Pizza is delicious. New York pizza is even more delicious. Some other pizza is nearly as delicious, but rarely. Sometimes, maybe on a drunk night in Idaho, a New Yorker might find a slice of pizza ‘pretty good,’ but it’s still not real pizza, it’s more like passable sauce dough cheese entity. But it’s still better than… a Filet o’ Fish from McDonalds And that’s great, the world needs its entities. Episode 3 of Community‘s third season is a passable entertainment entity.
New Community isn’t old Community but watching it still distracts you from your own miserable life better than an episode of Big Bang Theory or other such trash. And at least we get to see Britta’s butt.
This episode was all about friendship, fantasy, and fandom.
As Troy and Britta’s relationship gestates — in the opening scene they’re shown undergarmentted in bed, watching TV on a laptop; the quintessential and epitomic activity of the millennial couple — it is suggested that Troy and Abed’s (at one moment Troy notes Troy and Abed in the Morning, the first time in the series that the fantasy talk show is mentioned outside the context of an episode endcap), friendship is being strained. It’s not. The love/bromance triangle comes to nothing except for an excuse to point out how much Abed has grown, the great steps he’s taken towards normalcy.
The examination of friendship continues by looking at Jeff and Annie’s confusing friendship, one tainted by occasional sexual and romantic tension. The duo answers the question “can you still be friends with someone who, in what can barely considered a sane state, mimes marriage with you?” with a resounding, “YES.” Annie has always been a bit obsessive, but when did she become an actual insane person? Like the classic sitcom convention of taking your ‘lovably stupid’ character and making him nigh on literally retarded, Community has taken someone quirky and turned them into a dangerous psychopath. Jeff stays friends with she who is manically obsessed with him.
The part that older studiers (in Shirley’s case, barely older) play in the friend group is questioned when Pierce and Shirley aren’t invited on the road trip that the rest of the gang goes on. Both are left out due to their delusions: Pierce is out of touch with reality due to outdated views on race and sex, and Shirley is out of touch with reality due to outdated views on the creation of the universe. The fact that they weren’t invited is brushed aside at the end of the episode, when they mysteriously show up with the group, and everyone just accepts it.
Is the message of the episode that friendship transcends delusion, and you should still be friends with people despite their personalities, quickness to ditch, or psychotic obsession with wedding you?
Were Community writers briefed at some point by an angry Two and a 1/2 Men fan, claiming that “People only watch Community to feel smart and superior, that’s why I can’t understand it”? Because this episode, and a few previous episodes this season, seem to make such a point of taking digs at dumbed down entertainment. Pierce, working with the producers of an American adaptation of Inspector Spacetime creates a simple-to-understand and sexy abortion of a TV show, a clear reference to Elementary which is supposedly a simple adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes canon, but is really a ripoff of BBC’s Sherlock.
The staff assumes that Community fans will revel in these digs at less intelligent programming, at dumbed down entertainment, at laugh tracks; but it seems like hollow meanness, rather than real criticism.