, as it turns out to be, however watching it play out really is worthwhile. Jeff, determined to discover why any woman would pick an old man over him, interrogates Wu Mei assuming that she has ulterior motives. Whilst learning nothing in their face-to-face he ultimately discovers that she is a corporate spy, sent to help her company best Pierce's in the moist towelette industry and the engagement is swiftly put to an end.

    Whilst a majority of the episode's screen time is dedicated to its namesake, the previously alluded to classes taken by Troy, Britta and Abed are by no means left by the wayside. Troy, after having trouble fitting in with the emotionally unstable populace of his acting class, concocts a story of childhood molestation to make himself seem more troubled. The childish terminology used to describe his fake encounter was plenty enough to make me laugh in immaturity and the consequences of his lie were fairly hilarious to witness as well. Essentially Britta falls into the cliche of being attracted the emotionally damaged amongst us and it leads to possibly the most natural yet awkward comedic screen kiss that anyone has ever seen. Eventually Troy is forced by morality and social awkwardness to tell Britta the truth after she outs his "secret" to the rest of the group, and after a brief moment of her hating him, he is redeemed amongst the actors who initially saw him as shallow before his story, as their teacher posits the notion that absence of emotional depth is an emotional depth in of itself. Abed's thread in the episode, much like any time that he is ever on screen, consisted of several symptoms of Asperger Syndrome and pop-culture galore. After disagreeing on who really was the boss in Who's the Boss?, Abed deftly disproves his visiting professor and drives him to near suicide as he destroys his life work in the most charmingly naive way possible. The episode is rounded out by Jeff bringing back Wu Mei, after he feels guilty about ruining Pierce's fake relationship with her. He points out that the two are so alike in that they have no moral compass, are both racist and deceitful and probably perfect for each other, and whilst I condone racism in no way, the ending joke about Thai people being the Chinese version of Mexicans really did make it hard to hold a straight face. Overall "Competitive Wine Tasting" turned out to be one of the best episodes of the show's second season. It wasn't groundbreaking or filled with exceptionally memorable jokes, nor did it do much of anything to move the larger plot of the show forward, however for a show that is meant to be funny if nothing else, it definitely delivered.
  • There were enough funny moments in this episode to keep me engaged.

    The elective classes were all interesting - the acting class, funniest of the bunch. I like Kevin Corrigan as Professor Professorson - I've seen him play baddies (as in The Departed) and love his "tongue-in-cheek" version of comedy. Just his striding into the auditorium and throwing his briefcase in the seats was enough to start a chuckle. And who wouldn't want to star in his all African-American version of "Fiddler on the Roof" - the end scene was priceless.

    Abed's take on Who's The Boss was also humorous - the fact that they used this sitcom as the basis for critical study was hilarious.

    The twists and turns in the wine tasting class were just ok - the Chinese lady providing much of the humor. But all told, this was a satisfying episode of Community.
  • Abed takes a "Who's the Boss" class while Jeff tries to get Pierce to dump his new girlfriend.

    I've been watching Community for awhile now, and while I haven't reviewed it since early in the first season, I've decided to come back to it. I think it's one of the best shows that's getting low ratings on TV, and if anything, it blows away The Office and other half hour comedies on a weekly basis (except maybe for Parks and Rec.) However, this episode, unlike much of the second season, was a little sub-par.

    It was nice to see the show return and also focus less on a specific theme and more on these characters and the classes they're taking and how it dictates and rules their lives. I particularly liked the cold open, which was spot on in its typical fast-paced humor, and I loved the return of Professor Garretty a.k.a Professor Professorson.. he brings this strange dry wit to the show that is lacking from some of the other characters.

    However, it all felt a bit sub-par. Some of the plots, despite having funny moments, ended up feeling really serious and less humorous. For instance, Troy and Britta's plot about Troy making up a molestation story for acting class was humorous in that it had an interesting pay-off, but boy, everything in between felt really awkward.. not typical Community humor.

    And I love Abed as much as any other epic TV character, but his plot felt like more of the same "Abed knows a lot about TV" stuff, and the fact that he was doing this to a character we've never met was a little weird (but I loved the "What's Happening?" book the teacher pulls out at the end). Me complaining about these things doesn't mean that the episode was necessarily bad.. it just had a lesser feel to it compared to some of the other better episodes this season.

    But I still love the way these characters all bounce off of each other. Chang randomly showing up to say a few hilarious lines (kung pao "snap" is a great line to use if you're looking for a horrible joke related to Asian food) and I still love the word Donald Glover is doing on the show.. it was a good episode, but not as good as the show can be.