Friday, February 22, 2013

The Funny Stuff: Community(2/14&21)

Paranormal Parentage

It’s Valloween!  Or Halloween on Valentine’s Day, for those out of the loop.  Since Community was supposed to start airing in October, and most of the episodes were filmed before they knew that, so yay, warped timelines!

Anyway, almost everyone is in the study room, meeting to get to Vicki’s party when Troy, dressed as Hobbes to Abed’s Calvin, gets a call from Pierce, who has managed to lock himself in his panic room.
Jeff(a wrestler to Annie’s ring girl(except how she thought he meant creepy Ring girl, whoops)) does NOT want to go, but he is overruled by the group, so they make their way to Pierce’s creepy mansion.
When they get there, Pierce sends them on a hunt for a book that holds the code to open the panic room, leading to a quick split.

Jeff and Britta head to the creepy bedroom where Britta tries to get Jeff to admit he has daddy issues. Abed and Annie head in a different direction,  and Abed finds a secret TV room.  He spends the rest of the episode spying on the rest of the group, while Annie joins Troy and Shirley(Princess Leia to her family’s Star Wars universe) after they found Pierce’s secret sex room, complete with indoor swings and collar(which are not for secret dogs, silly Troy).

After a couple of very creepy happenings, including a picture that continuously changes sizes and hands and a face trying to come out of the wall, all the group comes together to yell at Pierce to turn off the haunted house, but he’s laying unconscious on the floor.  Everyone starts freaking out, but then Pierce jumps out, laughing at them for falling for his trick, upset he wasn’t invited to Vicki’s party.  No one is surprised, but Abed pops out, asking about the secret shadow figure he spotted on the surveillance tape, dun Dun DUUN!

Pierce has no idea who that is, and starts to FREAK OUT.  Just then, the door opens, and it’s Pierce’s brother!  Turns out he’s been living in the mansion for six secret weeks.  Pierce asks him to stay, and it’s all awww.

This was an odd episode.  There were laughs, but the high concept part really didn’t go far enough.  It felt very tentative, and the dialogue didn’t feel like things the group actually say, for the most part.  At best, it felt like someone got the basic gist of how a Community episode should be structured, the details were kind of fail.

I did get a couple of funny lines for you:

Troy, when Pierce asks the group to find his code book: “No sweat, Bobba Fett”
Annie, when Troy tells her about Pierce’s secret room: “Indoor swing?  That’s ridiculous, someone’s gonna break a lamp!”
Troy, when the group discovered Pierce on the floor: “Please don’t die slightly before your time!”

Conventions of Space and Time

And now it’s time for and Inspector Spacetime convention!

It’s the InpectiCon, and Troy and Abed are super excited, obviously.  After an extended(pointless) scene of Britta in her undies, everyone(minus Pierce and Shirley) head on a road trip to the convention(Jeff and Annie, though are using the trip to go skiing instead).

Abed has a new friend, from Nigeria, natch, and Troy is feeling left out.  The new guy and Abed are like, mind-melding or something, so Britta therapizes Troy to help him understand what it going on with Abed and the new guy, before finally settling into the girlfriend role and being supportive of her boyfriend.  Abed, on the other hand, may have found his match in Toby, who is basically just like him.  When Abed realizes that he needs a more emotional constable to his incredibly logical inspector, Toby freaks out, and locks him in a phone booth.  But Troy finds him, and saves Abed by threatening to beat up Toby, and it’s really cute.

Annie and Jeff’s ski trip got axed due to avalanche, so they stay at the convention, too, where it turns out Jeff looks just the main villain of Inspector Spacetime.  Annie heads to the hotel room, where she pretends that she is married to Jeff when she calls room service.  Except, whoops, Jeff is in the bar, flirting with a fan of Inspector Spacetime who REALLY enjoys Thoraxis.  The hotel staff, though, are not impressed with Jeff’s ‘philandering,’ and tell Annie, who has to yell at Jeff to save face.  They end up talking it out, and Jeff ends with the super sweet ‘if we were married, you wouldn’t find me flirting with another woman in a hotel bar.’  Aww. 

Oh, and Shirley and Pierce (mostly Pierce) manage to completely destroy the American version of Inspector Spacetime. Of course.

Gah!  I love this show, but there is definitely something missing.  I don’t like that these stories aren’t centered around the school, and I miss the part where everything happened for a reason, even if it wasn’t an immediate punchline.  As several discussions I’ve read have noted, Britta walking through the fire escape in her underwear was a huge missed opportunity for social commentary, either on the objectification of women as ‘booth babes’ at the convention, or in some other way that I’m not smart enough to see.  Instead, it was played as a ‘oooo, look at Gillian Jacobs in her undies,’ which eww.

I did get one funny line for you:

Toby, after Troy threatens him: “Oh my god, he can make a fist.  That would hurt harder than a slap…He’s in that one!”

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